BUSINESS VIDEO MASTERCLASS
PART 2 - AVOIDING MISTAKES WHEN GETTING QUOTATIONS
12 awkward questions to ask potential video production companies - 2
You're now getting the idea with this ticklish series of questions to ask a producer. They're here to make you think, rather than be used exactly as-said.
6 – The 3 Referees Response
A tough series of questions to ask are “show me your last three company videos” followed by “can you give me references for these last three videos?” followed by “did you go over budget or time on any of the last three videos?”.
Watch reactions closely.
These are tough questions. They'll help sort out the bluffers from the genuine article.
> Will your last three clients provide a reference?
7 – The Pricey Treatment Response
Do you get an expensive treatment (like B2C ad agencies do) or is it basically a video quote with a notional proposal and maybe a few samples (like many freelancers do)?
If it’s an expensive treatment you can be sure you’ll be paying for it somehow.
Which may be fine, if you’ve a sizable video budget and are looking for something particularly special.
> Ask how many hours it took to prepare your written presentation or proposal.
8 – The Added-Value Response
Check how many of your initial dialogues with potential video producers resulted ideas that added value to your video production?
Or was the dialogue simply someone showing you how they met your spec, and little more?
Always look for added-value early on, as it’s a good indicator that you’ll also get added-value later on in the production, when it’s needed.
> Ask how your ideas could be improved on.
9 – The Script Check Response
Watch out for the “you tell us what to say” syndrome.
Video production companies that are weak on developing your business message will always say you develop the script, and they’ll make a video from what you tell them.
This may be fine if you’re confident in your script writing skills. Or maybe you’re a top marketer who already knows exactly what they’re doing.
But many of you will need experience in how to convert viewers to customers.
And some video suppliers will definitely brush over this key skill area.
You don't want this.
You want a professional scriptwriting service by a person experienced in your industry or your topic, with a track record in writing actionable videos that really work, so make sure they offer this.
> Ask about script development meetings, and research/discovery.
10 – The Company Video Response
Ask each potential video producer “how long since you produced a company video, a marketing video, a business video?” (not any other kind of video).
It’s a simple question, but surprisingly many will respond with a video production they made a while ago, and not something they did last month. Maybe their main line is really wedding or social event videos, and a corporate video is icing on the cake for them? Maybe they're they're a Fiverr style animator who make mostly budget software tutorials?
> Ask how long since you last made a company marketing video.
11 – The Problem Hider Response
Does the video producer look resourceful?
Sometimes things can go wrong in the course of a video production.
A resourceful video producer will normally solve these issues fairly painlessly.
By contrast, if problems arise in production, a nervy person, a creative effete, or a tense, image-obsessed individual will tend to get everyone else as worked up as they are.
This type of nervous intensity doesn’t make for smoothly solving problems if they occur later down the line.
The right person will openly & calmly admit to problems, while the secret hysteric will feel uncomfortable discussing the subject and want to move on quickly.
“We don’t really get many problems as we’re so good already” is not an acceptable answer.
> Ask what sort of problems they get on company video productions like yours.
As a footnote, I was once asked “what was my most ineffective video?” It floored me at the time.
I found it impossible to answer on the spot. I’m sure the buyer reveled in my discomfort!
12 - Ask about foreign languages
Video companies with a regular throughput and a solid client base will probably be doing foreignspeak versions of their videos, as the web has made video selling international.
And you might need foreignspeak video in the future.
So find out their experience in this area.
It’s a good gauge to lots of things. It reveals the breadth of their customer base.
> Ask how long since they last did a foreign language video production
As a valued visitor to Business Video Masterclass, you’re now welcome to a FREE 15 minute personal consultation with me, where you can ask about a video problem that’s on your mind.
I’ve spent most of my professional life solving real world video problems.
It’s relaxing for me. I enjoy it. So please share your ambition or concern, and I’ll do my best to help.