Each List Negotiation Can Lead to a Better RelationshipI enjoyed Linda Huntoon's article ("The Art and Science of List Negotiations," DM News' Essential Guide to Lists, Database Marketing and Data Services, Jan. 16) and felt it was relevant in many ways. It enunciates what so many of us think about in terms of bringing the industry up to date. When in a negotiation, I think you have to care as if this is the only deal that matters.
You also have to be able to get out of the way and listen to what the list owner is putting forth as an obstacle. I have found that each negotiation can be revelatory and can lead to an even greater working together between parties who had not really listened to one another before.
Another point is that when you manage your client's mailing list and broker for them, you are in the catbird seat when you act as their broker because you have an overview of the history, prices and exchanges that the other brokers would not have. You know and understand empirically who needs what, how and when. This is an essential piece of the negotiation process to understand and, as you say, have "everyone win." If there is information on all facets of the deal, then a "quid pro quo" can be most effectively accomplished.
I hope everyone in the list business will read it, reflect on how to make changes as well as better understand the negotiation process from the list brokerage perspective.
List Process Co. Inc.