Six Objectives When Negotiating Contracts

In working with clients, contracts are necessary. Instead of looking at contracts from a negative light, you can look at them from a different perspective, a perspective of clarification and success for both parties.

The successful professional should always employ basic strategies when negotiating a contract with clients in order to achieve six major objectives:
  1. avoidance of misunderstanding and clarification, 
  2. maintenance of working independence and freedom to perform the work,
  3. assurance of work and not giving away your expertise free of charge,
  4. assurance of payment since you are not a bank,
  5. avoidance of liability since you are human and do make honest errors as well as there are some things that are just beyond your control, and
  6. prevention of litigation.
The purpose and meaning of the word “strategy” as it is used here is not to mislead the client or to be devious with him. Instead, a strategy is about how to assure both parties that these six goals, which are in your mutual interest, will be reached.

When working with clients, the biggest problem comes about from "soft" things, usually misunderstanding, missed expectations, and a differing of opinions. Your ability to define as much as you possibly can without approaching this from a blame-game perspective, the better off you will be. It’s always best to get everything you can on the table regarding your understanding, the client’s understanding, the objectives of the project, your approach to the project versus how the client wants you to approach the project, and making sure that the opinions of all parties involved have been voiced and addressed, is important but difficult to always achieve

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