Presenting a “standard contract” sounds like all contracts covering a certain type transaction are the same—they meet a standard. That is incorrect. State and federal governments impose standards to protect consumers, usually in borrowing and installment sale situations. Still, you should read what else the other side has added, maybe literally in fine print. Sign no contract without reading it. If someone presents you a “standard” contract then he or she is trying to get you to meet his or her standard. It may not be very good for you.
You would then do well to read carefully and ask for the meaning of anything that is too complicated to understand. When they tell you the meaning, ask why not just say that. If you understand something and don’t like it, suggest language that would work better for you.
You would be surprised what you can negotiate, like general contract terms (‘what-ifs’) the interest rate or late payment charge on your credit card, terms on a car loan or a cell-phone contract, which title company will check the title on your house purchase, etc. You can negotiate almost anything (except maybe the price of bag of frozen peas at a supermarket).
If you have something the other side wants, such as keeping a good account or getting a contract with you, they will negotiate with you, although sometimes with great unhappiness and drama. And don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad deal.