The Specialist

We’ve lost a few RFP’s in the last year. Each one of them hurts… We spend a lot of time, research, and sweat when we respond to a request for a proposal. If it’s worth doing, -it’s worth doing well. Overall, our ratio of landing RFP’s has been very high,(still is) but we’re noticing a trend. We call it the specialist trend.

In the advertising/design business, a new breed of company is emerging. They do business the same as before, they read the same textbooks they did a year ago, they apply the same logic the industry has been using for decades, -but now they’re specialists.

It all starts with the having more than one of a certain type of client in your portfolio. For example, we have done a few travel agent websites, and even more commercial real estate websites. In each case, if we were so inclined, we could spin off a brand new entity: “EM-travel”, or “EM-Real Estate” might be good names. We would instantly gain much more credibility since our new companies “specialize” in a marketing a specific industry. If trends hold true, we would be especially persuasive selling to customers out of state…

We always enjoy bucking trends at Entermotion, -but we admit that we too have a specialty. We specialize in listening to our clients’ needs. We specialize in working within budgets big and small. We specialize in being fascinated by your product whether it comes in a cardboard box, or divided by the acre. We specialize in figuring out ways to make your business more attractive, more efficient, and more successful.


    Adam Messinger 05/11/2007

    Just yesterday I lost a RFP, not to a specialist but to someone who was willing to submit spec work along with his bid. While I was researching the best solution for the client’s business, my competitor was producing free work.

    I’m in complete agreement with Entermotion’s philosophy of thorough proposals and devotion to the client’s business needs, but that approach takes time and preparation. It’s frustrating when prospects succumb to the temptation of “seeing the goods first,” even though the result may not truly help their business thrive.


  2. Entermotion 05/14/2007

    I guess our philosophy revolves around trying to make sure we do get the job… Which makes it even more painful when we don’t.

    We’re strongly in support of the AIGA’s stance on speculative work,

    but we do try and do as thorough of a job communicating the possibilities of the project as possible. It is always tough to determine how much to give away. I can say that the best clients we’ve ever had are the kind that would never ask for any pre-project counseling for free…

    You’re better off without the client… An experienced client would prefer an answer that was customized, and thought-out, to the guess that your competition must have submitted.


  3. Adam Messinger 05/15/2007

    An experienced client would prefer an answer that was customized, and thought-out, to the guess that your competition must have submitted.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. The prospect said that he was impressed by my "very professional" proposal, and seemed genuinely surprised. I don’t think he’d ever received a truly professional project proposal before. He wasn’t experienced.


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