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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 29th, 2006, 04:53 PM   #1
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Why do clients balk?

Had a potential client that wanted a 3-day training period shot using two cameras and edited up to make the training videos 'exciting'. This equated to about 20-24 hours of taped materials spread on EACH camera for a total of 48 tapes and probably 150 hours of editing. Since I'm free at the moment, I gave them a pretty low-ball price of $2000 for the whole thing....

I did a follow-up call today and the purchasing agent said that it was out of their ballpark and that they were just going to shoot the whole thing by themselves...this from a larger psychiatric facility who can easily afford $2k for a month of my time and training dvd's that can be used for many years to come.

My question is: Why did these guys balk? Am I missing something critical in speaking with the client...I mentioned that the bulk of my work is instructional dvd's and gave him my website so he could view some of my sample work. How can I promote the QUALITY difference in terms that folks are going to understand because balking at a low-ball price tells me that they had no idea what video would cost or the difference between a Sony VX2100 with a pro behind it and Johnny with his no-tripod Canon ZR100.

Ok....frustrated rant done 8-|
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Old November 29th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Rank
My question is: Why did these guys balk? Am I missing something critical in speaking with the client...
I guess they answered this question for you. They're comparing it to the cost of what it'll cost them with their consumer cam(s). Plus they have low expectations for this project to begin with.

Most likely some employee got wind of your price and scoffed saying he could do it better and for free. Of course they'll get what they pay for.

Really... I doubt they were that serious to begin with.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 05:18 PM   #3
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Not that I do that type of work, but I would emphasize how much money hiring you will SAVE them. In this case, either paying somebody who doesn't know what they're doing half the hourly rate for twice as long to get a decent product, or living with a training video for years to come that is longer than necessary and puts the trainees to sleep (or sends them to the bathroom frrom the effects of watching unsteady video), thus necessitating their having to spend even more time having to sit through watching the horrible thing.

Seriously, try to find out how extensively the video will be used and do a little math. If, over the next five years, 200 people spend 8 hours each watching these videos (or more?), at a labor cost of $20,000 (adjust to the predicted salary rate), isn't it worth spending $2,000 to try and make that $20,000 investment in training worthwhile? With that logic they should give you a bonus!

-Terence
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Old November 29th, 2006, 05:34 PM   #4
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I have to say....your bid was way low......way too low.

Without knowing all the details.....sometimes you get the jobs, and sometimes you don't. I think your bid to them was extremely low and I am surprised they said they couldn't afford you at 2k for the entire project.

If I were you.....I wouldn't care why they "bulked", they obviously do not know the value of what their product should be nor do they know the value of your time and skill as the producer of their product.

An
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Old November 29th, 2006, 05:46 PM   #5
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The economic argument of the pro video operator's hours versus paying a full-time employee is sound. It's really hard to convince a client (I don't have pro video clients, but I do hourly consulting) how much money that you'll potentially save them, but it is easy to convince them of the quality of your work as well as a greater likelihood of your actually finishing the job in a timely manner. Samples of your work are important, and with downloadable videos, this is cake. Unless your customers regularly purchase video services, I think you should talk about the quality you can offer with professional lighting and audio. All of the time-consuming, skilled work behind the scenes editing is even harder to imagine in this day and age of "Oh, just put your work on DVD for me, please."

As we all know, content is king. We've all seen totally adequate videos shot by hobbyists and distracting videos shot by professionals.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 06:14 PM   #6
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Sales sales sales...!

