webmasterFebruary 2, 2017February 2, 2017Whether you run an accounting firm or are planning your next annual event, a technology rental contract is in your future. Before you reach this stage, a negotiation process must ensue. Here are several great tips to keep you grounded during this process and ensure that you and your supplier are on the same page from contract signature through contract execution. Pillar I: Negotiation Recognize shadow negotiation factors. According to Deborah Kolb, author of Negotiating at Work, there are unspoken factors that should be address before starting any negotiation. Are there hidden assumptions at play? Perhaps the two parties are members of the same professional organization and the assumption is a member discount will be extended, even though it was not discussed. Do you have unrealistic expectations? Perhaps your business is agile and the expectation is that the contract will be signed at the negotiation table. That may or may not work with the person on the other side of the table. Do you have personal history? You may assume because you have had a good experience with this vendor over the course of the last few years, this negotiation will follow suit. Try and avoid these negotiating traps and get all assumptions and expectations out of the way in first few minutes of discussion. Also, if your boss had a bad experience with the vendor fifteen years ago, keep him from the meeting. His hidden bias could affect the overall energy in the room. If you are stuck, start asking questions. If you are experiencing resistance on certain terms that are important to your organization and it looks like you might be deadlocked, start asking open-ended questions. Not only will these questions diffuse the energy in the room, but they can help identify the underlying issues. For example, perhaps you are having trouble obtaining the type of discount you would like. Maybe ask the following questions, “What discount do you feel is reasonable?” or “Could we receive that discount if our terms are different, such as a flex-rent option?” Recap the conversation via email. Immediately following the negotiations, put in writing what was agreed to and any follow-up items with target dates for completion. Ask for confirmation of the email and make sure those items make it into the contract. Pillar II: Signature Once you have the contract in front of you, refer to previous emails for inclusion and clarification. If necessary, red-line the contract and obtain initials on changes from the vendor and yourself before signing. Pillar III: Delivery You have signed the contract and delivery of the equipment is happening today. Have on hand the following: The signed contract The addendum with the types, models and quantity of equipment Before you accept the delivery, check to ensure the contract addendum and the equipment match. If you spot a problem, bring it to the attention of the vendor and don’t sign until the proper equipment is delivered or you come to a reasonable and equitable solution. Hartford Technology Rental Honors All Contracts As a veteran-owned company and GSA approved supplier, our technical sales force represents the integrity you want on the other side of the negotiating table. To keep up with updates on Hartford Technology Rental, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.