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A GOOD client post for a change

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Mick Haensler
A GOOD client post for a change
on Sep 12, 2011 at 3:40:38 pm

So often on here folks are seeking advice on situations involving difficult or "bad" clients i.e. grinders. I thought it would be nice for everyone to hear about a good client experience for a change. I got a late night call a few weeks ago from the husband of a colleague of my wife needing a shoot done the following evening. He could offer no specifics other than to say " I would understand when I got there"(red flag) I was free so agreed to show up and see what's what. Turns out, he was just a go between for the real client who was an out of town customer of his. The real client blows into the scene and tells me to "just start shooting"(red flag #2). It was an intriguing scene(of which I can't go into detail because of a non disclosure agreement) so I decided to do what he asks even though I had no idea what his vision for the final product was going to be. At the end of the shoot I beckon the client to the side to discuss payment, final product details, and generally just what the heck he wanted me to do!! The dude wips out a credit card and says "bill me as we go just email me an invoice". Immediately upon returning to the studio I punch in the CC number and to my surprise and delight, it goes through!! Fast forward:

We have now done 3 product demo videos for the guy, hand held him through unfamiliar territory, gotten my graphics guy involved producing a company identity, logo, etc., and every time I've billed him it's gone through. Moral of the story, things are not always as they appear. While this guy exhibited classic grinder behavior, he and his team have proven to be a pleasure to work with and the project has been profitable with more to come. I know this is the exception not the rule but just thought I'd share.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media

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Mark Suszko
Re: A GOOD client post for a change
on Sep 12, 2011 at 3:50:02 pm

And then Mick woke up.


Congratulations, that made my Monday, to hear that work outfor you so well. But i would say what heppened to you is about as likely to repeat for others as hitting the lottery. Also, you had the ability to walk away at any point, as you were more or less doing it for a lark to start with.

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walter biscardi
Re: A GOOD client post for a change
on Sep 13, 2011 at 11:37:20 am

Very nice Mick. Sometimes it's the small things that can lead to much bigger things. Certainly has in my experience.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Steve Martin
Re: A GOOD client post for a change
on Sep 13, 2011 at 2:25:31 pm

About a million years ago (OK, about 20 years ago) while I was still cutting my teeth in the production business, I recall an episode that made a huge impact on me. The company I had started as a college student was in the process of making a transition from doing personal work (i.e weddings, events, etc...) into corporate work.

We got a call from a lady who wanted to make a photo montage video for her parent's 50th anniversary. She came in and spoke with our staff editor. During that conversation, she mentioned to him that she was with an ad agency and that she had approached "her production company" but they blew the project off as beneath them.

After a few minutes he excused himself and popped into my office and told me that I needed to meet and make nice with the client. I did and made sure she got our demo reel and propaganda about our (still fledgling) corporate and marketing work.

It turned out that she didn't work for the agency, she owned it. A week later, her freelance writer/producer shows up and asks us to bid on a promotional video for a large petroleum distributor in town. We got the gig and a new client.

In short order, we became the agency's "new" production company and the business relationship lasted many years until she retired and disbanded the company.

Moral of the story: stay sharp looking for opportunities in odd places and be very careful of who you blow off. They might have been your new best client!

Oh, and what happened to that guys that blew her off. They went out of business 8 or 9 years later during the economic slowdown after 9/11.

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!

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Mick Haensler
Re: A GOOD client post for a change
on Sep 13, 2011 at 4:27:11 pm

Great story and an awesome reminder that you just don't know who you're dealing with!! Thanks for sharing.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media

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Mike Cohen
Re: A GOOD client post for a change
on Sep 17, 2011 at 1:43:53 am

In the theme of "what comes around goes around" I've had a few such experiences. Recently I was contacted by a surgeon about bidding on a video. I asked him how he got my name, and he forwarded me a long thread which went something like this:


Hey Joe. Can you ask around about what vendor you use for surgical videos?


Sure, let me ask around.


Doc, I asked around, and here is what I found out:

Re: Video vendor

Joe, see below from Tim in marketing.

Bob Smith, Assistant to the Traveling Secretary


Re: Re: Preferred vendor

Bob, ask Mary Jones, Global Marketing Director.

Sarah Jane Smith, K-9 Industries


Bob, here's what I got from branding. Mary J. :)

Mike Cohen


So as you can see, ask enough people and your name might come up.

Incidentally, this word of mouth referral eventually resulted in a new paying client. Hooray.

Good clients are out there. Sometimes you find them, sometimes they find you, and sometimes they find you through a mutual acquaintance.

Do good work. Get more work. Repeat.

Mike Cohen

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