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PIPs, RIFs and Layoffs, Oh My!

Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Salesforce - many of these previously unbeatable companies are unfortunately in the news these days for conducting layoffs, PIPs and RIFs.

But what is the difference between these different acronyms? How worried should you be if you begin to hear rumors that your company is about to conduct a PIP, RIF or Layoff?

This article will explain the differences between a PIP, RIF and Layoff and hopefully give you more context on what to expect and how to plan for your future during these uncertain times.

What is a RIF?

A RIF is a Reduction In Force. RIFs happen when a company decides to permanently eliminate an employee’s role. This means there’s no chance that you, or any candidate for that matter, can be re-hired for that role in the immediate future.

RIFs are extremely serious actions and typically impact large swaths of employees - such as when entire business units or teams are eliminated. RIFs are usually preceded by months of planning and even longer time periods of a business unit’s or team’s underperformance.

What is a Layoff?

A layoff is similar to a RIF but is less severe, impacts fewer employees, and is considered to be “temporary.” Layoffs happen because of “short-term” budget concerns. This means that companies hope to add these roles back when the business is more stable. 

To put another way: layoffs are surgical strikes and RIFs are nuclear bombs. Both suck, but layoffs should impact fewer people and be more selective. 

What is a PIP?

A PIP is a Performance Improvement Plan. Employees are placed on PIPs when they have been “underperforming” and their employment is “in danger.” In short, PIPs happen before an employee is terminated.

However, and most importantly, being placed on a PIP does not mean you are being terminated… YET. A well structured PIP includes: 

  • Expectations of your role tied to measurable KPIs
  • List of performance issues with specific examples and evidence
  • Quantifiable goals and timeline
  • Resources and support that the company will provide
  • Consequences if these goals are not met (usually termination)

PIPs are scary but should be considered “warning shots” instead of “executions.” If you are placed on a PIP you should start an action plan on how to improve or get a jumpstart on your recruiting efforts.

Wrapping up:

RIFs, PIPs and Layoffs are all scary. If you begin to hear rumors that your company is considering one, consider these questions:

  • Is your company over or under performing?
  • Is your business unit over or underperforming?
  • Are you over or under performing?

Next, layoffs unfortunately typically over-index to certain types of jobs and roles; you should consider if your position unfortunately puts you on the “target list”:

  • HR, Sales and Customer Success
  • Short tenure of <2 years
  • “Middle management” roles
  • Millennials

These are tough times so it pays to be hyper vigilant on what actions your company is doing, and how those actions impact you.

Coffee is for Closers - Sales Closing Strategies

A-B-C

A - Always

B - Be

C - Closing

What is sales closing?

The most important part of any sales process is the closing. The close is when you convince your customer to actually make their purchase. There are many different sales closing strategies and they all work differently depending on your product and your audience:

1. Assumptive Close

Customers buy because of confidence and competence - so show your customers both! The assumptive close assumes your customer will buy because not buying would simply be absurd.

Ask your customer if they have any questions, if not just confidently move them to the next step.

2. Puppy Dog Close / Free Trial

Imagine if a pet store let you take a cute dog home for a few days with no strings attached. How many people would return their new “best friends?” None!

The puppy dog close is also known as the free trial close. Offer your customer a no strings attached free trial and let your product do the work of closing for you.

3. Scale Close

The scale close is the sales equivalent of the playground question:
“How much do you like me on a scale of 1-10?”

The actual number your customer answers is less important than the follow-up question the scale close allows you to ask: 

“What’s keeping us from being a 10?”

This allows you to identify and then address your customer’s key objections, moving you closer to the eventual “close.”

4. Scarcity Close / Limited Time Offer

The scarcity close is a sales closing strategy we’ve all seen when we’re shopping. By using a “limited time offer” you create a sense of urgency for customers and incentivize them to move quickly for fear of missing out.

Act now while supplies last!

5. Takeaway Close / Playing Hard to Get

The takeaway close is when you tell your customer you’re not a good fit and attempt to walk away from the deal. By doing the exact opposite of what your customer expects - telling them no - the takeaway close uses reverse psychology to make your product seem more attractive and convinces your customer to actually chase you!

Note: the takeaway close works best when the reason you’re not a good fit is aspirational. You want your customer to think, “but, I am X!” For example:

“We’re not a good fit right now because our core customers are companies that are investing for growth.

Every company aspires to be a company that’s investing for growth!

6. Assisted Close

The assisted close is pretty straightforward - the assisted close asks your customer to “assist” you in closing them by simply asking:

“What else can I do to help you make your decision?”

The assisted close brings you to your customer’s side of the table and creates a consultative relationship.

7. Summary Close

The summary close is a version of the assumptive close. You simply end your meeting by summarizing all of the key points that have been agreed to. This creates a cadence of positive reinforcement:

“So to make sure we’re on the same page, we’ve agreed to X, Y, and Z?”

