Ten Negotiating Strategies
How to Make the best deal you can!
As an agent working in Hollywood, I have had to negotiate some pretty tough deals. When I was just starting out, negotiation was something that terrified me. How would I be able to talk to someone who might be smarter, more important, more experienced than I was? I quickly learned a few techniques that soothed my nerves and helped me make some very nice deals for my clients. If you follow these ten negotiating strategies you will be on your way!
- Get them to make the first offer. This is true whether you are applying for a job or buying a car. See what they want to offer you first! Absolutely the most important step. Once you know what they are thinking you can plan your strategy.
- Do your homework. Try to find a deal that is comparable to yours. Ask other people that have similar jobs, what they think is reasonable. Make sure you compare apples with apples (experience vs. no experience, big corporation vs. mom and pop company). If the offer is incredibly low or seems wrong – try to find out why.
- Listen carefully and ask questions. Make sure you know all the details such as what is expected of you? What is the schedule? How and when are you paid?
- Write it down! Memorialize all your conversations with a quick email or fax. Make sure all your correspondence has a date on it. Use plain English and ask for complicated language to be spelled out in understandable terms.
- Don’t panic and don’t rush your response. Don’t be intimidated into making a quick decision. No matter what they say about this is a one-time offer, etc. stay cool. Take time to think things over but do respond in a timely manner. You should at least think about it overnight. If the deal can’t wait that long, then BEWARE.
- Make your counter offer higher than what you expect to settle at. Have in mind what your absolute bottom line is (don’t tell them). Look for places in the deal where there can be some give and take.
- Be upfront and honest about everything. Never lie about your experience, or having another offer. If there is anything the buyer / seller needs to know you must reveal it in the negotiation. But you don’t have to lead with your chin.
- Don’t negotiate if you don’t really want the deal or can’t make the deal. Don’t string along a potential employer hoping another, better offer will come along. If the deal is really not to your liking let the buyer or seller know why.
- If the deal is really complicated get professional help. Consult an attorney or an agent.
- Be willing to walk away. Don’t sell yourself or your product short, but be realistic. Make sure you know what you are walking away from.
So there it is. Ten Negotiating strategies to help you with your next deal. With a little practice and effort you will be negotiating with the best of them!
If an agenting career interests you - read more!
- Steps to becoming an Agent in Hollywood
I was a literary agent in Hollywood for 15 years and still have a management company with my husband representing screenwriters and novelists. Breaking into this business is actually easier than some of the...
More by this Author
If you are coming to Hollywood to get into the entertainment business you will quickly discover that your ability to make anything happen is based on who you know – on learning to network effectively. It’s...