Deal Breakers And Hell Raisers

Many times in the course of negotiating a media package, a media planner might hit a snag – something on which the sales rep will absolutely not budge.

It might be the pricing structure: Some media properties absolutely refuse to cut deals on a Cost Per Action basis. It might have to do with the out of pocket cost. Maybe it’s the CPM.

Regardless of the particular stumbling block, the ability to get around it and move on is what separates the great media planners from the average ones.

When you hit a snag in negotiations, there are a few important things to remember.

  • You are supposed to be working together with the sales rep to come up with something that works for both your client and for the media publisher. Never lose sight of this. Often, a cooperative attitude is the one thing that can get you around an obstacle.
  • Due to the unique nature of interactive media, unique pricing structures can often be entertained on both sides of the deal. Be flexible and creative.
  • Don’t succumb to outside pressures. If something is distracting you during negotiations or is preventing you from entering into negotiations with an open mind, take care of it and call the sales rep back later. You need to call upon all of your skills when you negotiate. Don’t let the fact that your car got towed this morning interfere with your job.

  • Compromise whenever possible. If you want to pay on a Cost Per Click basis and the sales rep wants CPM, offer to split the buy in half. One half will be priced CPC and the other CPM. Test it out for a month and see how it works.

  • Speaking of tests, they are always a good idea if you want to do business with a particular web property but can’t agree on the terms. Instead of killing yourself negotiating a year-long media package, do a limited run test for the first few weeks of a campaign. If it works, great. If not, money can always be reallocated to other sites.

  • Up front money talks. If a media property is concerned about covering its costs, offer to fund the campaign with up front dollars. Sometimes, media properties can make special exceptions to rules if up front money is involved.

  • If cost is an issue, offer to do a deal on a pre-emptible basis. That is, a site can run your advertising in remnant inventory. If an opportunity to sell that inventory at a higher price comes along, the site has the option to pre-empt you and run another advertiser’s ads.

  • If you’re out of creative ideas for how to make the deal work, always ask the sales rep. Ask things like, “What would make you more comfortable with this deal?” or “What would make this deal work for you?”

The keys to good negotiating are creativity, patience and an open mind. Always be focused on your client’s goals, but don’t hesitate to entertain new or unexplored options.

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