How To Quote Turnaround Time on VO Projects

Hey, there!

This falls squarely in the category of Commerce in our Art, Commerce, Science framework. In class, Karen asked a question about turnaround of VO work.

She’d been quoting 24 hour turnaround for finished voice tracks. But now, a client wanted her to voice, and EDIT, an audiobook, and that would be considerably more time.

Plus, the client had started sending her copy at the end of the day.

How do you handle this?

Creating a repeat client is like tending a garden. First, you plant the seeds, then you fertilize with tender loving care, and you harvest the results, hopefully every season.

Part of that process is being efficient about getting their work done.

I make a policy of under-promising and over-delivering. I love getting great work to a client before they expect it.

To that end, I quote one-day turnaround to most of my clients, and I get the work done pretty much the moment it comes in, or, if I’m out, as soon as I return. That work is the first fire I put out.

But I don’t actually phrase it as one-day turnaround, or 24-hour turnaround.

A slight variant of that protects Karen, me and you from the client who sends stuff at the end of the day and expects delivery the next morning. After all, “…it’s the next day, right? Where is my stuff??”

(That’s an actual quote from an early’s client’s email.)

Instead of one-day, or 24-hour, I simply change the term: I now promise 8-business-hour turnaround.

Quoting business hours, as opposed to simple time, protects you and still lets you amaze your customers with your agility.

The client who sends you an after hour job is on notice not to expect it until that same hour of the day the following day. Someone sends you something at 2pm? They can expect it by 2pm the next business day. Got something at 10am? Send it sometime before 10am the next business day.

Note that that gives you back your weekends as well – a client sends you a read at 4:30p on Friday, there’s no confusion about it being due at 4:30p on Monday, not Saturday.

Feel a little relief? So did I when I instituted that phrase. It even makes you sound like more of a business-person, with your high-class business hours and what not.

And hey, you can still wow them and deliver much faster than promised if you can. You just now have some business breathing room.

Hope this helps.


14 Responses to How To Quote Turnaround Time on VO Projects

  1. Robert Leach October 31, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    This makes so much sense. Thanks!

  2. Craig Moore October 31, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Brilliant, It sounds very concise and give the VO talent time.

  3. Todd Cattell October 31, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Yet more immediately applicable and empowering professional wisdom from David born of his extensive experience!

  4. Linda Roper March 25, 2016 at 7:02 am #

    Great . The very Question I’ve been asking myself. Thank you

  5. Deborah Geffner March 25, 2016 at 7:38 am #

    Love it!

  6. Kila March 25, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    “Business hour turn-around” – I like that. Its applicable for my writing/transcription clients as well. Or anything venture, really, that deals with turn-around times. Thank you!

  7. Peter White March 26, 2016 at 10:03 am #

    Clarity solves most problems, doesn’t it!

  8. Matilda Novak March 26, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

    8 Business Hour Turn-around is an excellent way to phrase this rather than 24 hour turn-around.
    Thank you!
    I’m going to Use this!

  9. Lynn Norris March 29, 2016 at 6:48 am #

    What do you do then for the client who gives you work at 9 am and expects it by 5 (8 business hours)?

    • David H. Lawrence XVII March 29, 2016 at 9:15 am #

      You deliver by 5 PM. Or, if you really want to surprise and delight your client, you deliver by 3:30 PM. Or was there more to your question than just the math?

  10. Conchita Congo April 22, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

    Tada! Thank you so very much.

  11. Beverly Astley December 28, 2018 at 7:18 am #

    Great advice David. Thank you.

  12. Thomas Kan December 28, 2018 at 12:58 pm #

    Nice tip

  13. Deborah Geffner December 28, 2018 at 2:06 pm #

    Love this! Thank you.

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