Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Will You Sell My Vacuum Cleaner?




Quite a while ago I floated an idea to some acquaintances in the voiceover community. The idea was quickly panned and I was told it would never work.  I was knocked down a couple of times (figuratively) and it was suggested that I was dumb for even considering such a concept. Pay higher commissions for voiceover sales? You're crazy to think of such a thing.

In another blog entry I mentioned that “I suck at marketing.”  I still do. That's why I shouldn't attempt it.   I have tried. Many voiceover friends have come to my rescue suggesting ideas for me to try – things like: cold telephone calling, cold emailing, social media, email newsletters, postcards, blogs, advertising and the list goes on.  Yup. I tried 'em. I still suck at marketing.  So I have come to the conclusion that I need to find an alternative.  I need a vacuum cleaner salesman or woman.

I know. What does vacuum cleaner sales have to do with voice work?  A lot. Here's my list of pros and cons.

Pros
A vacuum cleaner sales person:
1. gets a “foot in the door”
2. is a likable person (sell yourself before you sell the product)
3. can sell something that doesn't suck ( OK. In this case I guess it does.)
4. helps the customer solve a problem (gets rid of dirt, allergins, other heath issues)
5. starts by selling benefits of something small before going after the big ticket item
6. will easily rebound after rejection
7. doesn't take no for an answer

Cons
A vacuum cleaner sales person:
1.  needs a higher commission as an incentive (offset by volume of sales, of course)
2.  doesn't work off repeat business (often a one time sale)
3.  looses interest if the sales aren't there
4.  traditionally targets households not businesses
5.  can go through a lot free steak knives

So, I propose to hire vacuum cleaner sales persons to sell voice work. It would mean paying higher commissions on collected sales.  And, YES I propose to break that 15% commission barrier.  It's new territory and the greedy would never think of such a thing.  But I would, “in a heartbeat,” pay it to generate more business.   65 or 70% of a $1,000 VO job is much better than 85% of nothing.  It's a new era. It's time we started thinking differently about the voiceover sales.