December 15 by Zack Alspaugh

20th Century Fox has launched an awesome new campaign for their upcoming film Taken 3, in which protagonist Bryan Mills (played by Liam Neeson) will endorse a lucky winner for a “particular set of skills” on his or her LinkedIn profile.

For those of you who have never seen any of the films from the Taken saga, someone near and dear to Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA operative is kidnapped and held for ransom. Mills uses his very “particular set of skills,” (his CIA training) to track down and punish those responsible.

Although I can’t provide you the skills to hunt down bad guys and kick some serious butt, I can help you develop your contract management skills and hopefully have them endorsed by Bryan Mills.

Time for Contract ManagementContracts govern over 80% of your transactions, and play a critical role in eliminating risk and costs from your customer engagements. Effective contract management is only possible when you have an in-depth understanding of the full contract lifecycle, which includes everything from contract request, to contract creation, negotiation, execution, and beyond.

As Liam Neeson mentions above, one of Bryan Mills’s key skills is contract negotiation. Negotiation is a critical part of contract management because there’s more on the line than product price, like penalties for agreement violations or a kidnapped daughter. Everything about a given business exchange is included in a contract, and you want to make sure the terms favor your business as much as possible.

To ensure that contracts land in your favor, it’s important to start negotiation from a position of strength. For Bryan Mills, that usually means strapping a henchman to a chair and using the threat of violence to get what he wants. Although this technique proves to be very effective, I don’t advise this for your business negotiations.

A more appropriate way to start from a position of strength is ensuring your contracts include the most up-to-date terms, and leverage an iron-clad tracking tool to catch any changes from the counterparty. Sometimes tracking changes is conceivable in Word, but in most cases, the contract passes through too many hands and inboxes for Word to effectively handle all of the edits. With a contract management solution, all changes made to a contract during the negotiation phase can be tracked in real time to give visibility to all involved. This is a huge step toward maintaining accuracy and consistency throughout negotiations.

For more contract tips and skills to develop, be sure to download The Ultimate Guide to Contract Lifecycle Management.

Join the Twitter Conversation: “I have a very particular set of skills…such as contract negotiations.” – @TakenMovies #taken3 |

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