Decide how much you’re willing to spend before you ever commit to being in a pitch. It’s amazing how many agencies blindly jump into reviews with no clue about how much they’re willing to spend to compete. Can you afford to lose? Can you track your costs in the heat of the pitch? How far over your budget are you willing to go? You will, I repeat, you will go over budget. Forget what it will cost to win. How much can you spend to lose?