When working with a local business, I'll usually ask what they've set aside as a budget for their project. They may tell me, they may not, but I'll just say something like, "It'll help me work with the right package... I'm sure your budget is HUGE, but I don't want to get back to you with something that'll cost $300,000... They'll usually laugh and say, "Oh no, our budget isn't big at all... Actually, our budget is just $6,000. Once I have an idea of what they're looking for, then I'll work within that budget and give them a few options to meet several price points. This way, once I know the budget I can say.... if you don't want to spend your entire budget... this is what I can do. If you want something that offers a few more options, then you have these options and it'll cost you only $5,500. This way, you're so spread that they can't say NO. You'll land the job at ANY pricepoint. If they just didn't feel that you were able to work with them in the way they're accustomed, then regardless of the price, you lost the job. I'm one to run the show, I let them know that I know what I'm doing but I'll also run into other "Type A" personalities who want to run the show and in that case, I'll just cut my loss and refer them to someone else... In a really nice way... "You know, I see what you're looking for... I'm not your man, but I know someone who would be right up your alley". Smiles, hugs, lots of "Yes, I can do that for you"... get the job then work with the tiniest details from there.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 06:32 PM   #7
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as hi def becomes more commen and computers....

with adequate ram and harddrives are available to most, plus the 100 dollar editing packages, EVERYBODY becomes your competition.

this happened with the advent of cheap, good japanese 35mm slrs to still photogs. "OH, don't pay that big money, my son can shoot your wedding"

you sound like your feelings were hurt because you were doing them a favor and they rejected you, obviously they did not percieve the value of your services.

how about "i think it is a good idea to get a pro to do your training tapes because of the OBVIOUS liability factor of having them shot by an employee"
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Old November 29th, 2006, 07:31 PM   #8
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I work on smaller, repetitive projects so this may not work for you but...I either show them a reel of my previous work on a similar project so they know what they're getting--crucial of course--or I make the transaction optional. I'll make it, if you don't like it, don't buy it. If you want it, pay me.

I think people have a hard time biting the bit and paying the dough when they don't have what looks like a finished product sitting in front of them; they want to see what they're getting.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 08:06 PM   #9
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Alot of companies need alteast three bids to get funding. I recently bid on training dvds for a bio medical research lab in Columbus. I could tell the guy already knew who he was going with, but technically needed another bid to get the money from his company.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 08:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Steele

Really... I doubt they were that serious to begin with.
agreed

i get many of these.. and usually its for them to window shop and work out what they can do with their budget. Many times, they have NO intention of going through with it, and after a time, u can see this from their bodylanguage and teh way they coonduct themselves.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 09:07 PM   #11
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Yea it really is amazing how far off folks can be about the cost and value of hiring someone who has a clue. Peoples initial expections can be off by a factor of 10 or more.

Best,

Mike
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Old November 29th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #12
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A few times, I have spent a good part of the day putting together a detailed quote for video projects that never happen. When that bid goes to someone else, it can be frustrating. Some corporations and institutions must get three quotes from vendors before they can approve final bid, even if they have already made up their mind on a vendor. Some throw out the high bid and the low bid. So lowballing may not be a good idea.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #13
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I think you should be thankfull that you didn't get the bid.
You would of made more money flipping burgers and with less stress and no wear and tear of your equipment. You dodged a bullet as far as I can see.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 11:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by David Mathew Bonner
I think you should be thankfull that you didn't get the bid.
You would of made more money flipping burgers and with less stress and no wear and tear of your equipment. You dodged a bullet as far as I can see.
Hear, hear! You are so lucky you didn't have to spend that god awful amount of time on that project that you way underbid for...
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Old November 30th, 2006, 07:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
agreed

i get many of these.. and usually its for them to window shop and work out what they can do with their budget. Many times, they have NO intention of going through with it, and after a time, u can see this from their bodylanguage and teh way they coonduct themselves.
I agree with the one from down under, you almost want to offer a consulting fee instead of a free bid, or offer them a bid on a fee basis. It's similar to what I did when I was web designing, back in the day. Many people would plug me for a bid and then ask many many questions that were more technical, and I could tell that they were just trying to figure out how to set up their own website.

Maybe offer a consulting fee on certain things instead of a free bid. Any bid that takes a couple of hours time is worth something, especially if you feel they are just fishing. But that's probably not the best way to get work. heh. .
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