List View-Remember What Drives Our Business (1,058 words)
How to Stay Focused on the Mailer
So what can we do to insure the success of our mailer clients?
For starters, we stop looking at price negotiations as a competition, where we do everything possible to come out the winner. For instance, I suspect that the majority of managers believe they have out-negotiated the broker if they refuse to budge on a price or net-name deal … and they still get an order. However, how many more names would the mailer have taken if some sort of concession was made? How more apt would the mailer and broker be to test the file for a new offer? How much more list income would you make for your list owner if you truly considered the mailer your client too?
And brokers, when your mailer truly needs a better deal, don't be so protective of documentation that proves your case. We're talking about merge/purge reports and cost-per-acquisition tables, not top secret government information. Unfortunately, too many brokers ask for deals which appear totally unwarranted, bringing about the need for such proof. If you have it and it helps prove your case, share it.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that being client sensitive just means to be aggressive with making deals. In fact, very often, mailers should pay top dollar for their core files. I actually believe that many list managers perform a disservice to their list owners by pricing their files what they would call "competitively" (i.e, right around the average of comparable files on the market). However, there's nothing wrong with setting data card prices at premium levels—the prices core users can and should pay—and then allowing deep discounts for secondary markets and being willing to negotiate when needed.
Earlier, I mentioned that a broker's willingness to share data can really help the mailer. How about we all agree to be more candid, more diligent and generally more conscientious on behalf of the mailer. For instance, often managers need to "slice and dice" files to find segments which will work—be willing to go beyond SIC and employee size or dollar amount and product purchased. Don't settle for what the profile says; continually work with your list owner in the area of selection development.