How to gain the upper hand in negotiating new contracts or upgrading services with technology companies

It’s time to negotiate a new contract or consider upgrading services with one of your leading suppliers. As you recall, the old contract had only a few issues. Do you remember in detail what they were?

If you don’t, you will be disadvantaged when you sit at the negotiation table. You can bet the sales team sitting across from you prepped thoroughly and will put their best foot forward. Bringing up issues or problems with the last contract gives you leverage.

Thorough preparation before the negotiation remains one of the best ways to gain the upper hand. Gather as much information from your employees about how the contract or service works. Take down in detail any problems they’re experiencing.

If possible, include an employee experienced in how the service works at the negotiations. Discuss with them how you want the meeting to proceed and their part. A team of two heightens the chance of gaining the upper hand.

You can bet if you’re using software that you haven’t upgraded for a while, the sales team will bring up their newest version, especially if you’ve balked at the upgrade. It’s important to be ready with the issues around upgrading and the value you may or may not receive. You stand a good chance of getting a better deal.

Remind your team to keep their responses muted to any exciting news from the sales team or what they consider a “great offer.” Keeping a “poker face” in negotiations throws off the other team. They often offer more than you expected if they don’t receive the desired response.

Author: Kris Keppeler, a writer who finds technology fascinating and loves humor. She writes for Crossing Genres on and Does This Happen to You? on Channillo. Award-winning podcast producer who enjoys telling stories. Follow her @KrisKKAria on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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