What's Involved With Contract Negotiations?

There are countless aspects to contract negotiations. If you're dealing with good negotiators, the process can be quite smooth, but smooth doesn't necessarily mean good for you, either. Fine print has the potential to hide many things. It's impossible to know whether you're dealing with total honesty at every step of the way; now we're not saying everyone is out to rip you off - quite the opposite. Generally, people are honest and do business honestly, but there are the select few that have ulterior motives. All we're saying is be wary.

Like any negotiations, it's a process; back and forth, ironing out, amending. Our purpose with this is to provide a few simple tips that can really empower you throughout the whole process, ensuring it does run as smoothly as possible.

The best thing you can do is your homework. We cannot stress this enough. Proper preparation about what your project involves will be your strongest asset. You will speak with authority and feel far more included through the whole thing. Rather than be told what should happen, your opinion will be sought throughout, and you'll feel a genuine sense of ownership for the project. This is part of being a good negotiator.

You might also be entering a whole new vocabulary here - most importantly, do not be afraid to ask what terms and expressions mean. You should never agree to something you don't know the meaning of - exercise humility often if needed.

Good negotiators are also flexible, and tend to solve problems easily - and this includes both sides of negotiations. Which means you as well. If your partners (and let's be honest they are partners for the duration of your project) can see you're willing to be flexible, it's remarkable how much more flexible they can be, and actually, the quality of solutions to problems. Will is the key here, if they see you viewing them as a partners, they'll move Heaven and Earth to solve just about anything.

Also, don't feel awkward about talking price. The whole project is running on what things costs - materials, services and more, so you'll find most people are also willing to negotiate when talking price. Again, if you present an open, honest side, that's generally what you'll be greeted with.

Regardless of whether they represent owners, design professionals or contractors, effective negotiators enter into potentially difficult negotiations in essentially the same manner. They solve problems. Make no mistake - there will be plenty of problems, unforseens and unexpecteds. Expecting these will ensure your sanity is somewhat intact at the project's completion.

And when you work with the right partner, they will work towards a project's completion that will put a smile on every face. We always have.

View the original article here


Post a Comment