There are two McDonalds across the street from you, which one do you choose?
It sounds like an opening line to a riddle, but it’s the same choice your clients face every day. Substitute McDonalds with editorial shop, graphics vendor, or sound studio, and you’ll see where I’m going with this. If you’re worthy of being in the running for the job, you probably have the same equipment as the guys next door. And if the producer that’s calling you is worth their day rate, he or she can probably get you both to agree to the pre-determined budget total. So from across the street everything looks the same. Your job (if you choose to accept it), is to prove to your client that you’re not the same.
So be funnier, be on-time, be on budget, be more creative, be responsive, but basically, be better. Doing all of this won’t guarantee you every future job with these clients, but it will lock you in for many years to come. After all, the key to long-term growth is building long-term relationships.