Do you remember what it feels like to get an English essay back from your teacher and the teacher has scribbled comments all over it? You did put some work into it but somehow the structure…. (And you didn’t quite cover the items you were supposed to write about. But we’ll talk about that in another article, this one’s about structure.)
And now you’ve been asked to consider the teacher’s comments and re-do it. More time! Time that you could have been hanging out with your friends.
Is this also now how you feel when you get an agreement back from your customer and they need a whole lot of changes made before they can sign it? A kind of sinking feeling…
One Reason Customers Don’t Sign Your Agreements Straight Away
Just like a good essay, a good agreement has structure. There’s a natural place for different types of clauses to go. The structure means we put clauses of a certain type together. This gives the agreement a certain flow. It also makes it easy to find things. There’s a logic to it.
The structure makes it easy to read. Think of it like a framework. If the framework of a house is not well built, the house will not be well built. Likewise, if an agreement has poor structure, the agreement will not be good.
This is one of the reasons that your English teacher looked for good structure (amongst other things) in your essay.
It’s also one reason that some agreements are so much easier to read than others.
If the structure is not there, customers will delay in signing. Of course, they don’t think ‘I don’t like the structure of this agreement and so I am not going to buy this service’. They simply find it hard to read your agreement (yes, this is true even for the legal team) … and so they delay in signing it.
Do you hope that your agreements are okay – like this Managed Service Provider?
Recently I was reviewing a Managed Service Provider Agreement for a large corporate who wanted to use the MSPs managed service. After a while I phoned the contracts manager and said, ‘It looks like they have put this together by combining a few different agreements and terms and conditions. There is No Structure to it.’
‘That’s right,’ the contract manager said, ‘they told me that they had produced it from several existing agreements because this is a new managed service. They were hoping it would be okay.’
‘Well,’ I said, ‘we need to revise it, that way we’ll get everything in the right place and start to see the real picture of what is being offered. This will take time….’ (It was a 36 page agreement)
I want to add here: This is not a reason for having no agreement. Having no agreement is just asking for trouble (another article!)
Now if you take this ‘hoping’ approach at school with an English essay, you might get a low grade. And have to spend more time later.
But if you take this ‘hoping’ approach in business, with your agreements, you will experience a delay in agreements being signed. You will ultimately have to spend more time than if you took more care in the first place. And the Customer will not start paying until later… so it will cost you not only time but also will cost your business money.
Are you experiencing this problem?
Customers delaying in signing your agreements?
... here’s what I’m offering:
We can help! If your customers delay in signing your agreements and you’re concerned about the cost impact of this to your business … message us NOW to discuss how we can help you, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free chat.
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