Who Should Negotiate Your Contracts?

PSMJ Resources, Inc.
Posted on: 07/02/19
Written by: PSMJ Resources, Inc.

pen and paper-1-288007-edited.jpg

Whoever negotiates a contract for your architecture or engineering firm should be the one most familiar with the client, having become well acquainted through your marketing, client research, proposal, and presentation.

Your negotiator also should be:

  • Familiar with the marketing efforts to date;

  • Authorized to commit the firm;

  • Able quickly to analyze the financial impact;

  • Able to handle ambiguity well and keep 14 balls in the air; and

  • A natural salesperson who can motivate both sides toward closure.

Does this mean assembling a whole team of people? Not necessarily. The best negotiators can handle ambiguity well. They don't mind working to resolve many issues, and no single issue is resolved until all issues are.

It's dangerous for one person to conduct a negotiation. A second person can watch for reactions; think while you talk; interrupt if you're going off in the wrong direction; and provide perspective.

Two is the optimum number of people for most negotiations, with three being the maximum. Beyond that, the logistics of coordinating roles and inputs becomes burdensome for most project situations. Group negotiations are appropriate for large, complex projects. Ideally, the project manager will be a key member of the negotiating team.

One mistake you'll probably regret is turning over the negotiation to a team of professional negotiators. It's virtually impossible to inspire a “relationship” negotiation if the people on your team don't know the individuals on the other side, and are motivated in a single direction, such as financial, performance, or design.

 

 

PSMJ_2019-Seller-Doer-IconSelling A/E/C services can be a scary concept for many architects and engineers never exposed to step-by-step instructions PROVEN to work. PSMJ’s new  A/E/C Seller-Doer Success Bootcamp is the essential training program for turning creative and technically skilled staff into enthusiastic sales engines for your firm. Over two intensive and interactive days, acquire techniques and confidence to radically shift thinking and embrace a new and valuable role that can dramatically improve your balance sheet.

Register Now!

 

SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG:
January 23, 2020

7 PM Strategies to Differentiate You From the Pack

As I've travelled the country teaching PSMJ's Project Management Bootcamp, I've found that most architecture and engineering firm projects managers are hungry to learn about the..

Read More
January 21, 2020

Small Talk Doesn’t Have to Suck

As architecture and engineering firm business developers, you’re often beating that “Everyone markets!” drum. Yet, you also recognize that in order for staff to deliver on these..

Read More
January 20, 2020

How to Get Millennials to Buy In to Firm Ownership

While current Baby Boomers are looking to retire, few Gen Xers are ready to take over the reins. Because there’s not a lot of them, trying to transfer your architecture or..

Read More