How to Negotiate Contracts with Big Companies
Last Updated: Aug 29, 2017
Learning how to negotiate is important for small businesses. Negotiating a contract with a big company or government agency can be harder than making the sale. Don’t let contract negotiations (or the other company’s negotiator) intimidate you! Use these 7 negotiation tips to get a fair deal.
Getting a company to agree to use your products or services may be only half of your job. Once you have convinced them you can do the job they want done, you may still have to negotiate the details of the deal. And that chore may be more difficult than convincing the company in the first place that they need what you are selling. Conflicts may arise over price, delivery terms, quantities, or even the length of the contract.
Depending on the company with which you’re negotiating, the size of the contract and the negotiator, tactics that might be used may include anything from low balling you on prices, to insulting you, taking weeks to respond to your inquiries or counter-offers on price, or demanding control or rights you don’t want to give up.
How should your small business handle negotiations? What can you do to avoid being taken advantage of by bigger or more aggressive negotiators? Over the years, my small business has successfully negotiated contracts with some of the biggest corporations in the US, as well as smaller companies. We’ve also been a government contractor and subcontractor. Here, based on my own experiences as well as some great advice from attorneys who have helped over the years, are 7 negotiation tips to help you get a fair deal when you negotiate a contract.
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About the author:
Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning Business Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets. Follow Janet on Twitter and on LinkedIn