Using 4As and ANA how-to-search in your agency’s new business efforts

So, didja see the new pitch guidelines put forth from the 4As and the ANA?  Have yet to download and take a look-see. But am eager to  – it is a free download. With their guidelines in mind, I thought it might be helpful to pontificate a bit on how they might be used in your agency’s new business efforts.

So, the most obvious thing to do is to actually send it to someone. Many will do this. Not a bad idea so long as you overcome the whole potential “we think you’re a knuckhead so we thought you might need this guide” message you could be sending to your prospective new client. And pity the agency that sends this to a soul in procurement. Particularly someone who thinks they know what they’re doing.

Crafty shops can overcome these potential hurdles, though, by thinking around related benefits of sharing this kinda thing.

But perhaps there could be safer uses.

You could blog about it. There are a couple of angle to consider here. it could be a simple, “here you go” type post. Or, chunk it out into different posts. If you disagree with any of it, by all means, consider calling those differences out.

Surely there’s a template or two in this new writing. For instance, there may be a sample questionnaire clients can ask agencies in an early round. Perhaps there might be value in creating standard answers to common questions so that next time you are asked something similar, you already have a start and can use your time more effectively. Like, for instance, making edits to the basic information so the answer is more helpful, valuable and “I need to see these guys” friendly to a given prospect.

(More RFP Response tips here. Free, even.)

Another way to use it might be to add a layer of your own special sauce to the doc. One example from the Thunderclap files might be to create a scorecard. There may be a way to subtly shift the criteria in your favor.

Identify best practices. This one’s kind of a yawn. But these were developed by well-known peers. Experts from both the buy and sell side of the relationship, based on their experiences. There will no doubt be some new things or gentle reminders for you as you take a look-see. You may find the reading comes up as talking points in conversations with prospective clients, search consultants and staffers.

And these are just a few thought-starters for you. There are a couple of thoughts yours truly will be sharing with a select few Thunderclap clients who, after all, are only too happy to pay for a bit o’ brilliance. But we digress!

Hope you have a chance to look at the guidelines soon and put them to work in your new business efforts!