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Never give anyone a "deal"!
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Melanie Haynes
Contributor III


Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:53 am    Post subject: Never give anyone a "deal"! Reply with quote

Sound harsh? Let me explain. I have found that invariably when I cave and do something for a client for less than I normally charge, the job just seems to take more time and be more difficult that anything else I do. Maybe it’s because the clients who ask for cheap deals are not used to working with professional talent, so they are less experienced at offering direction – they’ll know it when they hear it - and chances are, they’re not going to hear it anytime soon....aaarrrrrgggghhhh!

My own fault, I know....
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Deirdre
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 12939
Location: East Jesus, Maine

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone wise said:

The moment you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.


(someone WISE. It wasn't me. Or Philip.)
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Lizden
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Joined: 04 Dec 2006
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Location: The dark recesses of my mind

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep...the cheaper they are the harder they are to deal with.
Rolls Eyes

Breathe, my dear. Laugh
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Lee Gordon
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Joined: 25 Jul 2008
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Location: West Hartford, CT

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To take Liz's point one step further -- the pain-in-the-ass factor for any client is inversely proportional to the amount he is willing to pay.
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jsgilbert
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Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Posts: 468
Location: left coast of u.s.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, my clients all get a deal!

One thing I have noticed in this business from a pricing and payment standpoint is an inverse proportion to how well something might "come together" and the rate of pay.

For example, locally I am called in by an audio developer for video games. Traditionally one is payed based on an hourly rate when woreking at professional studios. (Even union recording fee structures have prescribed time limits).

Now, let's say this is non-union and I'm getting $400 for the first hour and $300 for each additional hour, but becuase I work very quickly with most takes being 2 takes, I am finished in 45 minutes. I get my one hour of pay. The client actually gets an extra 15 minutes on the studio clock to do editing.

Now, let's say the talent that comes in after me doesn't have as strongly a forged character or for whatever reason takes 5 or 6 takes for each prompt. He taked 1 and a half hours to record. He gets paid $700 to my $400. Not to mention the client has to pay for an additional 45 minutes of studio time and probably even more for edits.

On the other hand, when a client comes to me with a job
and it turns out that they give me a well printed script with pronunciations, pays super fast, is very attentive, etc. but they have been quoted based on a "worst case scenario" or even on an average case scenario, you find that the "good" clients tend to supplement the "not so good" clients.

Wanting a good rate or even the "best" rate is one thing, but being the kind of client that qualifies for said rate may be another. As for the scenario about the crappy talent sometimes making mroe than better talent, it's just another sign of a system that has been broken for quite some time.
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Melanie Haynes
Contributor III


Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha, ha! You're absolutely right everyone!! Why I won't learn, I'll never know. I guess it just depends on the mood I'm in when they contact me and whether I think it's just something that I can just whip out in nothing flat - and it SHOULD have been that. Now tomorrow, I have a session that will probably take a fraction of the time and pay literally 55 times more - and be so much more fun - even if I do have to drive "into town" to another studio! Guess it all keeps the business interesting.
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Simon Phillips
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Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 69
Location: Hertfordshire, England

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a general rule I agree with Liz's and Lee's comments above, but there are exceptions.

I recently did a job where the client told me I was his preferred choice but that his budget was a fixed amount for five 2 to 3 minute recordings. It was some way below my preferred rate but still in the range that I would consider if I wasn't busy. I was busy at the time but the client sugar-coated his low offer by saying that there was no rush, I could take a couple of weeks if I needed to.

That was what swung it for me and I ended up taking the job. I fitted it in around other work and after I'd sent the last recording off the client contacted me to say he was very pleased with the work and he'd arranged a nice surprise for me. No chocolates or flowers, but an email from Paypal telling me he'd actually paid me double the price we originally agreed!
Since then I've done more work for him and he's paid me full rate, although I implied in my quotes that he only had to ask if he wanted a discount.

