Negotiating with the Enemy: Keeping your Cool in Contract Negotiations

Contentious negotiation sessions for contractual agreements can lead to more than rolling up the sleeves. Aggressive talks can stall the process and create blockages where none existed previously. Trying to reach a business agreement with someone you make not like as a person is a matter of division. Separating your company’s interests from your personal feelings is sometimes a vital part of the plan and an essential one for its success. Here are the tips our lawyers working in commercial litigation give to our clients when they’re facing this moral dilemma.

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Anger Can Cloud Your Judgment and Lead to a Bad Deal

Approaching a contract negotiation from an emotional place is a terrible idea — that’s why you have attorneys working for you. Anger pushes out clear-headed reasoning leaving nothing in its wake. You could storm out of the room, shout at the other side and issue ultimatums thus ruining any chance for an agreement before you know quite what you’ve done. You might also rush the negotiations just to reach a conclusion, which can allow the other side to slip in clauses or provisions that may not be advantageous for your business.

Business is about Building Positive Relationships

The contract you’re forging isn’t about that specific relationship with the vendor or contractor, but how their services/products can strengthen your bond with customers or clients. Building these positive relationships is essential for the health and success of your company — even if that means entering into an agreement with someone you don’t “like”. Think about how the agreement can increase your revenue stream, prominence in the community and solidify your business for long-term success. Huffing and puffing about the other side’s attitude or the sports teams they like isn’t productive.

Business Contracts are not Forever

Keep in mind that the agreement has a beginning and end date when deliverables are due and terms are met. You won’t need to deal with this particular vendor or contractor forever, and during the interim you can use your time to find another business or individual who you feel more comfortable doing business with. Keep the date of delivery in mind during the negotiations, and save your rage for a time when the vendor does not live up to their end of the agreement. Then you can pursue them in a manner in keeping with the law and your angst.

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Preserving your Company’s Good Name

People talk. Word of mouth is as strong as any method of advertising. If you behave badly during the contract negotiations, word might get out that you’re not the friendly sort people in the area want to do business with. That could make future contracts harder to come by, which may lead to problems in the revenue department. Play nice — your livelihood may depend on it.

If your business is about to enter into contract negotiations with another company, you need experienced commercial litigation attorneys on your side to act in your best interest. Our law firm has represented thousands of business owners across Pennsylvania obtaining agreements by the most effective means possible and we can help you too. Call us today to schedule a consultation with our attorneys.