Many companies these days require triple bidding a project to make sure they’re complying with corporate policies. Triple bid or not there are some general rules of thumb on how to follow up with art producers to create a positive bidding experience for both parties.
First, I will usually tell you when we plan to award a project. Keep in mind that the intended schedule may change because the key decision-makers are not available or have requested creative changes that might not necessarily reflect the bid but could potentially hold up the entire process.
If you don’t hear from me right away, do not panic. I usually have more than one project going on at the same time — so if I don’t call you back right away, I’m not ignoring you. I’m just busy.
Do follow up with a a polite email or phone call to check in on the bid especially if you’re on hold for another project. It tells me you’re interested and I appreciate that you keep me informed of your schedule. One email or phone call will suffice. Multiple follow-ups can feel a bit intrusive. Nobody wants to be bombarded in the middle of a big project and you don’t want to look desperate.
When following up, choose the method of communication that you find most comfortable – unless it involves stalking me at the office. Discuss any additional creative ideas to let me know that the project is still top of mind but keep it concise. I keep my cards close until we’ve reached a final decision so don’t expect me to divulge too many details on who is bidding against you, how your competitors are approaching a specific challenge, how much they’re paying for props, etc.
Whether or not you get the job, I will call or email you (unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily true for all art buyers and/or producers). If you don’t get the job, I’m sorry. I truly am. My least favorite part of the bidding process is informing a great photographer he or she did not get the job. Just remain professional and don’t whine. I’ve had the displeasure of working with some photographers and/or agents who lay on the guilt trip and all it does is make me NOT want to bid you again.
Most importantly, don’t forget that the creative and that I included you in the bid for a reason. We LOVE your work! Lastly, each bidding situation is unique and may depend on the relationship you have with the art producer so take these suggestions in stride and good luck on your next bid.