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  Category: Articles » Technology » Article

Surviving the RFP: How to answer the "how will you work with us" question

By Laura Schweiker

The very survival of your agency rests in your success in winning new business. Yet everyone hates receiving RFPs.

Why? Because they require a huge investment in time and energy and most often you don't make the first cut, let alone win the business. After all, every agency will claim superior strategic thinking and more powerful creative claims that are very difficult to substantiate without actually showing your work to the prospective client.

So you wallow in frustration that the decision will be made based on totally subjective judgments by people you never met.

There is hope.

One of the best ways to strengthen your answer to an RFP is to offer a clear, objective point of differentiation.

All clients are interested in how you will work with them. If you show them your client service extranet, they will not only see your commitment to client service, they will see precisely how you plan to organize their work. Put in their logo. Build folders structures that support precisely how you will organize everything for them. And tell them how much time they will save working with you, rather than with the other agencies mired in the stone age of email and FTP sites.

When you show them how easy the extranet makes finding all the work you have done, slip-in some of your best creative, even if they have stipulated that creative is not part of the response (after all, they have to look at something as they see how it works). Include a few comments date-stamped at odd hours seeing a response from the agency at 2am can say volumes.

Most importantly, not only will showing the prospective client your extranet help you stand out and win the account, it will yield rewards into the future. Because in the final analysis, the whole point of using a client service extranet is to keep the business.

About the Author
Laura Schweiker writes extensively on the use of technology by businesspeople and is an evangelist for document sharing and extranet solutions.

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  Some other articles by Laura Schweiker
How to Share Important Documents in a Spam-Free Environment
How to Share Important Documents in a Spam-Free Environment An extranet is a web-based tool that provides a secure environment for the organization ...

Accelerate team collaboration: Communicate instantly with an extranet
Accelerate team collaboration: Communicate instantly with an extranet An extranet is a web-based tool that provides a secure environment for the ...

Extranets: Better than email for group collaboration
Companies increasingly prefer using an extranet over email to communicate with their team members, clients, and suppliers for document sharing because it ideally suits the groups engaged in ...

Bringing Architects and Their Partners Together: The Power of a Secure Extranet
An extranet is a private network within which document sharing can take place by specific groups of users outside the organization through a network administrator. An ...

The unhappy client: How to fight back and keep the business
Historically, there have been unavoidable situations that test an agency's client relationships. Today, there are tools that can minimize, or even eliminate these threats. ...

Extranets for Litigators
Over the past few years, the use of extranets and intranets by law firms to share critical documents with co-workers, clients and co-counsel has been firmly established. One area in which an extranet is particularly useful ...

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