Voice Negotiation Tools and Tactics

Price negotiation is one of the more difficult parts of a voiceover business. In the new voiceover marketplace, those with the sharpest business AND voiceover skills will survive.

It takes guts to negotiate a job. It also takes a STRONG view of self worth. If you don’t believe in your skills and the value of your time, it will be very difficult to convince someone else of their worth.

Be prepared to be the first in a conversation with a client to ask what a client has budgeted for a job. If the client asks you first how much your rates are, do not reply quickly. Bide your time by finding out what the product or service is. Where and how will the recordings be used? Try to finesse the ultimate question, what the client has budgeted? This isn’t just voice rate negotiating. It’s buyer-seller relationship in any business. A great seller knows that you MUST get the customer talking.mic_icons1

Many seasoned talent share a similar tactic when negotiating rates with their clients. They ask: “How much are you willing to pay me and still think you’re getting a good deal?”

Modern methods for finding voiceover jobs have eliminated the ability to build a relationship and open a dialogue with a client. You cannot allow basic communication and negotiation tactics to atrophy – you use them or lose them. If your current business model rarely gives you the opportunity to speak with clients then something is wrong. It’s likely you are too dependent on pay-to-play and online casting sites for work.

If you are not the ultimate salesperson and you think your work speaks for itself, you are mistaken. If your thought is, “I’m just a talent, I don’t get involved in that”…then expect to have issues with the IRS, expect to have issues with “down” years, and expect to run a failing business.

Voice talents typically don’t take the front seat in building their business. Agents, managers and publicists do. This is where voiceovers are very different from other performing arts. A successful voiceover business requires that you be knowledgeable in all the elements required to make a business profitable. That includes: a strong work infrastructure, marketing, sales, promotion, branding, networking, advertising, negotiating, customer service, recording keeping, and bookkeeping.

A successful also business requires a type “A” personality. Someone who is a: flexible, self motivated, ambitious, goal oriented, creative thinking and a multi-tasker. It’s been said that for every book or article you read on VO, you should read two on how to set up and run a small business.

Gabrielle Nistico

About Gabrielle Nistico

Gabrielle Nistico is the Operations Director for VoiceHunter.com. She has been instrumental in the creation of VOCareer, a company that helped talent run a better business and further carer growth and development. That company has recently been rebranded as the new www.VOPrep.com: a great resource for new talent. Gabby has 20 years of experience as a voice talent, audio producer, writer, advertising executive and marketing consultant. She has also been coaching voiceover students for more than ten years.

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