Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dear Abby (more Q & A)

Dear Joe,

One of my potential client has, "a lot of photographers who are willing to shoot for credits but I do not know if you have set rates that you need to fulfill? Please let me know"... Is this is really a negotiation or is the client just trying to lowball me?

Signed "Devalued In Detroit"

Dear Devalued,

I live near Milwaukee Avenue and there's a gas station on the corner which charges $4.199/gallon for regular gasoline. The owner and I haven't yet worked out a deal as to how many magazine photo credits I'll need to show him to get my gasoline, largely because he figures I can show those credits at Whole Foods as well and that would be double-dipping. Nor have we worked out, because I've been too busy driving to count, how many vehicles and pedestrians I pass daily that might see his brand name on my car if I were to give him credit for filling my tank... we just can't seem to establish the value. Until then, I'm having to pay cash.

Conversely, the Whole Foods manager wants to know how many dinner guests I have on a daily basis to whom I might mention that I shop in her store? She also can't figure out how to square that with corporate for their cut of the profitable part of my "mention" of their store during dinner.

I can't figure out how the card reader on the gas pumps or the WF will know I'm shoving magazine pages through the slot, the machines seem to want all the type going one way AND it can only read stuff which is coded on the back with a magnetic stripe. Damn it, none of the clients I work for put magnetic stripes on the reverse of their pages!! They print something called advertising there instead, and the advertisers pay with something called money, which, because I'm a photographer... even though I have 25 years experience... I still haven't gotten the hang of managing because none of my clients wants to pay with that!

It took me only a few days to find my house, it took almost two months of negotiation with Wachovia Mortgage to get them to accept photo credits in lieu of cash to pay the loan, but I'm giving them carbon footprint credits back in exchange for them letting me scan the pages with my credit line and e-mail them PDFs instead of sending checks in the mail (those USPS trucks burn diesel at the rate of a gallon per hour!!) so we've worked that out.

Everyone else seems to be cool as their products already seem to contain their name..... the Ford logo is prominently displayed on my car (5 credits), Levi Strauss has their name on my back pockets and on all the rivets (well, the rivets are kind of small, most need glasses to read them), my computers have those cute little Apples all over and my printer says Epson, the cameras and lenses all say Canon more than once and they give me those cute little green hats to wear. My tool box says Stanley right on top so they're covered and...

Anyway, I saw a really cute bumper sticker on a car in Chicago the other day. It said: "Will work for bandwidth."


Joe P


Anonymous Mark Harmel said...

I learned a great line from a sales trainer at PhotoExpo one year. A way to counter the credit low-ball gambit (and others) is by replying "I don't want to waste you time if you really have no budget. I'm a professional and I charge for my services (use of my photos). Are you interested in continuing the conversation or do you want to move on?"

The response I received so far is an apology and a desire to continue the conversation.

I of course think about the same reply you mentioned, but I either want to end the conversation quickly or change the dynamic.

6:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home