Negotiating with Haggling Clients at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 28th, 2010, 10:18 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 387
Negotiating with Haggling Clients

Hey guys,

Can I have your opinion please..

I have two potential clients at the moment, both are friends and tried to haggle to have good deal because they are trying to make a deal with me together.. I am still new in the field and I think thats why they consider me as a 'budget' videographer

Basically, they requested me to lower my price by taking out some.. for example, they proposed me working solo on the reception and prewedding shot.. or even dont record the holy matrimony at all (?!).. but all these will definitely compromise my quality and also it would be bad for my team if I take the work myself.

What do you recommend? Do you think its better to drop the deal with them if they cant afford me.. since with their haggling they might as well get uncle Joe to videotape using his handycam..

How do you deal with these type of customers?

Cheers.


John
Johannes Soetandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2010, 10:25 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Hamilton, ON Canada
Posts: 369
sounds like they're pretty understanding if they're asking to cut services to lower the price rather than just straight up ask for everything for a lower rate. Theres nothing wrong with shooting prep and reception alone, I do it myself frequently.

It sounds like they're not trying to haggle you down in price it sounds like they're trying to meet their budget by compromising with you on services.
David Schuurman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2010, 10:40 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 622
Super fun wedding with dual surprises from the bride & groom

So sorry for the title of my post! I wrote on the wrong firefox page.. supposed to be the new thread.. :P

for johannes, try to offer them something extra rather than cutting out stuff out. I agree that you can do the prep alone, but everyone work in different way, if you're style is 2 camera during the prep, then keep it that way until you discover otherwise.

We did give a lot of extra to our clients when we were starting out :)

Santo
__________________
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about motion picture?
website: www.papercranes.com.au | blog: www.weddingvideosydney.net
Susanto Widjaja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2010, 12:50 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 387
@David:
You're right. haggling may not be the right term to use.

I can probably shoot by myself on some events during the day.. but it feels bad to my other videographer if I exclude him. But maybe I can talk to him and see what he thinks about this (he's probably reading this anyway as he's in the forum :P). It just never crossed my mind to do this arrangement during a wedding.

But would you personally reduce your service to meet the Client's budget? by how far?

@Santo:
Haha no worries with the post title!

What extras do you give back then? I'm considering giving them a Save The Date video, which might attract them.... or an iPad, but that's an overkill :P
Johannes Soetandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2010, 02:04 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 622
I used to

- give extra hours of coverage since I charge by the hour of coverage.

- gave discount on preweddings if they took both

- gave more dvd copies (lame but sometimes work)

- do complimentary SDE.. i can't do this anymore since we shoot with one extra person now for SDE, we used to do it with two people. I cannot take it anymore.. :P

hmmm what else.. I can't remember. I guess the most that we did was the extra hour of coverage. People like getting those cause they get more coverage.
__________________
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about motion picture?
website: www.papercranes.com.au | blog: www.weddingvideosydney.net
Susanto Widjaja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2010, 02:58 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 387
Thanks Santo. I can't imagine doing SDE with two person only. Sounds pretty terrifying mate hehe. I'm about to attempt my first semi-SDE this September. Hope I can pull it through!

I already gave them $200 off for combining with pre-wedding but still too expensive for them. Oh well..

For the coverage, I'm actually throwing in extra hours 'informally'.. I personally don't want to get strict with hours. Its either half day or full day wedding.. I just never mention this to them.. maybe if I do, it will win their heart :)

I did consider an extra DVD copy, thought it was lame, but I think its worth a shot!

Thanks for the inputs! :)
Johannes Soetandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2010, 05:05 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,123
Whenever I get people asking me to be cheaper, my usual response is simply "Which part of my service would you like me to cut out?" The response is always the same, and sometimes the scale gets cut down, other times it becomes clear that they expect the quality and aren't prepared to pay the price. Either way, it gives them the problem of deciding, and it doesn't alter my reputation. If they are real friends, then cost isn't important, and I break things down into cost of actually doing it, and my time can be free if I want.

I'm doing a music project for an old friend in my downtime - odd day here, odd day there, and I haven't charged anything at all. If the project works for him, then he'll give me a fair proportion, if not, I shall not worry.

Acquaintances, rather than real friends are different, and I just do them a little discount around the edges - so while they might think I'm doing the labour side for free, or a reduced rate, I'll charge the usual mark-up or maybe even a little more on the sundry side. So maybe the DVDs I buy in large quantities get charged out cheaper than the shops, but still a healthy margin. I often charge for ink for printing - obviously it's free at the normal rate, but if they want 300 DVDs printed cheap - the ink becomes a 'proper' cost. to be passed on.

So my motto seems to be that discount means something has to go somewhere!
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2010, 07:17 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Paul

100% correct!! I use the same tactic when I'm asked if I can "give a discount" etc etc!!

John ? There is no way you should ever consider doing the same job for less money. If they want to pay less then give them less. I find that those who haggle are seldom satisfied and want to keep haggling until you might as well do the job for free!! Funny that these are also the people that are the most critical about the finished product.

If you can do some of the shoot on your own, then fine, adjust the price BUT still charge the same for yourself! I personally do all my weddings on my own with two cameras but I never reduce my price...if they want to pay less then they get less coverage...simple as that.

