Surefire strategies for entrepreneurs to negotiate contracts


Negotiating contracts and dealing with suppliers challenges the bargaining strategies of the avid entrepreneur. Too many people see negotiations as a contest with a sole winner; that’s not the case as negotiations are attempts to reach common ground and sign a deal that can benefit all the parties involved. We live in a competitive business environment, where if you can’t negotiate you can’t succeed. Entrepreneurs must bargain for the things they need, wish and deserve in order to take their businesses to new heights. Here are some strategies to adhere to:

Communication is key

In the business environment, communication skills are vital. You can’t win if you don’t have the ability to wow your opponent with your words. Start a negotiation with solid information and maintain the communication factual. Focus on the data and find a way to build rapport with suppliers. Connect on a humane level by sharing some personal information; this will calm things down and the whole deal will go a lot smoother. Sound communication skills are unbeatable, and as long as you can back up every claim that you make, your opponent will observe your keen interest and drive to help your company thrive.

Use win-win solutions to your advantage

During the negotiation, find a way to determine an acceptable outcome for your opponent. It could be a mix of various things that are not necessarily linked to financial incentives. For instance, your counterpart (e. g. supplier, investor) may consider the deadline the most important aspect of the entire negotiation; yours could be product quality for example. Understanding an opponent’s main priorities is just as vital as understanding your own. If you were in their shoes, what would you do?

While crafting your offer, make an attempt to meet the expectations of the other party, too. However, make sure the decision doesn’t interfere with your anticipated outcome. Always be ready to give up some things in exchange for something else. How far are you willing to go to sign that contract? Before making any decisions, it’s important that you know your limits.


Confidence is paramount

Entrepreneurs are advised to be as confident as possible in a business negotiation, especially when dealing with suppliers and investors. Signing contracts is easier said than done yet it’s not something impossible to achieve as long as you’re certain of your strengths. Never sell yourself short and always keep in mind that your ideas represent you and your business. When entrepreneurs lack self-assurance their ideas will appear weak and frail. You can’t afford to let that happen. Find balance in everything you’re planning to say and do. Acknowledge the potential of a good deal and fight for what you want with confidence and poise.

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Silence is an excellent tactic

Silence is one of the finest negotiation tactics for entrepreneurs. Often times, counterparts won’t hesitate to fill the silence with added information; some will even believe you’re playing hard to get and they will do everything they can to make you snap. It’s incredible how much information you can learn about the other party by just shutting up. Assess their body language, look them in the eye, and if the contract doesn’t live up to your expectations, you can always flinch.

By flinching you send a sign to the opponent –the deal on the table doesn’t match with your demands. In this case, there might be room for some more negotiations, provided that the other party is really interested in doing business with you.


Less in more

In some circumstances, it’s not a good idea to reveal more information than necessary. Many entrepreneurs talk too much, and they give up important details without even realizing it. Since you’re negotiating a contract and you want what’s best for your company, you are advised to stick to the facts. Less is always more in negotiations and don’t let an opponent sense your weaknesses.

Have you ever thought of defining your negotiation strategies? No matter how experienced you are now, there’s always room for improvement. Entrepreneurs should attend negotiation seminars and trainings to shape their style and become exceptional business people. Master the art of smart negotiation and help your business witness incredible returns.

By Steve Brown and!