Business of VO – Negotiating

So, we’re not saying that you should go around and put horse heads in your client’s beds…but you should know how to make offers and how to negotiate.

In episode 10, Anne and Gabby go into great detail about how to prepare yourself for negotiating, how to get the power over your client, the questions you should ask, and how to establish a good relationship and keep them coming back to you time and time again.

Check out Episode 10: Negotiating on iTunes or Stitcher.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. In Negotiations “No” is your power word!

  2. Silence is a powerful tool!

  3. Have a baseline, and a rate structure, and stick to it! You’re worth it!

  4. Research your clients. Knowledge is power in a negotiation!

  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as “what did you pay your last voice artist?”

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Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. The GVAA Rate Guide is a great place to find out what you should charge!

  2. The UK Voiceover Rate Guide from Gravy for the Brain

  3. See people negotiate for their businesses on the TV show Shark Tank

Full Episode Transcript

VO: Today’s voices need to be more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss. A VO BOSS Set yourself up with business owner strategies and success with your host Anne Ganguzza, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business, like a boss. A VO BOSS

Anne: Welcome everybody to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m Anne Ganguzza, along with my lovely co-host, Gabby Nistico.

Gabby: Howdy!

Anne: Gabby, today, we are gonna kind of continue on our discussion from our previous podcast, and we’re gonna talk about, duh duh duh! Negotiating!

Gabby: Love it. I love it.

Anne: Negotiating your price. This is gonna be a fun one

Gabby: But it’s the bossiest of boss topics. I mean nothing,

Anne: That’s right!

Gabby: Nothing makes you feel more like a bad-ass entrepreneur than negotiating, it’s so great!

Anne: And, all right, so if we can just talk about the high that comes with, that comes with a good negoGabby: So, I don’t want you guys to be afraid of negotiation, because I know a lot of people are very, they’re nervous about it, and they don’t want to do it. But I’m gonna tell you, when you get the art of negotiation, and you actually are able to negotiate your voiceover gig successfully, it is such a rush. Oh my god!

Anne: Mh-hmm!

Gabby: It’s such an adrenaline rush. And it just, you know, it just keeps growing and moving you forward, and so, being able to negotiate successfully with a client, I think is a really awesome skill to have, especially, you know, when we want our voiceover businesses to be successful! I mean, we don’t want this to just be a hobby, right? So, let’s talk about how, let’s talk about the art of negotiations. So, I think I’d like to just start it off with I want people to not be afraid to negotiate, and I think we spoke about this previously Gabby. One of the strongest things that you can do in terms of negotiation is have the power or be ready and prepared with the power to say no.

Anne: Yes.

Gabby: It’s a huge, huge, huge thing for most people to accept, and I know that, for the longest time, I kept wanting to say, okay, my clients would come back and say, okay, I just have like one pick-up, or you know, oh, we just changed the script a little bit, and you know, can you just record that for us? And that was like one of those things where it would put me in the position where I’d say, oh, shoot, you know, I’m afraid that I’m gonna lose the business, so maybe I should just agree to it, but in reality, you know, I want you to have a plan, have a strategy, have, you know, practice what you’re gonna say in advance. You should have all of that stuff. I think one of the biggest things that you can to do to be prepared for negotiation is to be prepared. Be prepared in what you’re going to say. Be prepared in your own baseline rate. As we talked about before, what is your rate, what is, you know, the rate that you will step into your studio and start recording? You know, I have that rate established, and if my client is not fitting that rate, I can say no.

Anne: Exactly, and I think that there’s two things that are super critical here. So the first is, actors are taught yes and. That is the crux of so much of the acting arts, and you know, it comes from improv, and we’re taught yes and, yes and. That’s how we approach things in session. It’s yes and, whatever the client wants. Negotiations, that is not the case. No. No is your power word.

Gabby: The power.

Anne: And, so, you have to change your mind set a little bit there. And I’m a believer, because I get it. I was one of those folks. This was not a comfortable area for me at first either. So, I say immerse yourself. Immersion helps you to be more comfortable with this language, and it helps you to just feel like you can own it. And so, you know, my gosh, I mean, some of it might seem basic to some of our listeners, but for some of you, this is gonna be brand new stuff, these names and these things you’ve never heard before. Dale Carnegie. If you’ve never read

Gabby: Mh-hmm, yeah.

Anne: Anything Zig Ziglar writes is perfect and even television shows. I’m a big fan of Shark Tank.

Gabby: Oh god, I love Shark Tank. One of my favorite shows.

Anne: Yeah! If you spend time with some of that reading, watching, engagement, you’re gonna get a lot more comfortable with this process, and you’re going to see exactly how it works. So, definitely, definitely immerse yourself in that.

Gabby: So, I think a big part of negotiating successfully is confidence, and I think that, you know, it would do us well to speak a little bit about the power of confidence. Even if you’re not feeling it inside, you know.

Anne: Mh-hmm

Gabby: How are you portraying that confidence? And again, I think a big part of that is number one, educating yourself. Educate yourself

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: on the current rates that are out there in the industry, and establish that baseline for yourself, and be confident in that baseline. Be confident in the power to, you know, not accept a job if it’s not, you know, within those confines, and it will, again, it will take you one time. When you say no, and it works in your favor, to give you the power, you know, and the confidence to continue forward. So, I think the more prepared you are in terms of your own rates that you’ve set, the better you’re going to be as a negotiator, and I think the more homework that you do on your client, your potential client, because I think it’s all very individualized per client. I mean, there’s no like, in negotiation, I want to say that there’s no black and white really. There has to be guidelines for you, and you can negotiate within those guidelines. And so, be prepared, know what your rate is, and then also, you know, do your homework on your client, understand who your client is, what they do, what their expectations are of you, and you can get a good idea of client budget just by doing research on the client. I mean, that’s, I think some people don’t even know who the client is, you know, in the beginning, you know, they’re not even taking time to research the client, so I had a client, last year, who came to me through my webpage and asked me for a quote on some e-learning, and you know what, after some research on who this client was and talking to the client, and starting a, before I even spoke to the client, I went to their website, and found out that they owned quite a few businesses and found out that they, you know, they had a huge presence with other organizations who had money. So, it was one of those things where I had an idea. You know, and I think a lot of times, you can have an idea of what a budget is without or what a budget could be without necessarily even asking the client, but that is something that ultimately will come up in your negotiations.

Anne: Some of the things that I see now that’s very relevant, especially with the younger crowd, is that you may not be aware of who some of the Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies are. I was really surprised not that long ago, I was in a session with a student, relatively young guy. He was probably about 22, 23, and in a lot of the copy we were working with, he was unfamiliar with really big brand-name car manufacturers. Subaru was unknown to him, Acura was unknown to him. And that was kind of shocking to me, but if you are not-

Gabby: Mh-hmm In the Uber society as well.

Anne: Yeah, if you’re not brand familiar, and that’s not something you’ve ever really paid attention to, or if you don’t have the advantage of an advertising background like I have, then yeah, look it up ahead of time.

Gabby: Absolutely.

Anne: Because that is gonna give you a lot of power and a lot of knowledge very quickly.

Gabby: How much do you love the internet? I swear to god.

Anne: Oh my god, I don’t know what we did before.

-Like I always say, I would marry the internet if I could.

Gabby: But I love Jerry, no!

Anne: I know, I love my husband too, but you know what, if I could marry the internet, I am such an internet geek. Like, I am so all about

Gabby: Dah, da da da.

Anne: the resource,