Eric Karjaluoto over at Ideas on Ideas writes RFP, r.i.p - about the pain of pitching when you're a designer. This reminds me of an old ad joke, bear with me I tend to forget how they're told and do the punchline first. ;P
A businessman walks out of his plush suburban home and notices that the neighbours are having their house repainted. "That looks very nice" he shouts over to the paint contractor, who immediately responds "You like it? We can paint your house too. We'll do it for free, and if you agree to hire us we'll do it again, in the colour you want."
-" Don't be absurd!" says the businessman "that's no way to do business."
As the businessman drives to work he notices that his car sounds funny, and decides to stop at a mechanic and have it checked out. "Something sounds wrong, how much will you charge for fixing it?" he asks the mechanic. "We'll take a look for you, and mend all things the way we think is best and if you like what we've done you can come back and have your car fixed the way you want it." responds the mechanic. "What are you nuts? You'd give me free parts and hope I come back? That's no way to do business, and I should know, I'm a businessman!"
In the city the businessman pops into a barber shop to inquire what a cut and shave costs. "We'll cut and shave you for free, and if you like it you can come back and do it for a small fee." says the barber. At this point the stumped businessman just shakes his head "You'll never earn a living giving cuts and shaves for free."
As soon as he enters his office, the businessman calls a meeting. "Listen up everyone, I want all hands on deck and our best talent working overtime. Spend everything from petty cash to our savings stash on creating a great campaign here - there's a big account out there looking for an agency and by golly, we're gonna pitch on it with all that we've got!"