By Pooch Van Druten

Recently I was asked by one of my clients to remix a bunch of shows that I had mixed live, and recorded to my multitrack pro tools rig.  Sure, I said.  My studio rate is X amount of dollars per day, and I can probably get two songs a day done.  So your average show has 30 songs (or more) so that will take about 15 days, signed sealed, delivered.  15 times $X is the price.   

The response email was “So really, what is this gonna cost us?”  Again I said 15 days times $X is the price.  After lots of emails back and forth about how this client has done so much for me (really, like what?) again he says “C’mon what is the price for you to mix this show?”  If he asks enough times, will the price change?  Does he think that I am going to do this for nothing?  What gives? Then it came to me.  I need to speak to this guy in terms that he understands.  This is my response, word for word, with some information removed to protect the guilty.

Dear _______,

_____________ is a valued client of mine.  I have worked with them for many years, on various projects, and would love to keep our mutual relationship alive.

The cost for me to mix this project is $________.   

When I studied economics in college we learned about Cost vs Price vs Worth vs Value.  Value is not a number, but often we compare the values of two things that are similar.  Cost & price is the amount of money required to purchase something (In this case a service).  Worth is an expected selling price of some sort of service, an appraisal.  Price and worth are similar, but a true price only exists when we are actually selling, whereas we can speculate about worth at any time.

I have done vast research, analysis, and strategic evaluation of the market.  By polling my peers in the industry, I have discovered that I have set the right price for the services I provide.  I realize that my price may trigger a negative first impression, and cause you to avoid learning more about my services, but I assure you, if you hang in there, you will discover my worth, and value, are reflected in the price.

I realize my peers in the industry may have conditioned you to anticipate price reductions, and consequently, withhold purchase until the price reduction occurs again.  This is not my way.  I believe that your return on investment determines the price.

In order to maximize your profits of your client, the product needs to sound great.  Sounds bad, your profits go down.

Let me highlight some non-price related benefits in order to de-emphasize the focus on just the price.  I have been doing this for a long time.  I have been nominated for three Grammy’s.  I have mixed records that have sold millions of copies.  

Let’s talk about direct competitor pricing.  Obviously you are going to evaluate my competitors offerings.  But I urge you to come to the conclusion that I am a market leader in this industry, driving my services higher in value.

Customer service – Value is always long term, price is short term.  Once our contract is pen’d, I am here for your client 100%, and will see the project thru, regardless of how many changes, or requests are made.  

Thank you for this opportunity.  I look forward to talking with you soon.’


Ken “Pooch” Van Druten 

His response:  You got the gig for the price you quoted.  When can you start?