Negotiation – a tough skill to learn at best, and an unlearnable black art at worst. No-one likes to negotiate unless they’re coming in with a position of having an overwhelming advantage. No one likes to lose – I get it.

However, when potential clients haggle on price, I’ve never understood the negotiation style of asking for a particular scenario, only to then revise the specs and hope for a pro-rated fee. As in, “How much is a 4 minute corporate VO?” and then when we give them a rate, they ask the cost for a 2 minutes script (which is what they had all along) and then express amazement that it’s not exactly 50% of the rate.

There are such things as a minimum cost to bring a voice talent for a session. Trying to weasel down a rate below that minimum isn’t going to happen.

Besides, this reeks of the client trying to figure out our internal pricing structure. That’s a no-no. If we sense that the changing questions in the negotiation are trying to figure this out, we stop replying.

The assumption the prospective client is making is the chance to get a paid gig in the door is paramount over anything else. As in, they don’t think we have the leverage to walk away, even if it is a crappy deal. Sometimes, people get so invested in a deal that they literally cannot afford to walk away from the table. That’s not us. We have to draw the line somewhere.

We have walked before and we will again. Save your tactics for negotiating with the used car dealer. Deal straight with us and we’ll deal straight with you.