"You have to live and die with their successes and failures, and do everything in your power to help them meet their end goals," he says.
Buchler says that HSN Improvements works with only one broker (Bogner)—a strategy some industry experts may advise against—but the trust and vision the cataloger and Bogner share gives them an edge, they say.
"[Bogner] knows what lists we've tried in the past, the ones that succeeded and the ones that failed, and he could take that somewhere," says Buchler. "Whereas, if you've got multiple brokers, it may be difficult to have a focused, shared effort."
Bogner likens a good list broker to a street fighter, and the mailer to a little brother or sister. "A good list broker has been around the block, and has gained that hard-earned experience in a multitude of ways," he says. "They know the list and database landscape, and can get into a company and show them the lay of the land."
List brokers should navigate the rough terrain of the list business for their clients, but also be able to subscribe to their values as well.
Glass says one of the important factors in his relationship with Kehrli is that his broker understands what kind of customer Working Assets is looking for. If you are a list broker working for a nonprofit and do not believe in the issue, you're not going to do a very good job, Glass says.
Working Assets is a long distance company that donates a portion of its revenue to nonprofit groups working for peace, human rights, equality, education and the environment.
"I could really get behind [Working Assets'] product because of my beliefs," says Kehrli. "They are a socially conscious company that gives back, and [Names in the News'] mission has always been to help the nonprofit sector. Tying the values of the two individuals and organizations together makes for such a strong bond."