Wait! Should I go counterclockwise?
When you do creative, strategic, professional work and you’ve been doing it for a long time you are very likely to encounter what we call “grinders” in my line of work. Sometimes twice a week. The call. They talk fast. They won’t answer any important questions or give specific details, which by the way will end up losing you time, money and brain cells.
First they pretend to know more than they do. They tell you it shouldn’t take any time at all to produce, meaning it shouldn’t be very expensive. To them.
I learn to be very still during these queries and trust my gut to let me know if something doesn’t sound right. God help you if you offend them by asking if they have a specific budget in mind or a visual idea of R.O.I. or even what they think should happen when the product is released. What is the audience supposed to walk away with?
You hear the tap dancing on the other end or the old soft shoe. “Look just tell me what you will charge. Based on nada, zip, zilch, zero. We’ll send you the script. that should tell you every thing you need to know. It’s just a simple, quick, no hassle video. We can really have anyone do this, it’s just a straight shoot.” Post production is a blur to them. Just glossed over.
“And by the way, we have a lot of other vendors vying to do this job, so you should keep that in mind”
So they send you the script and a link to their last debacle. It’s basic. Anyone can aim a camera these days. Some illegal music laid in and a few cheap graphics and they think they’re Madison Avenue. You could shoot and produce something like this without taking the lense cover off. All that corporate huffing. Pure windage.
All that effort to make you feel insecure and lucky they found you in the phone book. Sorry, too old for that. I been rode hard a put up wet too many times for that.
So you wait a few days and send them a nice thanks but no thanks. You were right, you can get anybody to shoot this thing, especially given the fact you have a very small budget and it’s such “a simple, quick, no hassle video.” We appreciate the call though, give us a call if you need any advice or insights working with one of your other chosen vendors.
What’s that old saying about if you let a bird go free and it doesn’t come back it wasn’t meant to come back anyway? Sometimes you have made it easier for them to go with the vendor they had in mind in the first place (an old ruse) or you have just pulled their pants down. Way down.
So let’s say, just say, all that other stuff was just bullshit. Bluster. They forgot to read “Negotiation for Dummies.” Well, just so happens I forgot to read it too. But I have an advantage. I’m very busy. I’m booked up the giggy and don’t have time for your nonsense.
Well that deadline is looming. They had no back up vendor and now they’re all pointing fingers at each other cause I had all the capabilities they needed, they’ve seen my work and like it, heard good things about me and the pressure is mounting due to a company mandate, town hall meeting or trade show. Priceline Negotiators!
Here kitty, kitty, come to papa. Someone’s gonna get a spankin’.
Psychological Mindfuck #189
So they call back and decide maybe they should give you a break cause they kinda like you and you would rather work with someone you like rather than all those other vendors that are beating their door down. Can you get over here tonight?
I’m like, well, I like you guys too. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with you. I won’t let you down.
“Well, we thought you’d feel that way Bobby boy, that’s why we called you back.” You lucky devil!
Games. Needless aren’t they?