Before you finalize any business contract, you will likely go through a period of negotiations to figure out all the details of the agreement in question. If you are new to the process of contract negotiation, it’s important to understand how you can advocate for your best interest without asking for too much and derailing the process.

The following are some common contract negotiation strategies you and your attorney may be able to employ:

  • Negotiate in parts: Too many contract negotiations fall apart because the parties try to force each other to agree to all their terms without compromise. Instead, break the negotiation down into sections and reach an agreement on each individual portion of the deal. This will help you build momentum by resolving numerous issues consecutively, and will also work to keep the deal making process amicable.
  • Emphasize industry standards: During this type of negotiation, you would emphasize that what you are requesting is in line with the standards in your market. This means you have no obligation to justify your terms and should not have to spend much time advocating for them.
  • Attempt to take control: If you can control the time, location, topics or pace of the negotiation, you may have an advantage. This does not mean you should be overly assertive or aggressive with the interview process. An attorney can help you better understand how to use this strategy effectively.
  • Always look for common ground: Taking a more upbeat approach to the negotiations and finding points of agreement can help you create a more collaborative process. The more positivity in the meeting, the more likely it is that you will end up with a good outcome.
  • Have research to back you up: In general, the negotiating party that comes to the table with more information and research will have more leverage in negotiations. The information you attempt to collect varies depending on the type of contract you are negotiating, but it never hurts to know as much about the other party and information that is pertinent to the contract as possible.
  • Always prioritize: There are some revenues and risks in contract negotiations that may be more important than others. You should always be able to clearly definite your priorities and how they rank to help you stay focused on your goals during the negotiation.
  • Offer concessions: Determine what would be some acceptable concessions for you to make during the negotiation process, and use those as bargaining chips to help the other side feel like they are getting a good deal. You should always leave yourself room to negotiate, so never start off with your bottom line.

For further tips and advice when you’re negotiating an important business contract, meet with a skilled corporate law attorney in the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Steven K. Hardy is Chair of the Corporate, Tax and Estate Planning Practice Group at BoltNagi PC, a widely respected and well-established business and corporate law firm serving clients throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.