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Collaborating toward Better Contracts

Offer Valid: 01/19/2022 - 02/08/2024

Given the Western emphasis on individual success, it's understandable why so many people come to the negotiating table with a winner-takes-all mindset. But this isn't the only way to approach negotiations, and in fact, trying to dominate at all costs can harm you in the long run by eliminating possibilities and fracturing relationships. In this article, you'll learn how to both tame domineering counterparts and bring a more collaborative approach to negotiations yourself.

Take the Other Party's Perspective

By taking into account what's important from the other party's perspective, you can constructively give ground on terms and conditions. For instance, think about offering non-financial perks that will make the vendor's life easier without having a major negative effect on your business. Flexibility in scheduling is one such perk. 

Collaborate on Multiple Details

If you and your counterpart are stuck on one issue, perhaps you can focus on other details, then return to the sticking point with more perspective. Maybe you can offer a larger down payment in exchange for a lower interest rate, smaller monthly payments, or a shorter repayment term. Perhaps the vendor can offer you a discount for bulk purchases. After such concessions, the original sticking point may be easier to move past.

Watch Out for Certain Tactics

Even if you come in with a collaborative mindset, your counterpart may not. There are several tactics you should be aware of, so watch out for behaviors like these.

  • Claiming they need to consult with a more authoritative party before committing. If this is the case, ask if you should be negotiating with that other party instead.

  • Attacking you verbally. Make it clear that you will not tolerate unprofessional behavior like insults and threats, and step away for a bit if you're feeling agitated.

  • Making a "final" offer. Be skeptical about the offer's finality and curious about the offer's content. Examining it may give you ideas for presenting a counteroffer that works for both parties.

Negotiators often use aggressive tactics when they want to speed the process toward a supposed victory for them. Knowing that can help you stay patient: Negotiations are a marathon, not a sprint, so don't let pressure-focused negotiators bully you into mistakes.

Pay Attention to Contract Presentation

By providing protections and outlining expectations, the written contract itself can help make everyone feel more comfortable. Additionally, creating a draft contract, then updating it as negotiations proceed offers a way to collaborate and keep both parties on the same page.

Given the importance of written contracts, if you're preparing one, you should pay attention to the details in the wording. Make sure the contract looks polished and professional, too, as this will show your negotiating partner you're taking the process seriously. Showing up with a messy document can come across as disrespectful. It’s simple to convert PDF to Word to organize the content on each page before sending the contract out.

Collaborating for Better Negotiations

Knowing how to hold firm in the face of domineering tactics can help you protect your business's truly important interests. At the same time, listening to the other party may unlock ways for you to find wins for both sides. The result will be a better contract and a healthier business relationship.

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This Hot Deal is promoted by Reidsville Chamber of Commerce.

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