When Negotiating a Deal, Do This One Important Thing
Making up a well-drawn contract and presenting it after negotiations have concluded does not have to be expensive, time consuming or complicated. It does not indicate mistrust. All terms that have been negotiated are written down in a single, easily referenced place and there is little room left for misinterpretation.
A contract makes good business sense. If your service or product is substantial in cost or has features that are flexible, then your contract importantly removes flexibility and helps ensure you are paid.
Important characteristics of a contract are that it must say what you are selling, how much you will accept, how you will perform and how the purchaser will perform. Note on the contract what process and rules will be followed should something go wrong, like “the jurisdiction for this contract is, My Town, My Province”.
Use clear English and avoid the jargon of your trade. If there are arbitrary details in your contract, a judge may favour your client when difficulties arise in the interpretation.
Using a simple but professionally drawn up agreement or terms and conditions documents makes you look professional. You are showing the client that you know what you are doing, that you are ready to stand by your word.
Telling your clients early in the negotiations that next steps will include the drawing up and signing of a contract benefits you because you are instilling confidence hat the job will be done on-time, on budget and within all specifications.
Don’t forget to have duplicates made and the initials of each party signed on each page. Plus, initialling key areas of the agreement will highlight them for the client. When sending contracts by email, send as a PDF file to better guard against changes.
Don’t ever think that a contract seems like you don’t trust the client, contracts form the basis of trust. After all, what everybody wants to have delivered whatever it is that was promised.
Call it a contract or agreement, but get it in writing. A legal agreement protects your business. If you view your contracts, as a basis of trust your clients will too.
Have Glenlake Paralegal review your contracts, before you sign them. The fee is nominal and may save you difficulty down the road.