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2010, 07:25 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Zonhoven
Posts: 153
We don't give discounts and we won't cut in the package.
If you give discounts to someone and someone else pays the whole deal and later on it seems that
they know the other couple and they find out the other had to pay less, they will feel ripped off so no discounts. ;o)
And about cutting in the package.
I just turned down a request. They wanted me to start shooting without the preparation.
So I told them that we may not be the right fit for the job.
I gave them the comparison ...if you read a book, you also won't start in the middle.
We also try to tell a story and we need those elements that makes up the story.
But that's just the way we work.
Bart Wierzbicki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2010, 09:49 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
A very wealthy friend of mine once told me that when you discount your product or service you are lowering the value of your product or service andd when you do that you might as well price your product or service to the discounted price to begin with. Over the years I have of course been asked to discount my services and I like many who responded here simply ask which part of the service would they like me not to do. I've even said "fine, no problem, I'll just leave all my tapes at home and won't have to edit so that'll save you lots of money" Yeah I know, I'm a smart a** but at my age and after the years I've been in the business I get to do that. ;-)
Generally when someone asks for a discount I talk with them a while to find out why how much etc BUT it really gets down to I haven't justified the price vs. value to them. Sometimes I'll throw in a couple of extra DVDs but I rarely add time for no charge and I rarely give any kind of discount. I simply keep asking questions until I get to the real answer and then try to overcome that objection.
Remember, just because they ask for a discount doesn't always mean they don't have the money, some people ask simply because they feel they have to or because they have been thru the process so many times with other vendors and some of them offer discounts. You know, pay all now and I'll give you XX dollars off. Stuff like that. Some are really on a budget but it's my opinion that they shouldn't be in front of you if they have a budget that's say $500 or more off your lowest package but again that's just me.
If we all stick to our guns the value of videography will become more and more important and we will all make more money.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2010, 10:35 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 622
emmm similar with most of you, I also don't give discount anymore to my couples. However, this is taking into account that johannes is starting out with probably just enough experience and gear... I would probably be more flexible and make a bit more effort to get the gig. clients referrals are investments and probably the best investments that you can ever get.... so yea, if I need to work some 2 to 3 extra hours to get my 4th or 5th client, I'd do it.

Some people would say that you would be lowering your value and find it hard to raise your price afterwards.. from my personal experience, I didn't find any difficulties raising my price. A brother of a previous client asked about the price raise, I just said that we were starting out back then, we are now more experienced, skilled and had obtained more gear, hence the price. He still booked us and very happy indeed.

my two bucks
__________________
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about motion picture?
website: www.papercranes.com.au | blog: www.weddingvideosydney.net
Susanto Widjaja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
Posts: 553
I assume that when you say these are "friends", they are people you know personally and hang out with for reasons other than just wedding related things ???

Or are they just "acquaintances" of yours ???

My guess, these are more likely to be "acquaintances" and not friends, as you would know exactly how much they can spend, because friends would let another friend know such information about their budget and how close to "tapped out" they just might be for their wedding.

Your first loyalty should be to your business and to your team. Compromising on the quality you produce affects your business, as "the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the pleasure of a low price has been forgotten".

Also, you assembled "your team" with assurances this was to be "a team" and not "as needed second or third shooters". As soon as you begin to start cutting "your team" out of income opportunities to save the customer a few bucks, you are going to find "your team" might NOT be "your team" when you really need them. They might be someone else's "team" that day.

As others have said, keep your quality standards as they are, along with your shooting style and crew. Suggest a lower level of package, say ceremony only, or possibly build a package they can live with, and you still get paid for all your services.

There are times though when you just have to "walk away from a deal", even if you would rather not. From my experiences over the years, one's friends make terrible customers, and total strangers that become your customers often can become very good friends.
Chip Thome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2010, 10:44 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 387
Thanks gents.. these are precious information for me!

Yes, they are more of acquaintances and not friend I hang out with. And yes, I'm still starting out so it wouldn't be possible if I'm coming at them strong. I have not yet have enough justification to do that :)

@Chip: that is exactly my concern. I want to have a team in my business, its not that I cant shoot solo.. I will talk with my other videographer, but I dont think this is the path that I will want to go down with.

Being their 'acquaintances', it gives me the benefit to know that they are not 'poor' people.. which is another reason why I will never agree with their budget price as it is far below than what I think is worth it.. but at the same time, I dont want to lose potential clients just because I'm too arrogant to negotiate.

Figurewise, I quoted them $1800 (prewed and wedding) and their budget is $1000. So at the moment, giving extra is still another $800 they have to fork out of their pocket. I might consider getting down to $1600 and keeping my service at maximum so that they will realized at the end of day why its worth it.

Hope this works......
Johannes Soetandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2010, 02:00 AM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 1,212
Joahannes, I'm with Don on this 100%. Either do it free and do it your way because you want the job in your portfolio or charge full value.

As those who have visited our site know, we include a downloadable chart which invites people to compare our value with anyone else - they fill in the prices, add them up and decide. It's all about our value - a subject I hope to be writing about here in the near future as we adjust our product to meet the challenges of the future.
Philip Howells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2010, 07:16 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,123
If you went to the Ford dealership and really liked the vehicle, but it was way above your budget by almost twice - you would not expect them to meet your budget - they'd sell you a cheaper car!

Sadly, in this case, if they don't have the budget, you cannot help - however, you can always tell them just how valuable the product is, and what these memories will mean to people in 10 or even 20 years time - maybe when they're grandparents! Even in this day and age, if people really want the product (actually, any product) they will find the money. Put the 1800 into the budget for the entire thing and it's just a small proportion. Can she find the money for the extra cars, or dress or better menu - these people won't be giving their extra service for the budget price, will they?

Do discount once, and word gets around - probably more work but for much lower profit, and do you want to be known as the 'budget' video man!
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:37 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network