It is important to analyze what is happening during a business transaction at the negotiation table. 1. People are bartering about price for a service. 2. People are attempting to “sell” or “upsell” a particular service. and lastly 3. They are trying to close the deal.
Where does an attorney fit in?
When a good attorney is at the table, the attorney is going to attempt to define the service provided as best as possible. In an IT world, we are going for concrete specifications, whether that is passed on packet loss, satisfactory performance, or goods manufactured to specific details. This is going to help in bartering for the price. Maybe the other party is worried that the price is too high and won't get the performance while paying large fees. If the attorney were there, they could contribute by adding in clauses to the deal that would allocate recourse if the contract was not performed up to specification. In defining those specifications and working out the recourses at the negotiation table, not only with the service provider be happier in knowing exactly what they are committing to, and striving to meet that performance goal, the other party is going to feel comfortable in knowing that he hasn't just thrown a large amount of money out the window without a guarantee of product.
If you have a business minded attorney that knows your product and knows your business, the attorney should be able to sell and upsell your product as good, if not better than your sales team. After all, Attorney's are trained in the art of persuasion. Some shine in the courtroom, others shine at the negotiation table, choose the right attorney for the right job.
Lastly, they can help close the deal. That is one thing that attorneys are generally very good at. After all, they got their clients to sign on the dotted line. I would assume they can add that incentive to help close your deal as well.
In the end, get your attorney in there early. Define the objectives, sell the service, and close the deal. After all, business is supposed to be fun, isn't it?