Sharks are the potential clients or vendors who say you have to accept their (contractual) terms. “After all, they’re standard terms”.
Someone else’s “standard” agreement can be ruinous for you and your bottom line. Don’t allow a client’s proposed “standard” contract to put all the risk on you. It is much better to have your own “standard” agreement be part of your quotation package!
At the same time, an agreement must be fair to both sides. Review and negotation of conflicting terms should start at the RFP stage. Your sales agreement sets the basis for negotations if there are conflicting terms. see our post: Battle-of-the-Forms
You should not accept the responsibility of a one-sided contract. If your potential customer insists on only his terms, then you should consider not taking-on the additional risk. As always, this is a judgement call by you – measured against the level of risk your attorney reccomends as acceptable in view of your financial and strategic goals.
I’ll leave you with this thought: if a client insists on his terms over yours, then raise your quotation to cover protections needed, for example, purchase of an “errors & omissions” insurance policy [or other appropriate protections as defined by your attorney] specific for this one engagement, and spike it out as a line item in the proposal.