How To Negotiate In The Music Industry As An Indie Artist

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Behind all of the artists and music created in the entertainment industry, there is a lot of negotiating going on.  There are record deals; publishing deals, merchandising deals and so much more.  Music industry professionals are constantly working together with other parties in order to complete projects and productions.

 

To gain more insight on the subject, we spoke with Kellye A. Britton of Envision Business Management Group, Inc. based in Atlanta, Georgia.  As a Client Manager, Britton is involved in providing business management services for several entertainment industry clients.  She has negotiated agreements for the purchase of motor vehicles and contractor rates for musical touring acts.

 

When discussing successful bargaining tactics, Britton explains that doing research on the parties or product involved is essential. “The most successful bargaining tactics I've used is:  knowledge of the product (i.e. blue book price, black book price, reviews, other retailers and their prices, and availability of product).”  This type of knowledge is vital when having to convey what you believe is important to have written within an agreement.

 

We also talked about separating the person from the problem.  Britton says that “keeping a cool head (tone and body language) and going in knowing what your deal breakers are (non-negotiable points)” helps both parties stay focused and keep the negotiation process amicable.  It’s important for both parties to recognize concerns and interests of both sides in order to stay on the task at hand.  This brought us to mutual benefit agreements.  In negotiating a vehicle purchase, Britton described researching local dealerships whose sales goals had not been met.  “It was the last week of the year, we brought cash to the table.  So we were able to get dealer rebates and reduce their inventory - a win-win”, Britton says.

 

In the end we asked if there were any other negotiating tips Ms. Britton could give and she left us with this.  “Remember, they have something you want and you have something they want, both parties have something to gain.  Know your subject/product.  Know what your options are and where else you can do business.  Always be prepared to walk away.  Always maintain an even-keeled tone and confident body language, never take it personally.  Be straight forward and use clear, plain language.”  We believe all of these points give insight on the negotiation process and we hope it does the same for you.