Often I get the question 'how does the media team negotiates rates?'? Is there a rate card rate and that's the rate we pay? Or is it something else? I find the car analogy works well. The dealers put a sticker price on the car (their rate card) knowing you'll likely feel good about making the purchase if you get them below that MSRP. Media companies operate much the same way. The rate card is there but 99% of the time they never get that price.
I love negotiating. The first round is a no brainer ' no rate card. But then it really gets fun. The second round "special" rate can be presented by one rep as "because you've been a long-time advertiser" and yet the next might say 'because you are a new advertiser.'? In the end, it's all code for 'ok, here is the more realistic price that will still allow us a nice commission'?. That still doesn't work for me. I want my media partners to make a reasonable profit but not at the expense of my client. And so I will push them as far as I can. Not by bullying, but rather by providing more information than other buyers/agencies. It seems to have worked for me. I'm proud of the deep discounts and added value I get for clients. I won't give away all of my secrets in this blog- but just know the AMP media team does not take a rate they are quoted and turn it around as part of their plan ' first round or even second round.
And sure, I will come with you next time you are in the market for a new car...for a small negotiable fee.