As a business owner, executive or manager, preparing ahead of contract negotiations is essential. Not only will this help protect the interests of the business and ensure favorable terms, but preparation can also alleviate negotiation stress.
Before entering contract negotiations with another party, review the following tips to prepare for the meeting.
1. Define your business objectives and priorities
Think about your business’s priorities and define the objectives you want to reach before entering contract negotiations. Identify the desired outcomes of the talks, determine any deal-breakers and consider the future impact of this contract.
2. Research the other party
Taking the time to research the other party involved in the negotiation can provide you with valuable insight into their interests and tactics. Look for their history, any legal issues, financial situation and other relevant information points.
3. Prepare evidence and supporting documents
Gather supporting documentation such as legal agreements, correspondence with the other party, financial statements and more to strengthen your negotiating points. These documents may serve as evidence to support your position and provide a framework for the negotiations.
4. Assign a negotiation team
Depending on the strengths and dynamics of your business, identify current employees or hire outside professionals who can support the negotiation process. Assigning a team to work on the negotiation (depending on the complexity of the contract or dispute) can provide a range of perspectives and skills to the task at hand.
5. Develop a strategy and practice it
A negotiation strategy can include the following ideas:
- a clear business position or goal
- potential concessions
- timing of the negotiation
- other tactics
After establishing some techniques to use, practice them while simulating possible scenarios. This will give insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the strategy.
Protect your business’s interests by adequately preparing for contract negotiations.