The Most Deadly Celebrity Marketing Negotiation Errors

deadly errors picture

Avoiding negotiation errors, which kill celebrity spokesperson deals, is easy once you know why they don’t work.

Here are five negotiation errors to avoid:

1. Ask How Much

If you ask an agent “how much?” you expose a lack of knowledge. Agents feel comfortable asking for much more money because they know you don’t understand fair market value or what others have recently paid.

I learned this valuable lesson in my first year. I was negotiating for an athlete and asked “how much?” The agent quoted triple the actual fee. My client had enough money and would’ve authorized an offer but my partner intervened.

There are no set price tags on a celebrity, so beware of an agent who says something like: brand x paid y dollars for my client. Brands often give up in this situation feeling a celebrity is too expensive and the deal dies.

2. Low Ball Offer

The flip side of asking “how much?” is a low ball offer which makes a deal disappear quickly.

Similar to their famous clients, agents have large egos. An embarrassingly low offer will not be presented and turned down.

Celebrities hop from agent to agent looking for larger endorsement contracts. Agents would rather not present the offer at all, than present a low ball.

3. Offer The Entire Budget

Some brands want to go “all in” and make their very best offer right away thinking it will save time, headaches and generate a quick “yes.”

One of the largest food companies in the world invited me to a meeting just after hiring a hot celebrity.

I asked: “How did you know how much to offer the celebrity?”

The answer astounded me!  “We had $800,000 in the budget so we offered all of it and hoped she would accept.”

I thought to myself… of course the celebrity gladly accepted… It was $300,000 more than my client recently paid for a similar deal. Most brands can’t afford to overpay so the deal goes away

4. Hire a Celebrity at Their Peak

Brands could learn from public relations firms who spend time identifying rising stars and hire before prices are out of reach.

This tactic can save up to $500,000 depending upon the size and services of the deal. For most brands, a rising star is within budget.

Brand marketers are understandably shocked at how much a celebrity wants at their peak and often turn to a second choice quickly.

5. Outrageous Social Media Requests

Quality over quantity is the social media rule today. Once upon a time, lots of tweets and mentions were “thrown in” to a deal to help close it.

Today, both brands and celebrities benefit from less. A small number of well-crafted social media messages maintain and/or increase credibility and believability for both.

Asking for an overabundance of social media posts is a sure way to have your offer turned away.

photo credit: MShades via photopin cc


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