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Do you know how to get your way in contract negotiations?

Whether you're dealing with a dispute that means redrawing lines in your contract or you want to ensure the contract is solid and meets your needs to avoid future disputes, negotiation skills are important. Here are some tips for swaying things your way in any contract negotiation.

First, consider working with professionals. No matter how convincing you are or how willing you are to push back to get your way, it doesn't matter if the other side has a much deeper understanding of contract law than you do. You could think you're getting a great deal, and a nuance of language or law could mean exactly the opposite. Working with and experienced legal professional helps you protect your interests in a contract.

Take contract negotiations one step at a time. Rushing in with all your demands at the same time will overwhelm the other part and make them less likely to say yes. Start small and build up to the overall goals. The other parties are more likely to agree to bite-sized expenses one at a time, for example, than a ballpark figure in the millions.

Begin any contract negotiations with a written list that states your hard line. This is the line you won't cross -- you don't necessarily tell the other parties about this line, as doing so gives away your ability to negotiate effectively. You and your attorney should know what that line is, though, as it lets you know when a contract negotiation has become untenable and spending any more time on it could be wasting your resources.

Finally, make all contact decisions based on business. That doesn't always mean basing it solely on money, but make sure to keep emotion and other matters out of negotiations as much as possible.

Source: Entrepreneur, "9 Ways to Negotiate a Contract Like a Boss," Stephen Key, accessed April 21, 2017

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