Be afraid, be very afraid if you hear a potential client utter these phrases..... we've all heard them before and it's a caution sign, so don't say I didn't warn you! (Thanks to my SVP Tom Poldre, who came up with the snappy comebacks)
If a prospective client utters these lines... run, don't walk. And avoid these snappy comebacks. (Lessons from the field):.
1. You are among 15 agencies in our RFP search.
"Let me guess... narrowed down to a short list of 12?"
2. The agency selected would report to the COO - are you okay with that?
"Absolutely. We'll speak slowly."
3. Can we write our own releases?
"Why not? We do our own dentistry."
4. We have a small budget with big expectations.
"Then you'd better be prepared to let us get pretty damned creative."
5. You would be our third agency in three years.
"It's okay... It took Jennifer Aniston a few false starts before she settled down."
6. All questions will go through procurement, in writing, do not contact PR or marketing directly.
"That's fine... we don't get along with PR and marketing types."
7. Our CEO is skeptical of the value of PR.
"Funny... we're skeptical of the value of your CEO"
8. We don't believe in social media.
"Social media? What's that?."
9. Can you guarantee us media coverage?
"Yes! It's called advertising!"
10. Can we try your agency out first with a project?
"You mean like dating? Okay... but it's dinner and a movie first!"