Random Agent Musings (RAM) #2: Favorite client lines

This week…A few of my favorite client lines from past and present:

“We always budget $500.”
After inquiring about the availability of a talent on my roster they want to book, and having received approval of this voice from their client, I ask what they have in mind for the rate. They quote $500. I say we usually charge $750-$800 for that. They say “We always budget $500.” I don’t care what you budget! You’re coming to me, asking to book one of my talents. I am telling you what we charge!

Runner up to this is: “We based our quote on what another agency charges. Can you match them?” Why do I have to? You are coming to me to book a talent on our roster but didn’t come to me ahead of time for my pricing. Imagine going to Starbucks and saying “But Tim Hortons only charges $1.50.”

”He’s only going to be in the studio 20 minutes.”
This is always said when the client is trying to get a lower price then what I’ve quoted. And that is relevant to the rate how exactly? Part of the reason he may only be in the studio 20 minutes is likely because he’s good. So, because time in the studio is somehow a factor, you would pay more for a talent who made lots of mistakes and took twice as long? This is also the reason voice talents should never charge by the hour. You get penalized for being fast/good.

“The writer wants to be at the session. He’s particular about the read.”
Sorry in advance to the talent on my roster who gets this gig!

“We are looking for a voice like Tina Fey.”
No you’re not. Tina Fey is an incredibly talented writer who has also become a good performer (usually acting in her own scripts). But I don’t think any of these clients could pick her voice out of a line-up of voices unless she was doing her Sarah Palin impersonation. What they mean is they want someone to have the wit and sarcasm of Tina Fey, but this trend of referencing actors/actresses who don’t have unique voices has really escalated in recent years.

And my all-time favorite: What happened when a client came to me 45 days after a recording session and tried to get me to lower the rate:


Remember the PN Agency motto: I work for talents, not clients! (But we do love most clients, don’t get me wrong)

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5 Responses to “Random Agent Musings (RAM) #2: Favorite client lines”

  1. 10 Top Voiceover Blog PostsThis Week - February 16, 2014 | Derek Chappell's Voiceover Blog Says:
    February 16th, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    […] Random Agent Musings (RAM) #2 – Favorite Client Lines  Roger King […]

  2. Doug de Nance Says:
    February 17th, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Roger, you are like a great voice talent – when you speak, people listen!

    Thanks for the insights… and the smiles.


    Doug de Nance, Voice Work

  3. Nicola Redman Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 4:40 am

    Great read, good to get an insight from the agents perspective, I hope my agent has the same attitude as you!
    Northern Irish voice

  4. Marc Scott Says:
    February 24th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I am inspired by the strength of your confidence when it comes to handling clients. You make such a valid point that I think we’re all guilty of overlooking sometimes. The client came to you. That means they want what you’re offering. That means you’ve already got the upper hand!

    It’s easy to forget that and back down.

  5. Rebecca aka LoveThatRebecca Says:
    April 15th, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Roger – Such a GREAT post! I love it… From the low-ball effort to the vague casting specs. It’s what we live with and your support for practicality and no BS is beautiful to read about. Thank you!

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