Focusing on Your Desired Outcome Can Mean Abandoning Negotiations
Negotiating to win isn't always the best approach and may potentially result in bad deals that are harmful to your business. Additionally, not being clear on your desired outcome may result in a win you really don't want in the end. Walking away from a deal is sometimes a blessing in disguise.
Know Your Desired Outcomes
The most important detail in negotiating is to know your desired outcome. What do you want to achieve? And what are your nonnegotiables? The clarity helps you know when to walk away. If negotiations get to the point where you have reservations about the deal, don't continue talks any longer. It's tempting to let emotions get in the way, and your ego may encourage you to go for the win, but at what cost? If you know your desired outcome and your bottom line, you have a clear boundary. If it comes down to it, you can walk away and find another partner that better aligns with your goals and objectives.
If a deal falls through, positives to consider are:
It wasn't meant to be. Either the timing wasn't right, or the partnership was destined to fail.
Better options are ahead. Walking away from a potentially bad deal allows you to find something better.
No compromise. You didn't compromise on your more important desired outcomes just to win the contract.
Avoid problems in the future. Concluding an unfavorable deal can cause a variety of problems down the line, so walking away can save time and money.
Reframe your thoughts around losing a deal, and think of it as winning by maintaining your values or by considering a different, more beneficial deal with a different vendor. Walking away is okay and may even be a more skillful strategy.
Once you're fully prepared and understand that you may need to walk away at a certain point, you can consider the negotiation strategy ahead. It's beneficial to work on the contract in segments, discussing and finalizing the most important points first. Once you've agreed on the nonnegotiables, work through the less important aspects. This helps you successfully navigate the negotiation without getting sidetracked by less significant issues.
Preparing a Professional Contract
WIth your main points agreed upon, it's advantageous to have a draft contract prepared ahead of time in Word format, so you can edit slightly where required and then convert JPG to PDF to create an attractive, well-organized version for presentation. This helps your contract look professional and create a good impression.
Walking Away Isn't Losing
Contract negotiation is all about one or both parties getting everything they want. Meeting in the middle and finding common ground is par for the course. However, if you're determined to win the contract at all costs, you may end up with a problematic partner or a deal that's flawed.
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