Here’s what major retailers have taught us. If you want to beat the competition you have to beat them on price. That’s why every single day through every form of media imaginable, from your email inbox to TV commercials to Twitter we are inundated with messages screaming “SALE.”
Check Out Our Sale
“We won’t be undersold.”
“We’ll match any competitors price.”
“Price match guarantees.”
“If you find a lower price anywhere else we’ll not only match it but beat it by 15%.”
Any of these sound familiar? We’ve heard them all in some form or another. In fact, we expect it. I’m guilty of it. If there’s an item I really want or need I’ll wait until it comes on sale because I know, sooner or later (usually sooner) someone is going to put it on sale. In a tough economy retailers know they have to fight harder for our dollars and cents.
Knowing that I feed this sale machine, perhaps what I’m about to say, some of you will find hypocritical. I’m prepared for that. But I also run a business. My own business. I’m an entrepreneur. A Professional Male Voice Talent. I rely exclusively on my voice over work to pay my bills. So maybe that’s why I have a different philosophy about how to do things.
Don’t Beat Them On Price… Beat Them On Quality
There’s a very heavily debated, or perhaps even argued, topic in the online voice over environment. It surrounds rates. More specifically, talent with less experience cutting rates. I guess this makes them Walmart. Look out for falling prices!
I’d like to issue a challenge. One that seems to be overlooked in today’s economy in favour of those falling prices. I’d like to challenge you to take a little more pride in yourself. In your work. In your service. In your product. In your voice! Instead of relying on rate cutting to book gigs, what if you relied exclusively on your talent and ability? What if, instead offering to do a job for half price or free in order to book it, you instead booked it simply on the quality of your work?
What if, instead offering to do a job for half price or free in order to book it, you instead booked it simply on the quality of your work?
Don’t Set A Precendence
Here’s the thing you fail to realize when you cut rates. Let’s say you go to a retailer to buy a product and the sales associate offers you that product for a discount. The next time you come back for that same product, I’m willing to bet you’re going to try and get that same discount. A precedence has been set and you want it to continue.
Let me ask you then, why, in your voice over business, would you expect it to be any different? If a client posts a project for $200 and you offer to do it for $100, tell me honestly. How much do you think the client is going to offer you if they come back later for another job? Rest assured, it’s not likely to be $200. You’ve already trained them to believe you’ll work for less.
You set a precedence.
Stick To Your Rates
I know all about the desire to book work. Voice Over is how I pay my rent! But I also know my value. When a client works with me they can expect fast, professional and courteous service. They can expect quality audio delivered how they request it on or before the deadline they request. I also guarantee their satisfaction. If they aren’t happy, I’ll record it again.
I offer all of this service without ever having to cut rates. The client knows when they work with me they’re getting quality and people (most anyway) will always pay a little more for quality. With this in mind, do yourself a favour. Focus on providing quality and an excellent customer experience and I promise you’ll work more on on better jobs than you’ll ever get booking work by cutting rates.
What do you think? Do you undercut budgets to book jobs? Or do you stick to rates and let your work speak for itself?