Topical, isn’t it?  In truth, like Brexit, the skill of your contract negotiations has always been critical in helping you reach the best deal.  For most of us, as we start our negotiations, no deal isn’t an option.

So, what stands in the way of the best deal for your business? Well for a start, we’re human. Our skillsets vary hugely. Even if we’re skilful, incisive, intuitive and robust, our negotiating approach could also be subjective, weak, flawed or over-bearing. Maybe we’re just having a bad day. Maybe our opposite number is. There’s lot of reasons why contract negotiations don’t go as well in real life as they do on paper.

Who’s the best person for the job?

Sometimes the person who is doing the negotiating is the obvious choice to take it on simply because of their job. In reality, they might not be the best person.  Take politicians. These days they’re hard to miss! More often than not politicians are in the front line. We’re following their Brexit negotiations closely. But does that make them the best choice for the best deal?

Think about it for a minute. They’re used to getting what they want. If they’re not inclined to listen, to empathise and to compromise, chances are they’re missing a trick. If you’re used to negotiating from a position of weakness, you’ve got more resources in your armoury. It’s as simple as that. You’ll be naturally more persuasive, ready to trade off, and ultimately to reach an agreement that works for everyone. We’ve got our fingers crossed for Brexit negotiations.

Trust and transparency for a successful outcome

Trust is the basis of any successful commitment, agreement or contract. It can move mountains. In business, we tend to kick start our contract negotiations with an exaggerated level of caution. As well as listening, empathising and compromising, transparency is the best antidote for excessive caution. It’s the key to opening mutually frank, constructive negotiations that get results.

There are lots of ways you can demonstrate transparency in your contract negotiations. When it comes to contract management, Contract Insight, our contract management software, can help develop this trust between you and your prospective partners from the very beginning.

It’s time to bring your contracts out of the filing cabinet and into the digital age. Transparency is the name of the game. Real-time visibility into your contracts is the first step towards managing all the complicated decisions you have to make about the future. With Contract Insight you get a centralised, contract management system, which will look after all your agreements throughout their lifecycle.

Contract Insight takes care of the whole contract lifecycle

Starting with authoring and negotiating, everyone involved can have online access to the contract negotiations from the early stages. Apart from generating trust in the process and ultimately in you, the levels of access Contract Insight gives you minimises scope for confusion, keeps versioning under control, and documents all changes along the way.

Contract Insight also helps you mitigate risk as it makes all details visible to your selected users. As you work together on the contract negotiations you keep abreast of all the details which might damage your agreement or even bring it down all together. And you won’t have to shell out for missing a negative option.

Once your contract is complete, all your other departments – such as legal, sales, procurement, compliance and IT – have instant access to every contract whenever they need it. Compliance and renewal are also taken care of at the click of a mouse.

Profitable agreements

The visibility Contract Insight offers will help you sustain profitable agreements. And that’s something we can’t confidently say about Brexit – yet! When it comes to negotiating new contracts and consolidating existing ones, you’ve got a competitive advantage with easy access to consistent contract language and legal terms. Streamlined contract creation like this means you’ve got more time to devote to the unique, high level clauses and conditions of every contract you negotiate.

Beyond Brexit

And you’re probably going to need it. Chances are when we re-emerge the other side of Brexit negotiations, some of us will have to renegotiate existing contracts and negotiate new ones. Contract Insight can take some of the strain out of contract negotiations for you, leaving you to concentrate on getting the best deal for yourself and your business. Doesn’t that sound like good news?

Find out more about how we can help you streamline your contract negotiations by contacting me on john.obrien@four.co.uk

 

ENDS