Protect Your Weaknesses During Contract Negotiations

 Every business has weaknesses that may potentially be exploited during contract negotiations. A weakness doesn't have to be significant. It may be something small. Be aware of your shortcomings and those of your business, so you can protect them at all costs during negotiations.  

Guard Your Words and Body Language 

Avoid saying anything about your weaknesses. Additionally, keep all crucial details to yourself unless they truly warrant being mentioned. For example, the counterparty doesn't need to know your minimums or predefined priorities. If they know your minimums, the counterparty is likely to try to haggle as close to those numbers as possible. 

It isn't only what you say. Body language is a powerful form of nonverbal communication. If the other party is paying attention, your body language may tell them things you hoped to keep a secret. You may be able to get an edge on the competition by taking a class on interpreting body language.

Remain a Mystery

It's best to remain a mystery to the counterparty. The less they know about you and your company, the better off you are during contract negotiations. Appear friendly and confident but not overeager. Keep the other party guessing, and you're more likely to walk away with the better deal. 

Research the Counterparty 

It's best to reveal little to the counterparty, but you also want to know as much about them as possible. Knowing who you're trying to negotiate with can mean the difference between a good deal and a bad one. 

When researching the counterparty, aim to answer the following questions:

  • What do they need?

  • What's their business model like?

  • Who's already supplying them with goods or services?

  • What do those contracts look like?

The answers to these questions can help pave the way for a successful contract negotiation process that leaves both parties happy.

Know What You Want From the Deal

A good business deal means you receive all (or most) of what you want. To do this, you must first predefine what you want from the agreement before you enter negotiations with the counterparty. Ask yourself if you hope to receive a certain price per product (or service). Is there an order minimum or delivery frequency you hope to achieve? These are likely to be your priorities. Also, know what you're willing to give up to achieve these priorities during contract negotiations.

Invest Time in Contract Presentation 

You can use body language to help with your contract presentation. This is another reason a course on the topic may be beneficial. However, how you verbally present the contract isn't the only important thing. You want the contract itself to be organized, detailed, and visually appealing. Be sure to combine PDFs to help make the contract look professional and attractive. 

Don't Let Your Weaknesses Be Used Against You

Every business has weaknesses that can be exploited during contract negotiations. Avoid revealing too much to the counterparty, so your shortcomings can't be used against you.

Consider joining your local chamber of commerce for numerous business benefits, including discounts and networking opportunities.