12 awkward questions to ask potential video production companies


Each video production company will want you to think they’re the finest in the land, or even the world, and many will have a well-practiced patter for creating this impression

- whether it's face to face, a telephone chat, webcam, or email.

Some producers will say very little and just keep nodding while you do the talking, on the principle you like the sound of your own voice best.

Others will be larger than life, sort of what you might expect from the video industry.

To get round these social obstacles you have to ask a few unexpected questions, and observe their reactions.

It’s not so much right or wrong answers you’re looking for, as the reactions, and the degree of knowledge & experience shown.

You not trying to embarrass a video producer or make anyone feel angry, but there’s nothing wrong with testing the limits of their comfort zone.

On the other hand you might enjoy embarrassing people? Some people do.

Whatever your personal approach, the fact is you’re going to be married to your producer for the next few weeks or months, and possibly more if you involve them in your overall long term, multi-channel outreach, video strategy.

No single question in isolation will unearth the world-beating producer you’re looking for.

But the following 12 questions will open things up, so you can then watch them closely and decide for yourself who is the genuine article,

- capable of producing an effective actionable company video for your organisation, backed up by real commitment & ability.

As always, ask your question, then stay silent, watching & listening attentively to their reply.

It’s not just what they say, but the way that they say it!

And please remember this is also tongue-in-cheek. You’re not trying to make people angry, or just be difficult.

But it’s still your money!


Learn how.

1 – The Pandering Response

The video company that gives you lots of pandering attention in the buying stages might be desperate for the work, and so have all the time in the world to give you in order to win.

They give that precious attention that some clients love!

So you need to understand what’s real, and what’s simply professional crawling.

> Ask them how busy they are, then watch closely.

2 – The Standard Response

The company that only gives you "a standard amount of attention" aren’t necessarily disinterested.

They’re just busy. And they’re busy because they have lots of customers who like what they do. Which is a good sign.

So how busy are they really?

> Ask them how many quotes a month they do.

3 – The Boilerplate Response

Some video companies send you a 40 page pdf for a video tender document. I’ve even seen 80 pages!

But it’s mostly a template, the same one they use for every client, where you get battered with superlatives and posturing, and much dubious or irrelevant information.

> Ask how long their tender docs or proposals are.

4 – The Templated Response

To evaluate their video tender doc or proposal for individuality, check how many times your company name is individually used in a real context, and not just as automatic repetition.

That’ll give you an idea if how much specific thought has gone into your company video project, and how much is simply boilerplate to be copy & pasted for every video client.

> Ask what proportion of the tender is generic and how much is specific to you.

5 – The Recent Work Response

While it’s obviously good sense to ask to see samples of video work similar to your business or from your business sector, it’s a good idea to ask to see very recent video work from the last month or two.

Then you’ll know what’s bubbling in their pot – or not!

> Ask to see recent video work, any work, from the last month or two.

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.

Call: UK 0845 366 4131 | International: 0044 1695 726887
Rossiter & Co Ltd | Registered in England
Reg. No: 4333515 | VAT No: 483622044