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8 reasons for digital marketers to train in negotiations

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 29 May, 2019
Essential Essential topic

What are the benefits of enrolling in digital marketers’ negotiation classes?

Digital marketing is a pivotal driving force of modern business. Digital marketers play a key role in facilitating interactions between companies and their clients. With the growing reach of digital marketing services, marketers find they have to engage in multiple negotiations to achieve optimal results.

Digital marketers who have attended the best negotiation classes can leverage their training to create win-win solutions with their clients. If you are a digital marketer, here are eight powerful reasons why you need to master negotiation skills.

To claim value

Have you ever heard the phrase "giving away the farm?" Digital marketers often find themselves giving away too much value while gaining too little in exchange.

If your clients or customers insist on getting concessions during negotiations, apply the process of logrolling to ask for concessions in return. Simply put, use the "if/then" negotiation phrase. For instance, "if I complete your project by your preferred date, would you be willing to pay commissions on your new service we’re able to bring to market early?"


To truly master claiming value in negotiations, digital marketers should avoid limiting themselves to binary choices of 'Yes' or 'No'. A negotiations course can equip marketers to have options beyond what has been offered.

Delivering premium value to your client in your negotiation meetings requires preparation. Research your client's market and their company. Write out your questions. You'll be more likely to impress your client by coming across as more professional, well prepared, and able to demonstrate your prior experience in delivering results in the client’s industry.

While most clients in a vertical market may want similar services and results, the differences in each client's ranking of their priorities can account for the vastly different winning client proposals and presentations produced by the top digital agencies. So ferret out your client's top priorities. It's your mission to figure out each client’s ranking to understand their trade-offs, even if your client hasn't ranked their priorities.

To offer the best value

Enduring business relationships are built upon a foundation of negotiations based on value creation and value exchange. In order to come up with a win-win solution between you and your digital marketing client, it's important not just to focus on claiming value, but to also create reciprocal value.

Win-win value exchange is where you reach a digital marketing settlement that can't be improved by further negotiation. Negotiation classes can help digital marketers learn how to explore and pursue creative options that exploit opportunities for value creation and exchange.

For instance, if your prospective client posted an advert for email marketing services, you can use proven negotiation strategies to upsell for extra services. You could end up creating more value offering pay-per-click (PPC), newsletters, or social media marketing to improve the client’s performance of the advertised email marketing service. Showcase your worth to prospective clients by having an updated service portfolio, offering timely customer support, and documenting your proven return on investment (ROI).

To form strategic partnerships

Whether you're running social media campaigns, sending out email newsletters, working with influencers, or managing SEO, you likely need to partner up with other professionals and clients. Use your negotiation training to identify partners with shared vision and principles, and to achieve mutually beneficial agreements.

Partnership infographic

With the right partners, you can communicate terms that allow each partner to:

  • Build individual and collective brands
  • Widen audiences
  • Expand customer bases
  • Share marketing resources
  • Boost revenue growth
  • Access additional talents

While some partnerships may be for temporary and short-term campaigns, some of the most profitable partnerships might evolve into long-term unions, such as joint ventures. Negotiate win-win terms to ensure successful partnerships that bring satisfaction and drive up win rates and profits.

To hire the best talent

As a digital marketer, you may often find yourself looking for fresh talent to deliver on client briefs. You may want to hire a permanent employee, engage a freelancer, or take on an intern. Whatever the case, you want to bring on board a talented professional at the right price and level of commitment.

Hiring the best talent typically involves negotiating. Many negotiation classes offer employers simulation scenarios on how to handle employee recruitment, interviews, and salary negotiations.

Work out and agree on the best terms that encourage the employee or freelancer to provide their best output. It’s worth exploring what your new employee values most. Will your new joiner value being able to choose their hours and being able to work from home? If so, then perhaps you can offer a lower rate of pay. All too often hirers dream of their most ideal working arrangement and end up paying top dollar for their inflexibility.

Offer your new talents corresponding pay and perks that may translate to better marketing campaigns without worrying about your staff being poached by other players. Use your negotiation skills to lock in and motivate great talent and put your expectations in writing.

To attract lucrative offers

Almost every business in the world needs some form of marketing. If your marketing campaigns have shown a track record of successful and consistent results, then you rightfully deserve more requests from your existing happy clients and new prospective clients.

As a marketer, you probably know that your client results are only good if others know about your clients’ successes. Use your negotiation skills to communicate your past successes and expectations. Presenting this information effectively should increase your win rates and decrease your time to closure with new clients. While marketers are usually skilled at marketing their own and their clients’ services, negotiation classes should translate your unique selling points into tradeable higher margin wins.

Some negotiation essentials you can use to pursue and attract lucrative digital marketing contracts include:

  • Be thoroughly prepared to discuss your prior results, and be transparent.
  • Ask former and current clients for written recommendations and testimonials.
  • Set rates that reflect the services your client will need in order to deliver on their goals.
  • Give yourself some room to retreat on your rates and know which services are a must-have versus non-essential for each client.
  • Apply market segmentation, such as offering different packages for different groups.

To streamline resource allocation

The allocation of marketing resources has a significant impact on different levels of a business. You have to decide what marketing mix elements to invest in, which team roles to assign, and what platforms to use for your campaigns.

As a digital marketer, you may have to negotiate with your client on where to place resources. For instance, will a Pay Per Click (PPC) and remarketing strategy complement the SEO component or will blogging work better to attract, engage, and retain your target audiences?

Use your negotiation skills and business savvy to prioritize across expenditures. Negotiate to attract additional or premium funds to maximize the quality and effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

To outperform the competition

It used to be that startups and small businesses could not aspire to compete against big corporations and multinationals. However, with online platforms for digital marketing, even small businesses can claim market share when competing against the big guns.

If you're a competent marketer, you most likely want to increase your clients’ sales or products’ market share. Knowing how to negotiate prepares you to position yourself and your clients against big and small competitors alike. Taking a negotiation class can help you communicate your unique selling proposition better to highly engage your target market.

To improve marketing services

Being a master of negotiations involves a lot of listening. When you pay keen attention to what your clients are saying, what the client's customers are saying, and what the market, in general, is saying, then you find opportunities to improve and better focus your digital marketing services.

For instance, when different clients keep asking for more or better content, then you know it's time to invest more in your content creation and premium content quality. If clients are asking for more automation, then maybe it’s time you invested in chatbots.

You may go into a contract negotiation thinking your client requires one service. However, by paying close attention to what your client is saying, you might identify previously undisclosed pain points, and discover unexplored opportunities which could result in higher pay for your business.


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By Expert commentator

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