Maybe there was a clue in that even when offering a low budget, the client's instinct was to at least have a sweetener in the offer too. Maybe he always intended to pay a better rate, but didn't want to promise anything because cashflow was tight. I don't know.

What I do know is that some cynicism is healthy, but maybe not too much. It might be a luxury, but I like to at least consider the odd job where the client wants a deal. The film student asking you for a deal could be the next Scorsese. (But check them out on Youtube, because they really might not!)

Regarding JS's scenario about getting less money than the guy who needs more takes. I suppose you just hope you've got a better chance of working with them again than the guy who eats up time and money. Maybe doesn't always work as easy as that, but surely you'll get more work than him in the long run?

I hope so. I'm still quite new to this but as far as I have a business strategy, trying to do a good job is part of it.
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Lizden
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Joined: 04 Dec 2006
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Location: The dark recesses of my mind

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon Phillips wrote:
as far as I have a business strategy, trying to do a good job is part of it.


Well, of course! Smile
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Michael Schoen
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Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 443
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you need to take these things one at a time -- and some high paying clients can be a paid in the arse as well.
A European client found me on Bodalgo.com and wanted an English language narration for a film in German.
I quoted what I thought was reasonable -- and it was too high.
The client didn't ask me to work for less, but said she was disappointed she couldn't get the guy she wanted.
In German(I had help), I said "make me an offer."
The offer was too low -- but I wanted to do the project and did it -- everybody was happy.
And they were great to deal with...even with the language barrier.
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Bailey
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Joined: 04 Jun 2005
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Location: Lake San Marcos... north of Connie, northwest of the Best.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deirdre wrote:
Someone wise said:

The moment you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.

(someone WISE. It wasn't me. Or Philip.)

Then it must have been Maureen Dowd.
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Lee Gordon
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Joined: 25 Jul 2008
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Location: West Hartford, CT

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have done some work for a guy -- also a German client via Bodalgo -- who asked me to sharpen my pencil and give him my best price for a relatively small job, which he would then present to the client he was pitching. Because he's given me some good business in the past, I knocked a few bucks off my normal fee and sent him the bid.

Yesterday he got back to me with the following story,
"thank you very much for your quote, but as I now realized, we both don't want to work with that client. The offer he made me couldn't be called serious.
Our quote was cheap, but the client wanted a dumping price.
Well, and I don't want to deal with those people.
Sorry for that!
I'm looking forward to the next project with a realistic budget.
"

I wrote back and told him I thought he made the right call.
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Melanie Haynes
Contributor III


Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I do agree that there is a time and place to "deal", and it's often best with a known, regular client for a particular reason. Also, it is fine for a PSA for a worthy cause. The problems I've had seem to come from clients who have found me via the web and contact me with a low ball offer. Some of those have worked out all right - if I had some time and I was in the mood. But when they've been bad, they've been very, very bad, and so the cause of my original rant. Conflicting direction, just do "one more" for me please, and not bothering to check the read for weeks, and then coming back for a retake, etc... I dealt with it by telling the client that we should do a phone patch so she could get "exactly" what she wants because, apparently, I was not understanding her comments or direction. I will not try it again without a phone patch and her confirmation. I also told her I was booked for the next couple of days, so maybe we could do it later in the week. I think I've just always bent over backwards and tried to be too nice, and I'll admit, it's hard for me to say no. Comes from working with agents for many years.....kind of hard to learn how to fend for yourself out there! But, I'm learning... Wink
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johnmilesprod



Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Posts: 19
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I highly recommend "How to Sell at Margins Higher than Your Competitors."
It's an excellent read and deals with things like pain in the ___ clients, those who want a whole lot of something for nothing, and why it's important to just say "NO" to doing business with some folks. Not to go all negative, it also talks about how to retain good clients. Worth its weight in gold.
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Claire Dodin
Club 300


Joined: 15 Feb 2008
Posts: 392
Location: Sunny LA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I've just been reminded of that! And now I'm off to re-record this script for the third time because they changed the way they want names pronounced...grrr...
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Melanie Haynes
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Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel your pain.....
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