Contract negotiating and signing

Were you ever shocked when a new client didn’t want to sign your contract? 
Although you did all the right things and you both
  • agreed you were a good fit to work together
  • agreed on the price
  • agreed when you need to start with the work (immediately) and by when you’re expected to deliver the result (very soon).
Then you get an email from that same client telling you she will not sign it. 
In this post, I’m going to share with you some practical tips that will help you get your contract signed, so you are both on the safe side.

Stay In Control of the Conversation to ensure Your New Client signs your Contract

VA’s often tell me they just don’t know what to say after they hear ’No, I don’t want to sign this contract’.

a) Imagine you stay quiet after you hear a No. 

If you go down that road you will probably keep on wondering why they said no for a few days. This will drain your energy, self-confidence and your precious time. It might keep you from getting in touch with other potential clients for weeks. Please, don’t do this to yourself (and your business)!
You also have another option. 

b) Find out the real reason your new client rejects signing your contract

Continue asking questions to find out what is the reason for it, discuss it as business partners who are eager to find a way to make it work somehow.
By choosing this road:
  • you stay in control
  • you lead the conversations
  • you ensure you are both safe

Over a decade I’ve helped hundreds of teams as a lawyer, mediator and teamwork coach to collaborate with ease. Teams became more comfortable having ’those’ difficult conversations and it made their collaboration more enjoyable and profitable. I let you know this not to boast, but so you know you’re in safe hands with me.

The main reason clients are not ready to sign the contract yet

If the client said yes, let’s work together and then not signing the contract, that’s a sign something is worrying them. 
When you find out what exactly is worrying them about your contract, you can address it and resolve the issue.
Here are the 2 most typical reasons why clients reject signing a contract:

1. the client doesn’t understand everything in the contract

Nowadays people don’t want to sign papers that are not written in plain English. If we don’t understand it we don’t want to sign it. It’s risky. It’s easier to say no. Who wants to go to their lawyer to translate this legal jargon, right?
Find out if this is the reason stopping your client from signing your contract.
You can ask something like:
‘What exactly is making this contract difficult for you to sign?’ 
Listen to their answer carefully. Be ready to hear their concerns.
If they say the contract is too complicated, you can ask something like:
‘Would it help you if I walk you through the contract so we both understand what exactly this means and why it’s there. If we find things that that wet want to be there, we can delete or adept them. Would that be ok?’
If they are open, explain the contract to your client in words he/she will understand.
Check if they follow you and encourage them to ask questions. Remember nobody wants to look stupid and ask a silly question. 
Your thorough, kind and patient explanation will help your new client understand how you like to work and learn why this works for you and your other clients. This will give them reassurance and show that you care and that you have a proven work rules. They will know what they can expect from working with you.
If you realise your contract is written in a complicated legal jargon, why not change the contract to something more user-friendly?  You might find those contracts easy to understand, prepared by the UK lawyer, specialised for VA contracts: 

2. the client has different expectations 

3. the client doesn’t agree with the content

When you’ve discussed the contract with your client you made sure the client understands it. 
What if the client is still not ready to sign it?
Don’t think it’s already the end of the conversation. 
It ain’t over until you are sure what is his / her true concern, what exactly is not acceptable, why is this so important to him / her and what would need to be there so it would become acceptable.
You can ask something like:
‘Which sentence would you like we take a look at? What is your biggest concern here? Let’s find a way how we can solve this, ok?’
When you ask your questions, be curious. And when they speak you listen to what they say and what they’re not saying out loud.
You can do this!
When you double check their worries and what are their interests, evaluate if this issue is crucial for you or can you be flexible around it? Is there a way you can change it a bit so you’re both happy with it? If  this  provision is essential for your workflow and your client is not ready to take this obligation, it’s the moment you see you would eventually come to bigger problems if you started working without addressing it. So it’s better to go separate ways without hard feelings.

3 things any VA can do to hear YES, let’s sign your contract

 Remember, don’t just assume you know their reason, find out what it is.

 Do you want we prepare together so you can talk with your new client in a confident way that will help your client sign your contract? Contact me now.


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