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When An Iffy 'Volume Discount' Kicks In,
Should You Leave Money On The Table?
July 1, 2016

I just finished a big project.

By big, I mean it was about one finished hour of audio and hundreds of slides worked on over a five-week period.

By slides, I mean after the audio was recorded and edited, it needed to be chopped up into little bits and each bit saved as a separate file with a specific name.

It was for a regular client and a relatively easy gig.

Once the project was finished and we confirmed there were no more retakes (when I screw up) or revisions (when they make changes in the script), I confirmed the length of the finished project and the number of slides with the client. The client approved, so we’re good to go.


A little while later, I get an email from the "portal” that got me the gig. (And no, it’s not one of the big P2P sites.) It says on their website that once the project length hits one finished hour, a volume discount kicks in.

Since the project was only a few minutes over an hour, the portal left it up to me as to how much to charge. We’re talking a about a difference of a few hundred dollars if I apply the discount.

It was a no-brainer. I gave them the discount.  


Never, ever look for the maximum kill. It just isn’t worth it.

That client will remember that I saved them hundreds of dollars as well as did a good job and (fingers crossed) will keep me in mind for when the next big gig comes across their desk.

The key to voice over success is building meaningful relationships. Meaningful relationships are built on communication and trust, not how much money you can make off of them.

Oh, and if you think I’m a fool for leaving money on the table or lament that you would take the money because of your current financial situation, you may want to re-examine your business model.

Just saying.
Over nearly two decades, Tom Dheere has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries and voiced more than 40 audiobooks. He is also a voice over business consultant, coach at Edge Studio, was the marketing consultant for the Voice Over Virtual online conference, and is also writer/producer of the new sci-fi action comic book Agent 1.22.

Agent 1.22

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Comments (3)
Drew Montgomery
7/8/2016 at 12:04 PM
I disagree. Sort of. I detest being taken advantage of by clients. In your case you apparently agreed to the "discount" before starting the project. If so, you obviously did the honorable thing. But we've all had the client who KEEPS ON coming back with "minor" revisions, sometimes for weeks after the initial approval. I try to cooperate when possible, but I'm through working for next to nothing. I can't call my painter and ask him to darken the paint on "just one wall" and expect him not to charge me. No other business is expected to do so much free or discounted work as VO, as the ones who accept that normal make it that much harder on everyone else. Oh, and that "fingers crossed" thing seldom works out well, anyway - haha.
Christine Cullingworth
7/2/2016 at 1:20 PM
Thank you for writing about this! I have a long-term client whom I do 24 videos for over the year (volume discount applied). We recently renewed and I have increased my overall rates in the last year. I opted to keep their rate the same for the first 12 and increase the remaining 12 slightly. They were happy with this as was I. This business is truly about relationships and the value each party brings.
Jackie Bales
7/1/2016 at 11:44 AM
Wonderful advice, Tom! So much of what we talk about on voiceover groups focuses on clients who try to low-ball us and take advantage.

Thank you for pointing out that if you are given an opportunity to be nice to a regular well-paying client, they will remember it forever and you will have just become their favorite go-to vo!
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