As a young salesperson it always seemed like contracts took all of the fun out of a sale. There is the “high” of getting a YES from a client but then you have to get a contract agreed, with all of that “legal stuff”.
My experience is that many companies really don’t pay attention to the detail of a contract, and rather than negotiate will basically sign anything … hoping that it doesn’t come back to bite them!
There is some logic to that approach because in the large majority of situations the other party will not take advantage … but sometimes they will.
There are several reasons why it is important to negotiate a reasonable and fair contract that pays attention to the detail.
- It protects the interests of both parties, not just one.
- If you are signing on behalf of your company then you have a responsibility to protect the interests of your employer.
- If you agree to poor contract details it is a fair bet your management will be unimpressed.
- A clear contract makes decision making easy.
- A good understanding of the contract detail is a show of professionalism and given that a contract is often a first business interactions with a client you should start off in a professional manner.
- Bad things can happen when you sign up to unreasonable terms. Your company loses money, loses a client, gets a bad rep, or even goes out of business.
If you go about the negotiation in the correct manner you can get through the contract negotiations with a minimum of fuss and have a good professional start to to a business relationship. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are being “difficult” when you are just doing your job.
Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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