Depending on what you're selling, a sales cycle can be as short as a few hours, or as long as a year (possibly longer,) and closing a juicy piece of business in the agency world unfortunately leans toward the latter.

An existing relationship or an invitation to participate in an RFP could give you a better shot at working with your dream client than a cold call could, but there are certainly no guarantees.

If you've only ever worked on the client side of marketing, you may not be aware of how demanding it can be for agencies to land a new client.

My last agency was asked to participate in an RFP for a nationally recognized brand, and spent at least $20K on our pitch, because we desperately wanted to win their business. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't, but more often than not, brand marketers are exempt from reimbursing any costs that their shortlist of agencies incur while vying for their account.

There's no prize for second place in this RFP battle royal, so while the winner's new business expenses are a drop in the bucket compared to the agency fees they'll earn from their new client, the losers are out thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it (except their dignity, creativity, and, perhaps, a nicely packaged pitch that they can reuse for the next opportunity.)

AgencySparks exists because we believe the agency search and pitch process is broken, and we're not the only ones. According to this Forbes CMO Network writer, "clients are no longer getting the best talent, experience, or ideas through the traditional pitch process."

Our goal is to completely bypass the brutal RFP process, because it’s the worst... for everyone. If you must conduct a RFP, make sure you've got a handle on exactly what you want from a potential agency partner so you're not wasting anyone's time, money, and resources.

Ask questions that will help you get to know each agency before they start spending money to win your business, and try a more efficient RFP template to elicit better responses.

Or, you could avoid all this nonsense and hire AgencySparks to help you find your perfect agency match. The choice is yours.

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