10 Tips for Contract Negotiations

Contract Negotiations Best Practices Video

In this video I’ll share 10 Tips that can help you close more deals in your contract negotiations. Our focus is on creating a ‘win-win-win’ mindset of collaboration so that we can negotiate a deal that works for all sides.

Why listen to me?

Because I can help you.

  • 20 years in contract negotiations – gamut of hospital sales, insurance & financial services, and real estate contracts.
  • 10 years specifically in medical device and pharma sales
  • Closed over $90+ million on hospital contracts for individual Hospitals, Systems, and GPOs
  • Business Acumen: Contracting Analysis, Drafting Agreements, Negotiations, Formulary/Protocol projects, Supply Chain, GPO, and System Agreements, Reimbursement, T&C’s

If you like my tips, connect with me so we can help each other…

Contract Negotiation Best Practices – Summary of Tips

  1. Right Attitude
  2. Know Your Customer
  3. How to use Evidence
  5. Don’t be Hasty and Miss the Way
  6. The Influence of Others
  7. What am I Buying?
  8. Be Creative with T’s & C’s
  9. Connect the Dots
  10. Cross the Goal Line…and Beyond

Contract Negotiation Best Practices

Contract Negotiation Best Practices Explained…

Tip 1 – Right Attitude

  1. me vs them vs US.
  2. Focus on the WHY.
  3. Focus on Collaboration
  4. Don’t take it Personal – even if it gets nasty – everyone has a job to do, some people are trained to try to use manipulation/aggression to get what they want. Combat Aggression with Calmness

Tip 2 – Know Your Customer

  1. Sun Tzu (every battle is won or lost before it is fought).
  2. Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis
  3. Pre-meetings to gain intelligence.
  4. Talking to KOLS who won’t be at meeting.

Tip 3 – How to use Evidence

  1. Provide Data to backup your claims.
    • Examples: value sheets, usage history, comparison to similar customers.
  2. Testimonials.
  3. Review real situations of benefits at this institution

Tip 4 – LISTEN

  1. Let the customer talk. Listen. Take notes.
  2. Really HEAR what they are saying.
  3. The pearls they provide are the keys to really understand what they want/desire/NEED in order to get the deal done.
  4. Example: price vs reimbursement (solution opportunity = real value)

Tip 5 – Don’t Be Hasty and Miss the Way

  1. Use the Wisdom of Solomon
  2. If things are going south, take a breather, don’t agree to do things under pressure.
  3. If don’t know all answers, Get back to them, continue moving forward.
  4. Remind everyone of the goal.

Tip 6 – The Influence of Others

  1. Using your Pseudo Sales Force
  2. Priming the Pump
  3. During Negotiations, Before the Close

Tip 7 – What Am I Buying?

  1. Ensure contract signers know what they are buying.
  2. Often sigs are not users. Do they really understand the product?
  3. Example: Value Sheets.
  4. Focus on VALUE vs just bottom line pricing.
  5. Focus on what’s really important
  6. Example of Neonatal Product/Most Fragile Patients

Tip 8 – Be Creative with T’s and C’s

  1. Offer desired ‘premiums’ (free training, reimbursement advice, extra equipment/supplies, etc).
  2. Adjust contract time period.
  3. Customize T&C’s where possible.
  4. Offer system agreements.
  5. Use volume based pricing.
  6. Etc.

Tip 9 – Connect the Dots

  1. Trace the path from your product to their ‘sales’ to their customers’ happiness.
  2. Create a Win-Win-Win Mindset.

Tip 10 – Cross the Goal Line…and Beyond

  1. Keep the ball moving towards the end zone with all parties.
  2. That means follow-up on what you promised to deliver.
  3. Follow-up on customer questions/ideas.
  4. Keep pushing to the close.
  5. BUT is also means follow-up AFTER the deal is signed.
  6. Ensure the customer is happy and that they are using the product effectively.
  7. Offer them ongoing training and touch points.
  8. Stay involved.
  9. Keep them happy and develop them as a partner who will not only be happy with you but will tell others too.

Looking beyond…

These 10 tips have helped me achieve contract negotiation and sales success for 20+ years. I’m certain they can help you too.  And if YOU have a tip to share with me, please do so.

What to Read Next…

Essential Guide to Pre-Call Planning for Sales – The Pharmaceutical Sales Edition

Pharmaceutical Sales Call – Best Practice Ideas

4 thoughts on “10 Tips for Contract Negotiations”

  1. Hello Helpful Dad – these are great tips. In my negotiations, I start out knowing what I need and want. I do not play games in the negotiation, but prefer to deal directly and honestly with the other side. A starting point is to assume that (a) we both want to come to an agreement, (b) both sides are acting as honest brokers, and (c) worst case, if we cannot agree I will walk away before giving up more than I can afford to.
    I think all of these principles fit within your guidelines, too.

    • Great advice, MCThomsett. I think your prep in advance and having the right mindset about a starting point are excellent best practices. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Helpful Dad!

    Thanks for the tips! They are great! Serious and funny at the same time….
    I was looking for Employment Contract negotiation tips, for an expat job some company is proposing me suddenly, and I found you. Although a bit different, most of it is still very useful. Especially Tip 1 till 5!
    Keep on the good work and I am going to check out your Salomon’s wisdom.
    Thank you.


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