These days, every dollar is important, so one thing I try to do is let our clients know what to expect and how they can maximize their savings on a production.
One thing I think most clients realize is that you can't get a $15,000 production on a $5000 budget - so one of the questions I ask in trying to get a grasp of the project is 'what is your budget?' I ask a lot of other questions first, but it helps me determine if what you want is realistic for the budget. Usually it is - and there are times that we can do it for less than you have budgeted.
Companies that produce videos frequently generally know what budgets will run, but sometimes it's a first-time client that doesn't have that knowledge. I look at this as an opportunity to provide some guidance and insight on what to expect.
I go over the importance of planning. Real estate may be about location, but video is about planning. The more we can plan and prepare, the less likely we'll encounter a situation that causes us to go over budget. It doesn't matter the budget, the importance of proper planning helps every project.
Unfortunately, we don't get every job we submit a proposal on, but I do ask the client a favor - they tell me who they chose and why. Sometimes I recognize the company (most of us know each other to some degree) and can be pleased they chose a reputable company. I also get the opportunity to improve my business by hearing their feedback. I love feedback, so I ask for it constantly from my clients, from my oldest one (The Weather Channel, 1999) to my newest (Fujitsu, 2008).
It's my goal to make sure we are good stewards of your investment - from start to finish.