Picture this scenario.
You are finally talking fees with the booker and you stated your fee as $1500. They come back with $1000. Now I bet you are thinking that you’ll just offer to split the difference and make the final fee $1250. If you do that, the deal is done and that’s what they are hoping for.
So what is a better approach?
First, before you even mention your fee, I hope you have made your case and established your value so when you state your fee, whatever it is, it has some leverage behind it, some weight.
I also hope you have gathered all of your facts, like venue size, ticket pricing, what kind of marketing they’ll be doing, perhaps even gotten some idea of their general budget for this type of event.
Then once you state your fee, $1500 in this case, you can be confident and sound firm, backed by facts and market value. And even then, they may come back with a lower counter offer, say $1000. Fine, let them. Now don’t jump in with another counter that is essentially splitting the difference.
No, be silent, hold your ground, mull it over, then reiterate some of the things you might have mentioned earlier and re-establish your value. Let them know you don’t think that would work.
Then, they may suggest splitting the difference or at least let them make the first counter-counter offer. Now you will get closer to your desired fee. Mull it over again and then perhaps you might suggest splitting that difference which gets you much closer to your original fee. If they suggest $1250, then you might suggest $1400 and you are only $100 off your original fee.
Now you are talking better numbers.
So don’t be the first to suggest splitting the difference. Do your prep work to make sure you can establish your value, know all the facts about the gig and then let them make the first split the difference offer. Then you counter to arrive at a much better deal for you.
Negotiating is never cut and dry and any scenario can have numerous variations. At least start thinking about how you can make these situations work in your favor more often. Oh, and don’t forget to have fun with this.
When have you offered to split the difference during a negotiation and what was the result? Leave me a comment below about your experiences.