Every negotiation comes down to one thing…the final agreement. Both parties want to be sure that they are getting what they want in the end. You can spend hours negotiating back and forth but if you can’t settle on a final agreement, all of your hard work has gotten you nowhere. Negotiation can be complicated, especially when you and your counterpart have to sort out all of the contractual details. Here are a few tips and strategies for creating, negotiating, and ultimately signing a definitive agreement.
Know the Needs of Both Sides
All too often people enter into a negotiation with only their own needs in mind. They have a clear idea of exactly what they want and they are prepared to play hardball in order to get their way. Unfortunately, this does not usually end in a signed agreement. In order for any negotiation to work, it must be fair and well-balanced. A negotiation is not about one party winning, but rather, two parties coming to an agreement that will be mutually beneficial. Thus, it is imperative to spend time researching the wants and needs of your counterpart so you can be prepared to offer solutions that will help both sides reach an agreement.
Prioritize Your Goals
Just as it is important to understand the needs of your counterpart, you must also have a clear understanding of what is most important to you. Any negotiation will require some give and take, but prioritizing your goals can help you stay on track to get what is most important to you.
Be Prepared to Make Concessions
Every negotiation involves concessions so spend some time making a list of items you would be willing to concede. This will prevent you from giving something away in the heat of the moment and it will also give you a clear outline of what terms you are willing to negotiate. It is equally important that you never make a concession without getting something in return.
Write Down Your Agreements
Sometimes negotiations can last hours or even days and it’s easy to forget what both parties agreed upon. That’s why it is so important to make a note of every single detail and concession that has been agreed upon. Before writing up a final agreement, go back through each of these items and make clarifications. There is no room for assumptions in a definite agreement so this is your chance to clarify the details of your agreement.
Time it Right
When it comes to drawing up an agreement, timing is everything. Rushing a client into signing a deal can make them feel pressured, which in turn can damage your long-term relationship. Waiting too long, on the other hand, gives your counterpart time to make further adjustments or rethink the agreement altogether. Therefore, you want to decide on appropriate timing to wrap up the agreement.