Recently, an agent tried to negotiate for nothing; i.e., no incentive. He asked whether there was any movement on the fee. We could have dropped the fee, but there was no grounds for us to do so. The agent responded by the argument that the incentive is getting a gig or not, and by saying that, he seemed to have been trying to see if we'd backtrack. If we had, it would've undermined our credibility.
On 11 Jul 2017, at 16:34, Matt - Warble Entertainment wrote:
The rationale behind charging more for late bookings is:
The ultimate ethos is if clients are serious then they'll book in advance; if they're that last minute and desperate, they'll pay for it.
By the same token, we could have easily said to Matt:-
"If the client doesn’t have an act for this Saturday then they are unlikely to get one unless there is some negotiation. The incentive being it’s an act or not. If you feel that the client will get another act at this late stage then that's great, but lets be realistic, its unlikely at this late stage.”
= but this wouldn’t have achieved anything!
Negotiating for no incentive/reason would undermine our worth and also project a ‘bending-the-rules’ image, which would be detrimental.
That being said, we’re not Trainline. Matt’s right about the incentive of getting a booking or not (in actual fact, I have a day job so not that desperate for the money but the money would have been optionally nice).
Read through this article "How not to bomb your offer negotiation" - really useful reference, especially the stock sentence re: negotiating via email and BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement). It reminds us of what Claire said ages ago about being prepared to walk away even when you have no other options.
With those things in mind, we've tried to think creatively about how one could get around this one. We considered a system whereby we offer a 'Snap Discount'-type rate/reservation in addition to the Early Bird, Advance, Full and Late rate/reservations), subject to the individual circumstances of the enquiry. Without wanting to pull arbitrary figures out of thin air by asking for their budget, we considered the effectivity of making a nominal e.g., £10 discount per email, and then multiplying it per email that the client comes back with e.g., 2 emails = £20, 3 emails = £30 etc… (but capping it to 3 emails).
However, Matt offered NO incentive. He was not negotiating. He was arguing until we got tired and gave up (in the article "How not to bomb your offer negotiation", the first profile he talks about... the person who gets their way but makes everyone cringe). This would not be a good situation to negotiate in, unless you push back focusing on the incentives. Like 'oh happy to hear the client's still interested! Which incentives will they be providing so I can liaise with the artist?' type response.
The bottom line is "it's up to you if you think it would have been worth it"? How desperate are we to get a booking? If £30 is the deal breaker we're not interested anyway because it's only a grave indication of things to come.
When we that this would not be a good situation to negotiate in, what exactly do we mean? It’s not healthy full stop because we're undervaluing ourselves? Or, is it something we can do on a one-off basis with a conscience knowing that we've satisfied him this time around but we're not going to let him get away with it next time? Are we saying that if we think it's really worth it, then it's worth chucking an open ended “happy still interested” type response to turn it on its head? (just to throw a stone in the water and see if it ripples)?
We've thought long and hard about this. We concluded:
It's not healthy because we're undervaluing ourselves. Also, if we give in this time on a first time in contact with him and no incentive offered; why on earth would he not continuously bug us for the same discount until we are forced to drop our prices even lower?
So, if we are truly interested in the gig despite the negative elements, then yes, we will go for it, but we'd need to respond as soon as he tries to negotiate with a refocus on client's incentives.
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Red & Black Music was set up in 2012 to stop musicians cancelling.
A category naming and shaming unreliable musicians to watch out for.
A category reporting unscrupulous venues and traders.
A category exploring the issues faced working via agents and promoters.
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