Tips on how to negotiate a good tender contract

It is common for contractors to win tenders only to start complaining shortly after, claiming they were given bad deals. This could be because of poor negotiating skills or the fact that the firm ignored some key factors like the project delivery date and cost.
A worker cleans a floor in a Kigali hotel. Negotiation skills are key for one to  get a good deal. The New Times / Ivan Ngoboka
A worker cleans a floor in a Kigali hotel. Negotiation skills are key for one to get a good deal. The New Times / Ivan Ngoboka

It is common for contractors to win tenders only to start complaining shortly after, claiming they were given bad deals.

This could be because of poor negotiating skills or the fact that the firm ignored some key factors like the project delivery date and cost. 

If your company has experienced this situation, the tips hereunder could help you negotiate a better contract in the future.

Justin Uwineza, the director of Fenix, a business consultancy firm in Remera, Kigali, says it is important for one to identify project requirements before signing the contract.

“You need to know what is required of you as a contractor. It is especially important for the contract not to be under budget,” she says.

“You should calculate proper and know exactly how long you would take on the contract.”

She adds that it is vital to make a list of things you can compromise on, and the terms you are not willing to negotiate.

She warns, however, that one should never compromise on quality whatever the reason.

Uwineza notes that if you are in a position to quote your price, ask for more than you expect to get.

She points out that it is always good to make the project owner feel that they are getting a better dealer by lowering your ‘unrealistic expectations’.

Remember, you have to be flexible sometimes to get the a good deal,” she notes.

Ben Murima, the chief executive officer of Albeit, a procurement and logistics company, advises that it’s important to also involve your lawyers, since successful contracts are usually a team effort.

“Involve your lawyers at an early stage because they  offer useful skills, such as clear and accurate recording of the commercial terms of the deal, and they may have experience that will assist you in the negotiations. In fact, lawyers are well-placed to fill in any gaps that you may have left in your commercial discussions,” Murima points out.

Geraldine Uwacu, a procurement expert in Musanze, Northern Province, says one has to be bold, noting that some people are shy to talk about money.

Others think it’s rude or demeaning.

If an experienced negotiator, senses that you are timid, they will take advantage of that and offer you a bad contract.

She also warns contractors or those negotiating on their behalf never to get emotionally involved with the deal.

“Sometimes expert negotiators will try to stimulate an emotional response from you in order to get their way. Some can even shout, threaten and make demands in order to manipulate you.

“In such a case, keep calm, patient and friendly, even when the other person loses their cool. Make sure you leave any pride or ego at the door,” she counsels.

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News