How to Use Senior Decision-Makers in Your Negotiations

contract negotiations Apr 12, 2022

Most contract negotiations are handled by the people responsible for the day-to-day deal work. We know the company’s positions. Our job is to get the deal as far as we can based on our authority.

But when we’ve resolved everything we can, we turn to a decision-maker to make the call.

Here are three tips for how to involve those decision-makers:

1. Keep decision-makers out of the weeds

The decision-maker’s optimal role is to break the stalemate after the other issues are finalized. Involving decision-makers in the details wastes their time and can slow things down. It also dilutes the effectiveness when they do get involved.

2. Have clarity about which decision-maker decides what

For many companies, there is not a single decision-maker. Make sure your front-line deal team knows who to ask for what decisions.

3. Evaluate whether to involve them in direct discussions

I prefer not to have decision-makers on calls unless absolutely necessary and then only at the end. This avoids the back and forth. Then when I deliver the decisions, I’m just relaying a message. This approach discourages further haggling with me over the decision.

Join 6,000+ lawyers and professionals who receive our free weekly contract training newsletter. 

Sign up now