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:
September 15, 2020

CARES Act Revises NOL Rules and Opens Door for Unclaimed R&D Tax Credits

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides companies and individuals with a host of tax saving opportunities. We previously discussed the benefits..

Read More
September 10, 2020

SDNY Court Invalidates Parts of Recent DOL Guidance

A recent court decision has thrown into question some key federal government guidelines on COVID-related sick leave and family leave that AEC firms are following during the..

Read More
August 27, 2020

Is There Life After a Private Equity Investment?

M&A activity in the A/E/C space is far from dead right now. To the contrary, it remains quite active as many firm leaders continue to wrestle with long-term ownership transition..

Read More