This is part four of the Aidpreneur.com training on Negotiation for RFAs, RFPs and RFQs. At this stage in the training we’ve discussed the critical points related to the substance of the work that you’ll be performing for your client and how that work is then translated into the legalese of a written contract.The bottom line of this training is that contracts are very important because they define the rights, duties and obligations you and your client have to one another. Your contract should also clearly define the work that you’ll be performing, what you are expected to deliver and any other detail that is important to the assignment such as the timeline, the pricing, and your staff and partners. As an independent professional or a leader in a small company, it’s in your interest to get comfortable with contract negotiation as well as reading and understanding the legalese within a contract. Rather than approaching this part of your work with apprehension or insecurity, becoming comfortable with this aspect will empower you and give you more leverage when working with your client.
As I’ve stressed several times in other sections of this training, contracts are important, but really only a small part of the reality of how the work actually plays out between you and your client. Because of the size of work that you perform, financially speaking, the legal costs of you suing your client or vice versa or someone taking a injunctive or legal action against you is cost prohibitive. However, life happens and sometimes things can go pear shaped. I’ve always found that the best thing that you can do is to step back when you’re having a problem ask yourself what the worst-case scenario could possibly be, and then present the issues to your client in an honest and open forum. Ultimately, your client is interested in your success and the success of your project and will do whatever is in their power to make sure you can achieve your objectives.
Going further on this point, rather than concentrating on the dotted eyes and crossed tees of your contract, the best, best things that you can do are under promise and over deliver, commit yourself to maintaining superb client relationships, always deliver extraordinary quality and value, and communicate clearly and often. If you do these simple commonsense business practices you will never find yourself with a need for a lawyer.
After you’ve executed your contract it’s time for your business development staff to let go and hand over the project to project management team (who, hopefully, have been a part of the contract negotiation process all along). Our next set of trainings focus on managing those projects that you win and delivering value for your clients.
This is the official end of the business development cycle here at Aidpreneur. Thank you for participating in this training on Negotiation for RFAs, RFPs and RFQs. I hope you’ll join us for our next series on project management. And remember if you have any questions at all please contact us at training@Aidpreneur.com.