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Your Voice Over Rates Examined: Never Speak First

This week I’ve been expanding on some of the responses I received to a question I asked last week. “Do you post your voice over rates online? Why or why not?

Whether you decide to post your voice over rates is a personal decision. You have to do what’s best for you and your business. My objective with these posts isn’t to sway you one way or another, but rather to get you to consider some perspectives you may not have previously.

One of the responses I received to my question from several talents was to never post your rates because he who speaks first loses.

Service vs Winning

never-share-your-voice-over-ratesWhat is the primary objective of your business? Is it to provide excellent service to your clients and to meet their voice over needs? Or is it to make money at all costs?

Obviously we all do this to earn money. It is a business, after all. How you go about earning that money can make a difference.

In the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen Covey talks about creating Win-Win transactions. These are transactions where all parties involved walk away feeling like they’re winners. Like their needs are being effectively and efficiently met.

If you approach each potential client with the attitude that putting your cards on the table first will cause you to lose, I can’t see how that’s going to have any benefit to your business transactions. If you’re waiting for the client to put their budget out first so you can maximize your own personal gain, you may find yourself putting your needs ahead of the clients and thus, not creating a Win-Win.

Somebody Has To Speak First

Somebody has to speak first. Otherwise, a conversation never even gets started!

I post my general rate card for potential clients to see. I’m not here to take advantage of anyone. I’m not here to score as big a payday as I can safely get away with.

I provide fair value exchange of services for a fee. That fee is negotiable and is subject to adjustment based on the requirements of each individual job.

My rate card provides a starting point for conversation. Clients know from the beginning the approximate budget they’ll need. From there we can discuss their individual project, their individual needs and a final budget will be set.

It’s Business Not War

win-winVoice over is a business. It’s not a war. There’s no need to enter conversations with clients with an attitude of expecting to win or lose. Just expect to do business.

Revealing your rates is not tipping off the enemy with your secrets.

If you’re worried that posting your rates (or speaking first) will cost your clients, odds are the clients that see your rates and bolt are clients you don’t want to deal with in the first place!

The best relationships (business or otherwise) are established on a foundation of trust. If you hide your information from potential clients until they show their cards first, does that really build trust?

QUESTION: What do you think?