Do You Find It Challenging To Discuss Your "Terms and Conditions" With New Clients

I posted a couple of times on the "Ask A Voice Over Attorney" Forum's topic "Getting Burned On Payment for Voice Over Services"

Wondering if it's just me, or do other women find it more difficult than most men seem to in getting all the business details straight, Terms and Conditions, before even beginning a job for new clients.

I'm sure there are a lot of women who don't, but maybe more of us "old fashioned" women tend to feel uneasy asserting ourselves business-wise while we are also discussing the actual voice over direction and details.

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I do some work through Voice 123 and what I find difficult is when a potential client posts a job as "to be determined"...instead of putting a monetary figure on it. For example, I just got an audition where its described as a "20 page orientation video" for new employees. Sounds like its right up my alley but...
Well...sheesh - how do I price that? I mean, how many words are on each page? How can I even start to figure out how long it might take me? Do any of the pages require sound effects or music underneath? Probably not but if the client is expecting it and I price myself too low - then I'm the fool!
Maybe these are the type of jobs I should just let go by ....... Thoughts?
That's one of the things that bothers me about v123! And there's the issue of pricing yourself too low so you can get the job. After several months of doing that I decided I needed to charge what I was worth and what I was really getting elsewhere and it worked to my benefit.

Someone's standard copy page is never the same as the next person so that's such an inaccurate way to ask for pricing.
I sometimes charge an hourly rate for whatever.
Hi Diane,

That is a tough one. I'm listed on that site as well and I checked the little box that said "no" to auditions that do not have some sort of rate posted. Of course, I could be missing out on some potential jobs, but it was too difficult to try to "guess" if the client would go for my rate or not before taking the time to audition.

If you want to continue to audition for those jobs, I'd say to specify in your reply, that the rate you posted is per page of Arial 12 pt font (for example) or xxx number of words to the page, or per finished hour or finished minute. Or, tell them you've given it your best guess, but you will need to see the script before giving a firm quote. Then, at least the client knows what your ballpark figure is and they need to get more information to you. Hope that helps!
Hello everyone. As a talent and casting director I'll add my feelings of frustration when I spend days trying to ask enough questions when I get an estimate request to cast an entire game. Sometimes they give a line count but it's really files that can range from 2 words to an entire paragraph per file.
they may say they used 40 actors in Germany, but I know we are far more versatile voice-wise here, so I ask "What is your budget range?" They never reply, depite my assurances that I won't charge them the whole budget arbitrarily but I'm tired of spending countless hours trying to ask questions, figure out my rock-bottom cost with no profit ----- only to be told " We only have half that amount, but if you do it for this price this time, we have another sequel you can do the work for after that."
Part of the problem of our industry is----(and I don't mean to offend anyone) the free casting site idea like from Voice 123 or Voices.com which a client submits a casting notice to, and we pay for this service. Unlike the casting I provide which includes my knowing my talent base,my DIRECTING the auditions (which no agent usually does) and my direction in studio which makes a huge difference, sites like Voice 123 can be extremely frustrating and time consuming.
Did anyone else hear about their Beta testing of commissions being a way to get better jobs, more return calls and first exposure to the client? I was asked to participate in this "scam" and I instantly wrote them back a slew of questions. They wanted at least 10% promised commission on all jobs but were willing to give even more preferential treatment to people who paid them more commission.
I asked how they were planning on giving us better exposure and promised return calls as we are trying to do this ourselves right now---with great difficulty. Their answer was that they were "spending a lot on marketing." BS
Then I asked how they could fairly put commission payers in front of members who were paying full price for membership? Were they going to sit on the auditions from members and wait for the commission beta testers to submiit their auditions? How was this fair or ethical?
Their answer: Smartcast takes care of the details. More BS
Plus if you are an instructor you get free membership and the ability to offer your students a month's free membership. Glad they told me after I'd paid the whole premium.
So continue to voice your objections, opinions and desires. I think if we could somehow all have close to the same rates it'd be ideal, but of course impossible.
Someone once told me, "The gunfighter doesn't get paid by the bullet." But to ask for top dollar because we are experienced pros and not wanna-bes, hardly seems to be appreciated by most clients.
Sigh,
All the best---Lani
I think it's really important to discuss things upfront...but I do it in a straightforward, friendly way. eg:
when is this due? this is what I will do for this price for you, what are the specs?
What a good topic!

You're not alone...I used to have this problem for years until I realized all the men I knew were the bill collectors chasing their money as well. In my humble opinion, it's not a gender thing, it's an experience and worth thing. It can be very difficult to be the talent and the accountant. I choose to bring my team into everything, no matter what...

My agent, Vanessa Gilbert, urged me to stop do deals myself. The quality of my work and quantity has doubled since I learned to trust others to help me. If you are "alone" know you're not alone and you're priceless. You deserve it!

Remember how hard you work...you should know they (the client) is full of built-in excuses to not pay you, get you to take less money and make excuses to delay payment. These excuses sound like: can we get another W-9 or we didn't get your W-9, she/he doesn't work here anymore...and my personal favorite, "we don't have the budget we used to have..." My response you can borrow: I understand. I don't have the time I used to have.

You are valuable. They need you. You are irreplaceable. Stop ripping yourself off dot com...we are LIFE GIVERS!

Let's get great at building our business' by not living beneath God's blessings and set a standard.

Big Kiss!

Nicole

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