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Milton Hockman
Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 21, 2010 at 1:47:44 am

A previous poster responded to my thread saying this:

(This reminds me of a friend who was trying to find out a business to go into where overhead would be minimal and the labor was essentially free. He realized that was a good description of a real estate brokerage, and opened up his own agency. Even though he had about 20 people working for him, he only had to pay the receptionist and the cleaning service; the rest were independent agents who only got paid when they sold something.)

Has anyone deployed this method in their studios? Partnered up with or hired a salesperson that's commission only to find jobs for you?

Sounds like a great idea to me!

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Fernando Mol
Re: Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 21, 2010 at 4:39:12 am

I don't know what to say. In my country many industries do that all the time. Not just in media, but in education and many others.

People could be working for years as a "freelance", this is with no insurance and other benefits that being on the payroll offers, and any day they're just not required anymore. No retirement plan, no nothing. Just good bye.

I don't say that the business model you mention it's a bad idea. Sometimes the economy doesn't leave you many choices and if you want to do business you do what you need to do to survive.

Most of the time the budgets we have are so low that you have no option but to do the job yourself and hire an assistant for $57 dollars a day. A "freelance" assistant.

I really wish this situation could change. I wish I could hire people with a real payroll. I wish I could give to them and their families some security. But right now I can't.

Definitely not an "ideal" business model, I have to say, but the one we can afford to have. If you don't have any other choice, then welcome to the third world.



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walter biscardi
Re: Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 21, 2010 at 12:32:42 pm

[Milton Hockman] "Has anyone deployed this method in their studios? Partnered up with or hired a salesperson that's commission only to find jobs for you?"

commission only salespeople did not work out for my previous company the two times we tried it. They were pretty much useless.



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Milton Hockman
Re: Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 23, 2010 at 6:42:23 pm

can you elaborate? and how do you get most business now? Are you the "salesperson?"


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Bob Cole
Re: Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 21, 2010 at 1:26:50 pm

There's a big difference between the real estate brokerage business and ours. Real estate agents are highly motivated to make sales and obtain listings because they can earn 3% to 7% on a single transaction, or $6000-14,000 on a relatively low-cost $200,000 house. (My friend's success with this model owed a lot to factors unique to his situation: (1) he's very smart and personable; (2) he happened onto an underserved but booming part of the country.)

A former colleague and I explored this strategy years ago, but we never found the right marketing person. I'm sure that some people are using it successfully, for relatively high-priced contracts. It's a Catch-22: if your business is lucrative enough to entice a talented commission-only salesperson, you probably could afford to pay him or her a salary (plus some commission).

In many small businesses, the highest-paid person is not the manager or even the owner, but the best salesperson. In many cases, that is justified.

Bob C


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grinner hester
Re: Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 21, 2010 at 10:38:50 pm

I do understand the incentive of self empowerment. However, never have I seen a commision only sales dude of any kind who was worth a flip. Nothing to lose means, well, not much happenin'. This is the society we've gone out of our way to create. We breed lazyness then pretend not to understand why the economy blows and the borders flow with workers.
Want a good sales force? Do a helluva great job for every client that walks in your door.



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Steve Wargo
Re: Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 22, 2010 at 6:38:13 am

[grinner hester] "Want a good sales force? Do a helluva great job for every client that walks in your door."

I'll second that.

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Mick Haensler
Re: Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 22, 2010 at 3:42:15 pm

I tried it once.....once!!!

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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Herb Sevush
Re: Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 22, 2010 at 6:41:39 pm

Milton -

You make a common mistake I hear from a lot of people in this business -
the idea that you can "hire" a good salesperson to bring in business. You have the tail wagging the dog.

If someone can bring in business then he will hire you - not the other way around. The rare thing to find is someone who can generate sales - in comparison finding a good production company is easy.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Mark Suszko
Re: Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 22, 2010 at 7:55:35 pm

I think there was a time in the 80's when every editor and director had a "rep" out working for them, drumming up business, acting pretty much like talent agents do for actors or screeenwriters. Of the guys I knew who used one, they mostly dropped that. They started with the idea that they just wanted to concentrate on the part of their business they enjoyed; the creative and technical side, let someone else handle the dirty day to day economics and money-hunting.

I think three reasons these relationships didn't work out were that

1: the guy being paid to care only cares as long as he's being paid.

2: if you hand off key elements of your business to someone else, you become dangerously out of touch with it.

3: clients want to deal with the actual artist, not some intermediary. As a craftsperson, how well you work with a client depends on a deep rapport, that is the heart oand sould of what you do, and an agent or rep can get in the way of that.

Bottom line: you want babies, you also have to deal with diapers. You want to run a business, you have to make peace with the elements of it that are not appealing or self-actualizing. Not everyone is up to that task, and that's why most of us work for someone else.



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Milton Hockman
Re: Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 23, 2010 at 6:38:37 pm

So are each of you saying that YOU do all the marketing and advertising for your business?

Here's my thought....you book a gig to create a corporate video...it takes you 2 weeks to do it (shoots, scripting, editing, etc.)

Who's making contacts for you for those two weeks? How is more business being generated when you are busting your ass on another project?

See what I mean? There has t o be a point when your working too much to get new business...and a salesperson seems to be the best fit for that.

Are each of you your own salesperson? And if so, how do you balance billable and non-billable seeking work hours?

Freelancer Designer Virginia - StephenHockman.com
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Herb Sevush
Re: Interesting Idea taken from Previous Post
on Mar 23, 2010 at 8:14:19 pm

What I'm saying is that if you want to run a business, as opposed to being a freelancer, then sales has to be YOUR First Priority.

The most succesful companies I've seen always had as one of the principals someone with a sales/marketing orientation. Often I've seen partnerships thrive with a sales / creative 2 man (or woman) team. While you can and often should have a sales team working along with you, you cannot have a management team that is purely creative and expect to hire a sales force that will generate all your business. If you go into business, then bringing in new clients is either your top priority or you will fail.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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