Contract Negotiation Strategies to Consider

A native of India, Ashu Bhandari is an entrepreneur who leverages his expertise to lead his consulting firm. Ashu Bhandari guides business owners on several aspects of entrepreneurship, including cash flow management, product diversification, and contract negotiation.

A business owner must develop strong contract negotiation skills in order to reduce risk and boost revenue. While compromise is a necessary aspect of the negotiation process, properly using certain strategies can increase one’s ability to achieve the outcome he or she prefers.

1. Taking control of an agenda leads to more promising results. A person who takes the initiative to plan a meeting, draft topics for discussion, and direct the pace of a negotiation can focus on the subjects most important to his or her business. This can also be achieved with a passive approach, by summarizing details of a negotiation and framing it in a way that is conducive to the person’s business.

2. Avoiding an “all-or-nothing” approach keeps negotiations from coming to a standstill and diminishes the risk of both parties leaving unsatisfied. Instead, a skilled negotiator compartmentalizes subjects to reach an agreement on individual topics. This also makes both parties feel like progress is being made.

3. Identifying top priorities keeps a negotiator from becoming slowed down by less important items during a negotiation. A person should prepare in advance by ranking the level of importance for each topic. If concessions must be made while meeting, then the negotiators can use the list to help them make compromises on items least important to them in order to gain leverage on major priorities.

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