My 12 years old son just asked how many gifts should he get me for Christmas. He explained that the fewer gifts I get, the better the quality. I responded by saying I only want one. He’s happy because he only has to worry about getting one gift for me. And I’m happy, knowing that I’ll be getting at least one gift this year. Such is the art of negotiation in its purest form. When it comes to negotiating, most of do it everyday without even knowing. The skillful negotiator finds ways to use this ability to their advantage in business and every day situations. Due to technology, geographical considerations, and the fast paced nature of the concert promotions business, most of the business-related negotiating is not done face to face. Moreover, with the current use of email, faxes, and text messaging, the challenges of a successful negotiator has never been greater.
Have you ever tried to do business with someone who says “I prefer to do all my business face-to-face. When can we meet?” and they are hundreds of miles away. Or, how about the person who only checks their email once a day. For the person who thrives on the use of technology you almost feel lost trying to get thing done without your electronic gadgets. On the other hand, the person who doesn’t feel the need to take advantage of all the latest communication tools, may feel as if time is passing them by. However, the common thread among all forms of successful negotiations is the ability to interact with others. For example, in many cases the negotiation process always seems to go smoother with someone you have done business with and you have a good relationship with. In a situation like this, technology may have no relevance at all in hammering out a great deal.
A good relationship also helps you stand out from others. It builds trust and respect which goes a long way during negotiations. In this business knowing who you are doing business with is the always a plus. I have clients who may try to haggle the performance fee but only to a certain point because they know how I do business. For me, it’s not about winning when it comes to negotiating. It’s about creating a mutual agreement and a win-win situation for all parties involved.
The basic steps to most negotiations includes:
1. Finding out what you and the other party wants.
2. Knowing and understanding what each party can provide.
3. Gathering as much information about the other party as possible, to better make YOUR point.
4. Putting it all together and resolving the matter with both parties in agreement.
I would also add the importance of developing good listening skills and knowing your bottom line.
Here’s hoping you negotiate your way toward a richer and successful career in the concert promotion business.
by Kevin Morrison (on Google+)
eJams Entertainment Booking Agency
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