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contract redlining
8 min read

Tips for Contract Redlining to Close More Deals

Welcome to How to Redline, presented by LinkSquares. Our goal here is simple: We want to help you close deals with ease with the best redlining practices. So, let's dive right in! In this post, we'll cover common redlining mistakes to avoid and share tips and tricks to help you close those deals smoothly. Read on and equip yourself with the tools you need to negotiate efficiently and close deals in no time. 

Contract Redlining Issue: You can’t see the forest for the trees. 

Redlining isn’t one size fits all, so lawyers need to be thoughtful in their approach. When there’s too much focus on specific language instead of concepts, you run into issues. Watch this video to learn the best way to address this. 

Lawyers should always read language and think, how can I be creative and accept this? This forces staff to slow down, consider intent, and work to accommodate. 

Poor redliners forget this principle. Their default is to strike entire sections and add back vetted language – even if they are comfortable with the concept. Maybe the edits are minor, but the massive rip-and-replace red area is… alarming.

In the spirit of minimal marks, think about how much you actually need to define. 

Weave in light language edits to signal partnership. This shift shows others that you’ve read and understand contract intent and aren’t out to ‘win’ the language negotiation.

Contract redlining tip: Don’t fear the phone. After 2-3 back-and-forths defining terms​​, a thread should give way to conversation. Setting up a call saves more time than you’d imagine and builds a better relationship naturally.

Contract Redlining Issue: To internal teams, red means “problem.”

Heads up: Too much red in contracts can be interpreted as unreasonableness to stakeholders that weren’t initially involved in the negotiation. Check out this video for some great tips on avoiding documents that look like they've been through a warzone.

A salesperson, for example, may not be privy to the discussion surrounding contract edits. When they open the document and see a red-smeared page, their reaction may be, ‘I’m not sending this over!’

This fuels a (totally false) sense of distrust between legal and other teams. Even if the edits are minor, redlines usually look worse than they are.  

Contract redlining tips: 

  • When possible, work within the existing text. You may be able to write a paragraph better, but if the words get a deal done, leave them. 
  • Accept agreed-upon changes (including deletions) and ensure they return to the original black text color. 
  • If you need to make a partial change, weave your edit in. Don’t reject an entire section, then paste the previous text back in alongside your edit.

Thanks for watching! If you want more contract redlining tips, dive into the full guide here. It's packed with best practices for a better contract back-and-forth to increase your impact on the bottom line. 

Alyssa Verzino is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at LinkSquares.