6 Better Ways to Negotiate a Contract

The only way to reach an agreement is through negotiation. We’ve heard rumors that some businesses may be on the exact same page when starting to work together – but we’ve never seen it happen. Crafting a contract that clearly explains everything it needs to and satisfies all parties involved is an art form. It only happens by taking the time to hear what both parties want and reaching a hallowed middle ground.

Every company has had experience negotiating contracts, but that doesn’t mean that they are doing it the right way. Here are our 6 tips for negotiating contracts:

Take Your Time. Finalizing a contract is hard work, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Start by freeing yourself of any time pressure you may feel to pass judgment immediately upon reading something. Making quick work of it obviously has advantages, but don’t forget that you don’t have to know all the answers right away.

Compartmentalize. Take the contract one section at a time. Consider everything in that section, and then negotiate it specifically. If you try to fix everything about a contract all at once, some things are going to slip through the cracks. Taking it step by step also avoids “all or nothing” ultimatums about the contract.

Prioritize. Know what you are willing to compromise on and what you will stand your ground on. This will help you set your priorities correctly. There are essential contract provisions that must be included in each contract, so they should be your top priority.  Then, there are things that are important to you, and they can be negotiated next.  Unessential terms and things you would prefer to change if possible can be saved for further down the line. Remember that in order to get something, you need to give something in return.

Start Somewhere. Remember that a first draft is just that – a first draft! Don’t feel that everything has to be perfect before you find a starting point. The earlier your negotiations begin, the earlier they will end.  Make sure you’ve got your feet on the ground with the contract, and then don’t be afraid to dive in.

Do Your Homework. Coming into contract negotiations having done outside research will be enormously beneficial to you. Showing others context for what has been successful in the past will give your arguments credibility beyond just being your personal preference. This type of work is easy enough to do, but we are shocked how little it happens.

Ask For Help! You can get pretty far on your own, but you shouldn’t necessarily. If you are dealing with contracts, whether they seem monumental or commonplace to your business, you want to get an experienced set of eyes on them. Here at CLARK.LAW, negotiating best terms possible for our clients is one of the things we love to do.    We believe in using modern technology to make legal help more efficient and accessible than it has ever been before. Contact CLARK.LAW to get the help your company needs!