Contract Negotiations Training

This contract negotiations training provides tips to help you negotiate the best deal when dealing with a complex contract. These negotiations training tips and techniques can help you avoid potentially costly contract mistakes in terms of dollars, time and scope.

Training Tips: Contract Negotiations

There are times when you are selling to large corporations your negotiations will start with a version of their standard contract. Your contract negotiations might not be with your the client you have build a relationship with. You could be dealing with someone from procurement and discussing a 1 - 3 year agreement.

This sales negotiation training will help you avoid some of the pitfalls in contract negotiations.

  • Read very carefully - This point might sound obvious but it very important point in any contract negotiations training. Make a list of items to be reviewed with the client & finalized. Flag any unclear areas for rewording and/or clarification. Mark areas that need to be reviewed by legal. Send them off immediately. Internal legal departments can get backed up.

  • Understand the legal contract language - Almost all complex contracts will include legal language on liability, intellectual property, indemnity, insurance, etc. These items will need to be reviewed by your legal council. In my experience, as asalesperson doing the contract negotiations it is important for the salesperson to understand these sections & know what is acceptable. If these areas are not covered in any sales negotiation training request time with your legal counsel. Ask questions & learn.
  • Know exactly what is being negotiated - Contract negotiations can get complicated. Many things are being negotiated. You and the client could negotiate what specific product or service, price, delivery, maintenance, as well as the legal issues. I have been in negotiations where more time is spent on the wording of the indemnity clause or intellectual property than on price. Figure out up front what is being negotiated and prioritize.
  • Who are you negotiating with? - Are you dealing with the client you developed a relationship with or is it someone from procurement? Does this person have authority to make the decisions or are they just the go between?
  • Document any agreements - A contract negotiation can last over several in face meetings and/or phone calls. At the end of each one summarize what has been agreed to and follow up with an email. It can be helpful at the beginning of each meeting or call to designate who will provide the summary and email.
  • Set up the next meeting - If your contract negotiations takes more than one meeting set up the next meeting at the end of your current meeting. Also set up which items will be reviewed and discussed.
  • Assumptions - Spell out all assumptions and obligations in the agreement. Do not assume things are automatically included or understood.
  • Requested Changes - Make sure all requested changes have been included prior to signing anything
  • Concessions - Concessions are often required in any contract negotiations. When making a concession make sure the concession is known to the client and they understand what it is costing you. Ask for a concession in return. One of the things I teach in my training in contract negotiations is that negotiations is a give and take. So any concessions you make should not be made all at once. Think of it as an installment plan. Give a little bit each time.

Whether you are dealing with your client contact or procurement the key to remember from any contracts negotiations training is to be prepared and have a plan in place.

It is also helpful to review our sales negotiation training

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