Negotiating Contracts with Clients and New Employers
Recently I negotiated and authorized a contract with someone fairly new to business. The interaction led me to realize others may benefit from the experience and following advice offered. Those of you seeking work, read this to understand both sides of the issue.
1. Instead of asking someone to "sign" a contract, ask them to "authorize" the contract. Signing makes people feel they are liable, while authorizing gives an air of importance – or so I was taught!
2. Be open to negotiating what are reasonable requests. The idea is for everyone to be happy with the end result. After all the details are agreed upon, revise the contract by making requested deletions or substitutions, and including the new requests.
3. Keep communication lines open throughout the process and long afterward. As the seller, make certain the prospect is happy every step of the way. Once the prospect authorizes the contract to become your client, let them know the moment the contract and deposit are received. Remain in touch as often as the client prefers – ask if you are uncertain; while you are at it, ask which method of communication is preferred.
After the sale, don't get lost. Be certain happiness was found wtih your services. Yes! is the obvious correct answer. Once you hear it, this is the perfect time to ask if by chance they know of another who might need similar services. If you had a great experience working together, and you hear the exclamation of how terrific you are, this is the time you ask permission to use their words as a testimonial. Get the permission in writing via email and save in an online permission file.
On the other side of the coin, after a great interview and upon being offered a job, you will be handed a contract. Review it CAREFULLY. Make certain everything you spoke about is in the contract. Anything that you believe needs to be changed has to be addressed prior to authorizing. Ask you receive a revised contract. It's nerve wracking, but at this point the company already invested a lot money to select you, they want it completed as much as you do!
Contracts are the last step for finalizing the sale and also the beginning step for building a returning and referring clientele. Done correctly, you will be headed for a continual Smooth Sale!
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