One of the many skills which family lawyers have is being able to put across any point which supports their case effectively. Whether that be in writing or orally when in the Family Court, the ability to not only make an argument for something but to also win that argument is a huge factor in their success.

As such, you might think that it follows that all family lawyers are A-grade negotiators, and able to sell anyone on any point they are making at any time. That might apply to some family lawyers, and to others, but only when the point they are making relates to family law. When it comes to negotiating on matters they are less familiar with, such as business contracts, then there will be many family lawyers who are well outside their comfort zone.

Business negotiations are a completely different discipline from arguing a family law case, and whilst there might be some principles that apply to both, when it comes to the practicalities of doing each of them, there are several differences. So, we thought it would be useful for any family lawyers who wish to improve their business negotiation skills to highlight five top tactics which all professional business negotiators follow.

Tactic #1 – Get Help

There is no glory in taking on a business contract negotiation all by yourself, especially if you end up with a poorer outcome than you could have. Instead, seek help from other professionals whose level of expertise applies to the matter the contract relates to. For example, if negotiating the lease on new office premises seek advice or representation of a commercial real estate expert or a commercial lawyer who specialises in commercial rental agreements.

Tactic #2 – Take Control

Your experience as a family lawyer will tell you that the more you can control the progress and narrative within a family law case the better your chances of a favourable outcome. That exact principle of control applies equally to business negotiations. In whichever way you can, be it with the timing of the negotiations or for the specific clauses being included in the contract, seek to control as much of these as you can.

Tactic #3 – Negotiate One Point At A Time

One danger within any business contract negotiation is becoming overwhelmed. This tends to happen if the whole contract is being negotiated in its entirety. To counter this, negotiate with the other party on the basis that each section or clause within the contract is agreed upon one by one. This ensures that overwhelm does not occur and also that the final overall agreement is more likely one that is in your favour.

Tactic #4 – Do Not Rush

This is a simple principle, but also one which is extremely important as countless poor deals are created due to one or both parties try rushing the entire process. Little is gained by a fast agreement that does serve you, so take your time and if the other party tries to rush you, resist their impatience. A positive outcome is more likely if you negotiate without feeling hurried.

Tactic #5 – Assume There Will Be Surprises

Finally, we encourage you to expect the unexpected. A negotiating tactic you may encounter is the other party introducing surprise elements to proceedings. To counter this, brainstorm everything you can as to what they might have up their sleeve before negotiations and have a response ready for them all.