Throughout your career, there will undoubtedly come a time when you need to negotiate a contract. Whether you are discussing the terms of a new job or trying to sign on a new client, it’s important to understand the principles of contract negotiation so you can leverage your position. Here we will take a look at some helpful tips for contract negotiations so you can achieve the best possible outcome.
Start with the Main Points
Before picking apart the minute details of a contract, start with the main points. Make sure both you and the other party agree to the main points of the contract before moving on to smaller details. Go through each main point and if there is a discrepancy with one of the points, start discussing those terms.
Break the Contract into Pieces
Getting someone to agree to an entire contract isn’t usually realistic. Instead, break the contract into smaller pieces that can each be agreed upon separately. Not only is this less overwhelming than looking at an entire contract, but each piece can serve as one part of the whole, which in turn solves the “all or nothing” approach.
Negotiating the terms of a contract can be a tedious process, so it can be hard to remember all of your talking points. That’s why it is important to take notes throughout the discussion, so you can keep track of which areas you need to come back and address. Notes can also be helpful if you think of something after the meeting that you wish to go back and discuss.
Know Your Priorities
You are not guaranteed to get everything you want in a negotiation, which is why you need to prioritize what is most important to you. Outline your priorities and share those with the other party. You also want to invite them to share their priorities as well. You may end up having similar goals and values. However, even if your priorities are different, ranking them in order of importance will help you reach a fair agreement.
Ask Questions and Seek to Understand the Other Party
You need to find out as much as you can about what is motivating the other party. If you know their goals and interests, you may be able to better align your negotiations in a way that supports your needs while also meeting the other party’s interests.
Keep Emotions in Check
Business negotiations should remain professional. Don’t complicate the process with your personal feelings. One way to do this is by eliminating “I think” or “I feel” statements. Try to keep a positive attitude and don’t let your emotions get the best of you.