Negotiations: Put Your Turn Signal On

If you don’t ask, the answer is always “no”.  So ask.  Some people are better at this than others, but everyone can learn.  If someone gives you a form contract to sign, and parts of it are offensive, ask to have them removed.  They may say no . . . but they may say yes.  It is like turning your turn signal on while driving on the highway: sometimes someone will let you in.  Sometimes that isn’t enough, and you have take even more assertive steps; but the first step is to make the request.

One way this comes up a lot is when you get a form contract or are otherwise starting from the other party’s contract.  It is especially true when the other party sends a PDF of the agreement, which is one of my personal pet peeves — the implied assumption being that you will have no need to edit it.  Ask for a Word document, and make the changes you need in track-changes mode.

Laborghini “taxi” photo by Damian Morys, cc-by.

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