Yes, there are new, different ways to think about making money with DV.
SALES CALL #1 (old paradigm):
A local home improvement chain featuring flooring had no videos or even books to help customers learn how to put down a wood floor, lay tile or even carpet.
So we approached them, saying "Hire us to produce a how-to video, we'll follow your crew out on a couple jobs to get the footage, then do voice-over, edit, get DVDs replicated and set up racks right on your counter. You'll sell tons of DVDs, and it will help your business in so many ways:
- happier customers - that do not screw their floors up due to lack of knowledge
- more sales - "just looking" customers might pick up an inexpensive DVD even if they buy nothing else, be inspired once they know how to put a floor down, and come back and make a purchase
- profits - sales of the DVDs will provide an extra stream of revenue for your store
- branding - position yourself as "the floor store that cares"
They asked how much, and we answered $20,000. We assured them that after the first 700 had sold at $29.95, all the rest would be pure profit, and they could continue to sell the DVD forever (or until DVDs or wood floors don't exist).
After the laughing subsided, we said we could probably squeak by for $10,000. After dodging thrown office equipment and hot coffee, and finally dropping our price to $3,000 (we were desperate for work at that point), we fled the building, security hot on our tail.
SALES CALL #2: (new paradigm)
This time, approaching the head office, our approach was "our production company would like to invest in your business." This piqued their curiosity, so a meeting was set up with (different) honchos.
Our pitch was, "We find there is a huge need for knowledge for consumers wanting to redo the floors in their homes. So we are meeting with local flooring companies, and choosing which would be the best for us to invest in with a how-to DVD project we're doing."
(Note: "a project we're doing". Left unsaid: "We're doing it anyway, with or without you- we will have no problem getting one of your competitors to sign on if you don't convince us you are the best choice for us to invest in.")
"We have done some research, and believe in the ability of your business to promote DVD sales. So we feel confident investing 100% of the capital into a marketing tool that will achieve several important business objectives for you (the list above- happier customers, more sales, branding/advertising). We will even give you a $5 profit when selling the DVDs at $29.95 to cover your salespeople's time so there is no downside for you. We will also feature your workmen on jobs, handle all costs and set up displays, and come in an hour before each of your stores opens and train your sales staff in how to sell the DVD."
They asked, "So you're not asking for any money?" "No, we'll cover the capital investment, all we need is your commitment to our project. Just sign the agreement and we'll get to work." (note: "OUR" project- not "YOUR" project. We are choosing them, not vice versa.)
The agreement stipulated that we would have the one hour to train their staff in each of the 5 local stores, that they would keep the displays on their counters, and do whatever they could within reason to promote sales of the DVD. Basically they promised to be our free marketing and promotion team for this project for about a 17% cut of revenues.
The bottom line? Each of their stores has averaged about 3 DVDs a week, (less than we had hoped), but at the end of three years we have over $30,000 revenue from a project it took about 4 weeks to complete (the slow payment way, but there it is). Costs were minimal since we used their teams and actual jobs for the shoots and help with the script.
If a production company could do 10 of these a year this is $300,000 in annual revenue with very few costs.
Last update: 07:48 PM Saturday, January 28, 2006