Do you have a sales contract that you copied off the Internet, or a 20 page monstrosity filled with dusty old language like “Whereas,” “Hereinbefore,” and “Hereinabove?”
Odds are that you don’t understand the clauses in either of those forms, and neither does your sales prospect.
What could possibly go wrong with those approaches?
If you aren’t a lawyer, and you download a sales contract that you found on the Internet, do you really understand all of the sections in it? You may have stumbled onto a software license agreement that gives your customer free ownership of your source code!
The prospective customer is intimidated by all the legalese in the 20 page contract and feels compelled to send it to an attorney for review. Attorneys usually charge by the hour for their time. Long contracts cost more to review, and they invite lengthy replies that your attorney will charge to review. The common result is several rounds of revisions that take weeks to finish and cost thousands of dollars for you and your customer.
There is a better way!
Pick an attorney who lights up at the chance to create a 3-page contract that has only the essential clauses in it.
Have a few conversations with that attorney during which s/he can truly understand you and your business. That’s the way to determine what belongs in the contract and what can be left out.
Let the attorney draft the contract.
Read the draft – is it in plain English? Do you understand each clause? Does your sales manager understand each clause?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” send it back and tell the attorney what you find confusing. The attorney will be happy to fix it.
Once the contract passes those tests, it becomes a tool for gaining a competitive advantage over companies that still insist on using a 20-page monstrosity.
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Please note: the above post contains educational information. It is not intended as legal advice. Engage an attorney who is licensed in your state to get advice on dealing with any specific legal issue.
© 2017 Michael S. Oswald