Contracts should further your sales process. Your contract, since it is the last thing you give your client to close the deal should do just that: close the deal. It shouldn’t be a formality. It shouldn’t be something you are scared about. If you create a contract to work with your sales system, you don’t want it to stop the sale before it ever happens. Your contract should be a fair description of the relationship you expect to have with your customers. If that is the case, the way you start your contract is important.
We have talked before about starting your contract. We have talked about the pieces that make up the beginning of your contract before you even get into the terms of the agreement.
All of those conversations were from a legal standpoint. We discussed some tips and tricks of how to make your contract easier to read, but today, let’s talk about making your contract easier to sell.
Let’s start by talking about the recitals in the opening paragraph of your contract. You may think that the recitals don’t matter. In fact, the recitals are technically not a part of the agreement between the parties. But, the recitals are there to describe the circumstances surrounding your contract. Recitals are there to make it clear to anyone who reads the contract later why the contract exists and to give any relevant background information.
There are four primary types of recitals: (1) those that describe the circumstances leading to the agreement; (2) those that set out what the parties desire from the agreement; (3) those that describe other agreements entered at the same time as the contract in question; (4) recitals that lead into the body of the contract.
It is not necessary to have all of these. You don’t want to overdo it on the recitals, but you do want to explain the agreement. And, in the case of a customer agreement, it is a chance for you to outline why you are especially skilled at your job and what is being accomplished in the agreement.
So, in the case of your customer agreement, you may want to have recitals that lay out your value proposition clearly. Remember, your contract is part of your sales process, so you should still be using the contract to show the value that you bring to the table.
You could have a recital that describes the problems that you resolve. Perhaps something like:
- ABC Biz is in the business of providing technology solutions that help businesses increase their conversion rates online.
- Client is in need of growing its business by increasing its online conversion rate.
As you can see, the recitals will not impact how the agreement is read. The recitals will not necessarily change the interpretation of the contract. But, the recitals will be read. The recitals will add to the sales process by cementing in the brain of your prospect the idea that you provide the solution they need.
Just like in blog posts and articles, the opening paragraph is important. In the case of a contract, the recitals are the first thing most readers will notice because the sentence that comes before it only has names and dates in it. So, in your customer agreement, use it to further your sales process.