|If you're involved in the music business, sooner or later you'll sit down with someone you have to negotiate an agreement with. It may be a management or record contract, or perhaps a "work for hire" agreement where you provide music for some particular use. Use the following general guidelines to keep the communication on the best level possible.
And always think "win/win".
* Negotiate only with those in authority to agree to your requests.
* Have a prioritized agenda. Start with the most incontestable items and work downwards to the stickiest points.
* Put yourself in the other person's place and structure your arguments to address his or her concerns.
* Never issue ultimatums.
* Never concede a point, however small, without winning a comparable concession in return.
* Take notes and verbally summarize each point agreed to before you move on to the next so that there's no misunderstanding.
* Follow up negotiations with a memo or letter summarizing what was agreed, and ask for a written response within so many days or hours if any points are disputed.
* Make the other party feel good about the outcome.
Peter Spellman, Director
MUSIC BUSINESS SOLUTIONS:
Turning Music Business Data into Useful Knowledge.
Career-building books, articles, consulting, seminars, and more.
Author of "The Self Promoting Musician: Strategies for Independent Music Success" (Berklee Press).
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