Sales Negotiations – Hollywood Style

Even In Hollywood, Sales Negotiations Are Not Make-Believe
Even In Hollywood, Sales Negotiations Are Not Make-Believe

Can anyone remember what happened way back in November of 2007? That’s when all of the writers in Hollywood went on strike. After that the Screen Actors Guild walked out. Talk about a mess. Well guess what, in the first half of 2011 this could all happen again – those contracts are once again just about ready to come up for re-negotiation once again…!

What Went Wrong Last Time

There were a whole host of things that caused the last set of Hollywood negotiations to go wrong. For one thing, during the process the Screen Actors Guild ended up firing its chief negotiator, Doug Allen, due to internal disagreements.

On the movie making side of the table, things were not much better. The labor problems were used as an excuse to lower everyone’s pay and get out of deals that the studios no longer wanted to be in.

In a nutshell, both sides of the table ended up being unhappy. Clearly this is not the way to conduct a sales negotiation.

What Might Be Different This Time Around

You would think that all of the parties involved would have learned from last time and would be taking steps to make sure that history did not repeat itself. Of course, you’d only be partially correct.

Time marches on and this time around the negotiators who sit down across from each other at the table will be a different set of folks. That may help things just a bit.

Additionally, both sides are already starting to make noises about the upcoming negotiations. They are saying that they are committed to doing a lot of talking. That sure sounds like a hopeful sign, right?

However, be careful. There are a lot of minefields in this set of talks. The directors will be looking for ways to get higher residual payments for the use of their work. How to handle the ever-growing area of “new-media” will be a big bone of discussion (thanks a lot Apple iPad!). Once again, the role of writers in reality shows will come under fire as these shows continue to grow in popularity.

What All Of This Means For You

As professional sales negotiators the looming Hollywood negotiations offer us a unique opportunity to see multi-party sales negotiations played out in the public eye.

There will be a lot to watch and learn here. We should expect to see a lot of press leaks, public statements, and perhaps even some angry storming out.

In the end, we all know that they’ll reach a deal. However, it’s how they end up getting there that will provide the real learning experience…!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Help For Technical Staff

Question For You: Do you think that the actors and writers should plan on stopping work or should they offer up the hope that a strike can be averted?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Hey, did you read any of those Harry Potter books (or at least see one of the movies?) The stories are fiction but it turns out that sales negotiators do have some real magic that they can use to get what they want during a negotiation…

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