Do your Voice over clients know what kind of salsa they want?

I’m on the search for perfect restaurant salsa. There’s a nearby Mexican food joint that has darn near perfect salsa. Thin (but not watery), deep red, with some cilantro, a few pieces of onion and some spices. Delicious. No carrots, no fruit, no beans.

And I can’t find anything remotely close in the grocery store. I can’t even find a lesser-quality homogenized, pasteurized, factory-created replica of this style of salsa. Instead, I get bombarded with Thick n Chunky, peach, mango, pineapple, corn, or picante salsa. I don’t want giant pieces of food in my salsa.

I know exactly what I want, but all of these companies offer me what they think I want. Or even worse, what they want me to want.

This got me thinking. Are we doing the same thing with our clients? Are we delivering what our clients want? Do we know what our clients want? Do they? To answer that, we need to break down our clients into 3 different types:

  1. Clients who know what they want, how they want it, and don’t want anything but that. This is me as it relates to salsa.
  2. Clients who know what they want, but are open to other things.
  3. Clients who don’t really know what they want and expect you to wow them.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these kinds of clients. But as a voice actor you need to be able to recognize the kind of client you’re dealing with. You can’t treat a #3 as a #1 or they’ll walk away wondering why they weren’t wowed. And if a client is a #1 and you give them something they don’t want, they’re going to walk.

And this is where the newbie lowballers on the P2P site du jour can’t compete. This is where your value add comes in as a seasoned pro. Let your experience be your guide. Understand your clients and figure out what they need. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The client will be more than happy to give you an idea of what they want, if they know. Then you can deliver the results.

And if anyone has a good store-bought salse to recommend, knowing the kind I like, please post it in the comments.


About Jeffrey Kafer

I am a Seattle-based voice over artist specializing in audiobooks, but also working in corporate narration and commercials. You can find me at View all posts by Jeffrey Kafer

3 responses to “Do your Voice over clients know what kind of salsa they want?

  • Greg Houser

    I’m very happy to see this post. You’re not alone in thinking this because so many of the industries out there feel that they need to tell the customer what’s best for them, regardless of how you feel about it. In the television industry, Raymond Thompson refers to it as “fast food TV” in that it’s pre-packaged, mass produced, and has minimal value to the consumer. Some VO can be categorized in the same manner (especially with some of the stuff on the P2P sites, or the VO factories).

    As for the salsa, I make my own, and for the same reasons you mentioned in the post.



  • Ben Wilson

    Great post, Jeffrey. I am with you on the salsa… literally and metaphorically.

    Not sure if you have it in your area…but “On the Border” salsa is the best store bought stuff I have found. But perhaps that is because it is based from the On the Border restaurants.

  • larry mooney

    I dont know where you are at dude but 1814 w. chicago ave. chicago, il. 60622 hase the best salsa i have ever had. The name of the place is Tecalitlan restaurant, its everything you want in your salsa and its fresh everyday

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