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Bailout Fallout: Don't Panic! Pamper
Your Customers And Force A Smile
By Dave Courvoisier
Voice Actor & TV News Anchor
Oct. 2, 2008
My mother and father lived through - endured - the Great Depression. The experience changed them forever.
Although I never wanted for the essentials as a child, Mom 'n' dad always admonished about being wasteful.
What America is enduring these days will probably not leave scars like those days in the late 1920's - but make no mistake: this current mess is a ganglion that will sink its tendrils in us all - and I mean ALL - in mostly negative ways.

Cinching up the belt is not entirely a bad idea, though. Most of us have been cavalier with the cash, bungling with the budget, and free with the finances when we could've been more prudent.

Herewith, then, is my five-point list to help Voice Actors Survive the Financial Fallout:

1) Don't panic.
Don't knee-jerk sell needed equipment, nor purchase unnecessary items. Staying the course is probably your best bet.
Take it from a guy who lives in Vegas. Hold your cards. Don't convert funds, buy Treasury bills, overload on bonds, beans, rice, oatmeal or mic pop-filters.

2) Start gently calling in your markers.
Your clients who owe you for work already done, are suffering through tough times, too.
But that shouldn't be an excuse for them to stiff you.  So you might be willing to work out something? Maybe a partial payment now, and the rest in two weeks?

3) Bend over backwards to provide even better service.
Yes, this will be work. You may feel you're already providing this service for your clients.
Find a way to do more.
An extra call-back. A friendly follow-up. The question: "...what else can I do for you?..." can sometimes be the turning point in earning your client's loyalty.

4) Find a way to be pleasant.
Sure, you've got personal problems. We all do. So, we don't want to hear it (unless we're close friends).
Most of us react positively to a pleasant demeanor on the phone. No heavy sighs. No taciturn responses.
Force the smile on your face, and it usually comes out in your voice.

5) Now is a great time to do a 3rd-quarter analysis of your cash flow.
In and out. Where's the cash going?
  • Are you spending too much on subscription sites that aren't offering a good ROI?
  • How 'bout that Google Adsense campaign?
  • Now is not the time to skimp on an upcoming coaching class - but choose carefully.
  • Does the character voices workshop make sense, when your bread-and-butter work to get you through the next year is E-learning?
The popular media is chock-full of recommendations for surviving the economic crisis. Much of it is generic, but there are nuggets to be had.

When all is said and done, business will proceed as usual. But the realities of the moment will tend to separate the men from the boys (so to speak), and only those who prove their worth, their ease of interaction, and their professionalism will survive.

Do that.
Dave Courvoisier (“pronounced just like the fine cognac, only no relation”) is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, writer, producer, voice actor, and the main weeknight news anchor on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, the Las Vegas CBS affiliate. He also writes “Voice-Acting in Vegas,” a daily blog of adventures and observations in a style that’s true to his friendly Midwestern farm roots.
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