In my previous article here I have introduced ways of negotiating a contract from a legal point of view.
In this piece I will try to expand upon negotiating techniques in general, not necessarily for contracts.
First and foremost try to separate the issues at stake in categories: things you cannot accept, major points, minor points and thing you can easily live without. Then you can make trades with the other side, one item for another. This is also known as “horse-trading”. So, you are willing to change something or to offer something, provided the other side does the same for you and offers a provision (clause) that you want.
When it comes to discussing numbers, let the other party suggest the first number. In case of a sales contract or when negotiating your salary, it is known that the first number the other side mentions is usually the least he expects to pay. On the other hand, negotiating numbers is all the time a tricky issue, mostly because neither party is willing to mention it first.
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