It was a normal Thursday in my office by all accounts. There were calls to be made, calls to be returned, talent to recruit, emails to be written and emails to be returned, job descriptions to be written and more.
One special event on this particular Thursday was a scheduled call with a large company’s in-house counsel. Lawyers are all bad aren’t they? Well, I’ve run into my share of not-so-good lawyers but on this particular Thursday, I had a contract negotiation experience with a lawyer that I just have to share with you. She was outstanding!
I’ll call the lawyer Sue. Sue called at our agreed-upon time and the call was in motion. She asked me to talk to her about the issues I had with the contract she’d sent over. I started at the top and quickly got to a place in the contract where she was asking for 6 months and I offered 1 year. This move on my part threw Sue for a loop.
In her mind, I knew I’d just confused here logical thinking process. I offered something in a negotiation where I’m pretty sure Sue’s brain was ready to play defense. Instead, she got to say “Yes” and accept a concession she wasn’t expecting.
The next issue we got to was an issue where she was asking for $3,000,000 in coverage and I only had $1,000,000 to offer. We got through this part of our discussion in 5 minutes and the final number was $1,000,000.
Then we moved on to a “Guarantee” topic. Sue argued that my competitors were offering much more than I was willing to give. I suggested that her competitors (other companies in need of Cybersecurity talent) were offering much better terms than she was willing to give. This topic took a little bit more discussion than the previous topics but at the end of the discussion, we agree to terms and minutes later, a revised contract landed in my Inbox.
Did I “Win” this negotiation? Yes I did. Did Sue get to “Win” this negotiation? Yes she did. We both approached the negotiation with the mindset that a fair and balanced contract was our goal. This negotiation energized me for Thursday and I got to carry the energy into Friday.
Negotiation can be fun and energizing if you learn to approach the experience with the right mindset. Negotiating so that one party wins and the other party loses generally is not the best choice.
One more thing I’d like to share about my experience with Sue. An hour or so after our negotiation, I was surprised when Sue sent an invitation to me for us to connect on LinkedIn. I think the negotiation went well.
I love to negotiate!