I thought I would write a quick post about something I experienced yesterday. Actually, I have experienced this quite a bit, but never had any sort of motivation to write about it.
A friend of mine has been getting some video work done for one of his websites. He is having a few videos produced for an attempt at some viral marketing (which, by the way is my new forte). This is a new for most, but not so new for many, area of marketing for pretty much anything. I guess you could say that Barack Obama had some success with it. For those unfamiliar with viral marketing, it’s easily described as “word of mouth” or “buzz.”
Whatever. This post isn’t about viral marketing. It’s about a company I contacted to have some video work done for some of my sites.
I have an idea for some video. It’s basically the same idea my friend had. Since I don’t do video in house, I decided to do a little research and contact a few people to feel out the scene. The first organization I contacted hasn’t written back yet. Okay, forget them. The second company did write back, and this is where it gets annoying.
ME: Hi, I would like to discuss some video production for a few of my websites. One of them can be seen here – ****. Please contact me so we can discuss further. Thank you. Jay
THEM: Hi Jay. Please let me know what you were looking for so I can tell you if we can do it. Also, what’s your budget?
There are a few issues here.
What do you mean, “If we can do it?” Your website had about 30 sample videos on it. I know there are many different roads one can travel down in the video arena, but as far as business goes, don’t you think it would be a wise idea to hear a potential customer’s ideas before showing your lack of confidence?
Actually, that’s not even the part that bothered me. That part happened to creep up on me as I was writing.
The part the bugged me was this line – “What’s your budget?”
That ticks me off. Now, if you know me, you know that I don’t get ticked off easily (haha). Also, I am really sorry for venting on this poor fool about this whole topic, because I have brewed about this many times in the past.
Let’s look at a pro and a con of the question, “What’s your budget?”
The pro is that the business providing the service can immediately identify an individual without the resources for the project. If someone wrote back, “My budget is $25,” then the company knows to cut off all communication, or at the very least, write back something along the lines of their services costing a wee bit more than that.
Here is the con. If we translate the question and look at its actual meaning, we can see that the company is actually asking, “How much do you have to spend?” Some companies seriously are screening out the people with no money. Others are simply trying to squeeze you. No one I know would actually tell a service provider how much they are looking to spend…well, besides me. I’m that guy who low balls and looks for a fight.
“Umm, yes, sure, my name is Jay and I have allocated $300,000 for our video production endeavor.” This makes for an interesting email exchange. I am sure the guy is thinking something like, “Gee Jay, we only charge $100 per video, but for you, I would say $50,000 per.”
Why on earth would I throw a random number at a company before even knowing a cost range for their services?
I know, I am beating a dead horse here.