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By Sanjeev Kumar
Founding Attorney

A frustrating, but critical, part of business is contract negotiation. These negotiations can eat up a lot of time and energy. Fortunately, there are steps businesses can take to help foster more productive contract negotiations. This means that there are things businesses can do to help streamline the negotiation process in order to reduce stress and the time commitment required. Here, we will share some tips for successful contract negotiations.

Tips for Successful Contract Negotiations

Contract negotiations can quickly dearly through miscommunications, ineffective communications, and parties straying their focus on pursuing the optimal outcome for everyone involved. When approaching a contract negotiation, focus on the end point, your ultimate goal. Focusing on what is important, what brought you to the negotiation table in the first place, will serve you well throughout the process.

Prior to the start of negotiating a formal contract, make sure that you and the other party agree on the central points of the contract. Set these key points out on a terms sheet and keep things straightforward and simple. Begin with the simple and essential terms that everyone agrees upon and develop the contract details out from there.

As you develop a more complex set of contract terms, it can be helpful to break down this sizeable task into smaller, more manageable pieces. Separate the contract into individual terms that you need to reach an agreement upon. This will not only help foster a better understanding of the terms of the contract, but it can work to help avoid someone taking an “all or nothing” approach to the negotiations.

When you enter into a contract negotiation, you need to understand your reasons for wanting to engage in a business relationship with the other party. What are they going to do for you and your business? What benefits do they bring? This can help prevent the contract negotiation from becoming unproductively aggressive or competitive and help foster a collaborative business relationship right from the beginning.

Just as you should have a thorough understanding of your key objectives for the contract negotiations, you should also try to understand the position of the other side as much as possible as well. Being familiar with the priorities, interests, and goals of the other party can help you approach the negotiations in a more productive way. This will allow you to navigate the negotiations in a way that allows you to promote the needs of your own business while still being mindful of how you can serve the interests of the other party.

Research before negotiations can be critical to being adequately prepared. Research will not only help you figure out some of the priorities of the other party, but it will help you support your own wants and needs in the contract negotiations. Having research to support the claims you make in the negotiation process can help solidify your stance. It can show the other party that you are not making subjective claims, but objective statements based on data.

As in so many matters of business, avoid becoming emotionally overwhelmed by the process. Business is business. Personal emotions can quickly turn a business deal into a catastrophe. Take your time, stay calm, and avoid rushing the process. Hasty decisions are often those made from emotions and do not often serve the best interests of a business.

Business Law Attorney

The Kumar Law Firm can help your business successfully navigate contract negotiations. Contact us today.

About the Author
Sanjeev Kumar is the founder and principal at the Kumar Law Firm, which provides a wide range of legal services to entrepreneurs and business owners in the area of business & corporate law and intellectual property along with related areas of interest to clients such as business succession planning, wealth preservation through estate planning, and alternate dispute resolution.