Gee. Thanks for the privilege.
The good news is that there are a few search consultants out there who get it. We're currently working with one in a review and the process has been smart, respectful of our time and resources, and less interrogative.
Win or lose the pitch (we'll know soon), I want the search consultant to get some exposure, because they deserve it. The firm is called: Strum Consulting, located in Vorhees, NJ. Here's a snap-shot of their typical review process:
1. Pre-screen agencies by phone, reputation and web site.
2. Invite a small group (3-4) of agencies to pitch. Pay them a modest fee for participating.
3. Don't waste their time with spec creative. Just strategy.
4. Host a client briefing for all agencies (admittedly a little awkward, but efficient for the client), that includes the CEO's active participation.
5. Agency tour and lunch with client as a chemistry check.
6. Presentation to client, with the promise of a quick decision.
The whole review is completed in 3O days.
Refreshing process, eh? My team is actually energized by it. And I hope that Lonny Strum, the search consultant's principal, gets lots of business from us smaller-to-midsize agencies, as a result of this exposure. Lonny's an ex-agency guy who cuts through the nonsense and gets to the substance.
He's got my vote for the Search Consultant's Hall of Fame.
P.S. I recognize that some of you may consider my comments a shamelss plug for Strum to tilt the playing field; fact is, while Strum certainly deserves the plug, the client does all of the voting.