Contract negotiation can be quite the minefield, especially if you do not have the experience to do it effectively. You want to benefit from a contract, but pushing too hard can hurt the deal entirely. Having worked with his fair share of contracts, Ryan Corcoran has some tips on proper contract negotiation that will help you make more contracts with more benefits more efficiently.
Contract negotiation: why Ryan Corcoran finds it essential to find balance:
The first step is often one of the most important in contract negotiation, Ryan Corcoran notes, as it sets the stage for future parts of the negotiation. Instead of trying to negotiate the contract as a whole, a good approach is to divide it into sensible portions. This allows you and the other party or parties to better figure out individual aspects of the contract that may need to be modified or removed in order to achieve mutual satisfaction. You may not get everything that you want through this method, but at the same time, not putting all of your eggs in one contractual basket may ensure that you leave the negotiation table having gotten something out of it. An excellent way to maximize your gain is to have sound reasoning behind why you want what you want. Citing industry precedence and standards can lend more credence to these changes and make them more willing to accept your terms.
Ryan Corcoran recommends you read the room:
Ryan Corcoran also extols the virtues of being in control. Not just in terms of location, timing, location, and pace of the discussion, but also the tone. A commanding presence can help make them more willing to acquiesce, but do make sure that you do not push too hard, as they may be bothered by that tension. Yet, something you will learn is that not every contract negotiation will be the same process. Every suggestion is merely a guideline, Ryan Corcoran states, rather than a hard and fast rule. So try to figure out what works and when. Different people will react to being treated in specific ways differently. For example, if the contract negotiation is going pretty casually, being too serious may create awkward tension that makes them less interested in negotiating. On the other hand, if negotiation is serious, taking things casually may seem insulting, or depending on the kind of person you are working with, it could be seen as a show of weakness. Take the tone that you think fits the situation and run with that. Experience will help you get more consistent.
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