Is this pond scum?
Sorry for the long post, but I'd love to get some feedback here.
I have a prospective client who I met 3 years ago as I started my business. At the time he was looking to do some very basic 1/2 hour shows featuring interviews with business men and some b-roll of their companies. He told me "You're my man, Greg" He was finishing up working with another guy who he wasn't happy with. He promised me about 13 shows to do, so I gave him a price of $2,850 complete. One camera shoot for interviews, broll
and editing. I know...pretty darned cheap eh? We never did anywork. Now he's surfaced again, asking me to quote on a similar infomercial. This infomercial will include a two camera interview shoot, Broll footage, and all editing for a 28:30 show. I quoted him about $5,000 still cheap isn't it? Here's his response...
"Greg, I received your quote and did a double take actually. The one you sent me in January was $2850 complete with one camera. By what I am reading it looks like 5k. His show is not very complicated. It is mostly a sit down interview with B roll of his building and staff. This one would be shot in his Building. The complete staff would be outside lined up on Bleachers for the shot. We did it with one camera outside I remember.
This one would be include possible pictures or footage of his lots. I know that the shoot would be one day. Last time my guy lined up 2 cameras for the interview.
I also have another Client who is a Mortgage Broker that wants to get it done with me ASAP. I met with him last evening and he and his partner want to hire more brokers and set up other offices. Let me know the bottom line Greg, I will need a couple days to mull it over. I am meeting with my client on Tuesday to plan it out.
I am going away tomorrow and would lilke your bottom by the morning. This way I can decide the next step."
So two questions here.
1. Is this pond scum?
2. How would you respond?
Thanks for your help as always.
Your response shouild be: "That was January...since then prices have risen across the board in all sectors. The CODB (cost of doing business) has nearly doubled due to fuel, petroleum based products, transportation costs and other factors...My current quote IS the bottom line. I'd love to have your business, but this is a business also and I have my costs and obligations..."
I think you know the answer already - but he may blink - or not.
I would tell this client that you are sorry to have wasted his time and that you can't go any cheaper. This client will either go ahead with the job at the price you quoted (which is higher because it is now a 2 camera shoot instead of one, plus all the extra post that this will require) or he will disappear. If he disappears, you probably would not have wanted to work with him anyway. If he is so red hot to do business with you, what happened to the multiple shows that he wanted last January.
I have found that if you back down on the money thing the job never goes smoothly. The client expects to have full work for the price they have paid as negotiated and you will go into this job feeling like you cut a deat and that can't be good for your attitude. It has been a difficult thing for me to turn down or even lose a client because of this, but you will find that the clients you do get will respect your work and feel it is worth the money that they paid. Also, your prices are quite cheap for what they are asking you to do.
[Greg] "I also have another Client who is a Mortgage Broker that wants to get it done with me ASAP... I will need a couple days to mull it over."
Which is it? ASAP, or "I need to mull it over"? Those are 2 very different situations suggesting very different needs. Can't he tell the difference? Which makes me wonder if he tell the difference between a well produced video & crap?
If you already think $5K is cheap, then don't lower your quote anymore. Let him find a HS student with an old handycam, & let him explain to his clients why their videos look like amateur crap.
BTW, if you already think he's likely to be a problem, wait until it's time to get paid!
Something I heard years ago, and has rung true as a bell ever since:
"Some of the best business deals I ever did are the ones I didn't make."
Good comment from Arniepix about the difficulty of getting paid by the likes of this guy.
Totally agree with all above.
If you are being solicited on a cost only basis, then he does not want you.
Had a similar situation a while ago. I refused the job. The person who finally did the work is still waiting to be paid.
Be the cream in the coffee, not the sediment.
Mull it over ASAP.
[Vladimir Lozinski] "Had a similar situation a while ago. I refused the job. The person who finally did the work is still waiting to be paid."
I would be willing to bet that they never do get paid. I'd be willing to say that they just took a crash course in dealing with grinders. Please tell your friend to read my article "Clients & Grinders", as it will hopefully help him avoid this in the future. It is at...
These kinds of accounts are also those jobs which are like a bad 60's science fiction movie which I like to call "The Job That Would Not Die."
Usually, no matter what you do, it always needs revision after revision and the person will always have a reason why you do not have it right. Actually, it's because they have no idea what they are up to and what they want and they are experimenting on your time. By the time you do get paid, if you ever do, it will be at a value of pennies for a dollar.
We had a client at a company I used to work for that flipped out when we quoted them a price of something like 3k for a 2 day, 3 camera shoot. It was a convention that had a main forum, and then broke into separate workshops. What did we do?.. We called 3 video companies (a small, medium and large)and asked them to email us a quote for the job we were doing (we acted as if we were our client). The average price I think was between 10-15k. When we told them we could get it cheaper they basically called us liars. We brought the quotes and responses from these comapnies to our client and they never challenged our prices again.
and yes, gut feeling,...pond scum.
If anyone ever came up to me and said "You're my man, John" I'd run. First of all I thing you're charging way to little to hand over a finished video 28 minutes long. I'd be curious as to how many hours you are contemplating for the shoot, travel (even around town), and editing.
You have to wonder why he wasn't happy with the other guy. From what you've said, it sounds as though this guy can't be trused. If you do decide to do the work, I would suggest that you stick with your price and get 50% up front and the balance before you hand over a completed master. I would also suggest that you put some wording into the agreement that states how many hours of your time the price includes and a stipulation that all copyrights belong to you until you have received payment in full.
Don't know if you are still following this thread or not but here is my two cents worth.
First of all in the future...it is never a good idea to discount work for the promise of future work...invariably they will take your discount, screw you out of the future work, and run leaving you wanting final payment.
Second...run away from this guy like your hair is on fire...he is obviously a "low-baller" and I would bet most of his work is crap that you would not want your custom slate on the head of...don't waist your time.
Chameleon Mobile Video Productions
"It is not the light at the end of the tunnel that we should seek...it is the courage to take the next step in the dark that we must find."
[Tim] "First of all in the future...it is never a good idea to discount work for the promise of future work...invariably they will take your discount, screw you out of the future work, and run leaving you wanting final payment."
This, as there will invariably be "issues" with what you have done, so you will not have earned the rest of the money. But "we really do want to work with you on these future [dangle carrots here] and so let's just drop it and go on from here, okay?"
(At this point newbie collapses into a puddle of gelatinous ooze, realizing that there's no contract and that the work has been done and delivered.)
And looking up from the puddle, the carrot still dangles...
"Um, and it's really tasty!," says the grinder.