I work hard to make the contracts I create easy to read. I try to take the bite out of the documents, but people react to contracts. For some reason, people seem to push back on contracts from small businesses. But, if you think about the world we now live in, there is one thing we know:
People expect legal.
It isn’t that people are truly afraid of legal, it is that they view you as a person and not a company. That is what you want, but you have to overcome that hurdle when you put a legal contract in front of them. Here are a few tips to getting your agreement signed the first time.
Use Forms of Your Contract That Can’t Be Edited
Don’t send a word version of your contract in an email. People view word versions as something that can be changed. They can just open it up and make changes. And they will. On the other hand, people don’t think the same about PDFs. If you send a PDF or, even better, a link to an e-signature service, your client will view that agreement as a necessity to working with you. If your sales process has already sold them, signing a contract with you should be as simple as clicking a few buttons. After all, everyone has read the terms of service for iTunes, right?
Be Confident in Your Contract
We spent a lot of time thinking about your relationship with your customers, your payment terms, and how you can best serve your customers. Your goals are reflected in your agreement. It works as a part of your business. Your agreement is designed to protect you while being fair to your customers. So, be as confident in your legal agreement as you are in your prices. Do not be afraid of the agreement. Work on selling your agreement to your new customers as much as you work on selling your service. It is all part of the same process. After all, if you don’t have the agreement signed, it can’t protect you.
Warm Your Customer to the Contract Throughout the Process
Begin talking about the contract early. As your customer asks questions or you overcome objections, use what your contract says to help you. If the answer to a customer question is covered in the contract, let them know that. This let’s your customer know you know what is in your contract. They see your comfort with the document as a sign that you use it regularly and it is designed to outline your relationship with your customers clearly.
One of the biggest problems I see with small business contracts is that they are viewed (by both sides) as a negative thing. They are viewed as a hassle. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Contracts outline the relationship between two parties. If your customer doesn’t want to sign, you can explain to them how this contract simply puts everything you have already discussed in writing. Otherwise, you still have a contract, it is just harder to remember what it says.
You can’t be afraid to use your agreement. You should be confident in your agreement because we worked hard to make sure it was fair and thorough. It is just another part of the process. Don’t let getting your contract signed be a hindrance to working with someone new. These tips should help you get your contract signed the first time. After all, when was the last time someone refused to sign an agreement with a car dealer, or didn’t click the button to download the new software.