This gives your customer one last chance to ask questions but, more importantly, naturally leads to the assumptive close - if we’ve already agreed to everything then the only logical thing to do next is close!

At the end of the day, sales is just two humans coming to an agreement. The key to sales is asking questions, demonstrating value, building trust, and displaying confidence and competence.

The right technique will depend on your personality, your product, and your customer. Good luck!

Need to Add your Digital Signature to a Document?

Do you want to add your digital signature to a contract, letter or form? There are a lot of different options online. However, most of these solutions were built to SEND contracts for signature, not for you to SIGN a contract yourself. That’s why we’ve created this list and included our helpful how-to guides for you:

DocuSign

DocuSign is recognized as the leader in electronic signature software and is used by millions of people each year to sign contracts. DocuSign is a great solution for signing contracts but may be a bit overweight if you’re trying to add your signature to a more casual letter or form. Also, DocuSign’s free trial offer is the most limited of the solutions on this list.

Here’s our how-to guide for signing documents using DocuSign.

Smallpdf

Smallpdf is a great lightweight free tool that allows users to sign and add text to PDFs. Smallpdf is a great solution to sign a PDF. Unfortunately, Smallpdf only works on PDFs (duh) and does not have a mobile friendly option.

Here’s our how-to guide on how to use Smallpdf.

PandaDoc

PandaDoc is an up and coming DocuSign competitor. PandaDoc has comparable features and capabilities to DocuSign but is often described as easier and more approachable to use. However, using PandaDoc to SIGN an agreement for yourself requires some gymnastics.

Here’s our how-to guide for signing documents using PandaDoc.

AdobeSign, HelloSign

AdobeSign & HelloSign are similar to DocuSign and PandaDoc. They’re adequate solutions with not much differentiation from other e-signature tools in the market. 

Roger

We’re building Roger to be the easiest way to send AND SIGN agreements. Importantly, Roger was built to be easy to use on both your desktop and mobile phone. If you need to add your signature to a PDF, start here.

Conclusion

There are a lot of options for adding your digital signature to a document. However, most solutions were built to be sender-first and require customizations and gymnastics to use to sign a document yourself. Roger is the only fast, easy and mobile-friendly option.

Try Roger for FREE here.

So you got a PDF in the email… how to sign a PDF using Smallpdf

In this article we will walk you through how to use Smallpdf to fill-out and sign a PDF.

Create your Smallpdf account:

  1. Go to https://www.smallpdf.com
  2. Click “Free Trial”
  1. Enter in your email address
  2. Click on “eSign PDF”

Your Smallpdf account is now all set-up! Now let’s fill out and sign your PDF:

  1. Drag and drop or upload your PDF into Smallpdf

  1. To fill out any questions:

Click “Text Field” in the right panel

Drag and drop the text box you just created into the appropriate place on the PDF. Type in your answers.

  1. To sign the PDF:
Click “Your Signature” in the right panel

Draw your signature.

Drag and drop the digital signature you just created into the appropriate place on the PDF.

  1. Click “Finish & Sign” in the bottom right corner

  1. Click “Save” to download the file

Filling out and signing contracts shouldn’t be this hard. Try signing your contract with Roger here.

So you got a PDF in the email… how to sign a PDF using PandaDoc

Did someone just send you an agreement, contract, or PDF in your email? Are you struggling to figure out how to fill out and sign the PDF? 

This can be an extremely frustrating and confusing experience because you need to:

  • Wait until you’re home and in front of your desktop
  • Print out the PDF
  • Fill out and sign the print-out
  • Scan the print-out
  • Upload the scans to your desktop
  • Respond to the email and attach the scans

This multi-step process is manual and clunky. And if you’re on your phone or don’t have a printer? You’re outta luck.

In this article we will walk you through how to use PandaDoc to fill-out and sign a PDF.

Create your PandaDoc account:

  1. Go to https://www.pandadoc.com
  2. Click “Start free 14-day trial”
  1. Enter in your email address
  2. Create your password
  3. Enter in your contact information
  4. PandaDoc will ask you to invite your teammates to your workspace, this is optional so click “Maybe later”

Your PandaDoc account is now all set-up! Now let’s fill out and sign your PDF:

  1. Click the green “Create” button in the upper right corner

  1. Drag and drop or upload your PDF into PandaDoc

  1. To fill out any questions:

Click “Text” in the right panel

Drag and drop the text box you just created into the appropriate place on the PDF. Type your answers.

  1. To sign the PDF:
Click “Signature” in the right panel

Drag and drop the digital signature you just created into the appropriate place on the PDF

Click the “Use this template” button in the upper right corner

Now you need to send the PDF to yourself in order to sign it:

Enter in your own email address. Your First and Last name are optional.

Click on the “Signature” button

Insert your digital signature

Click on “Finish document”

You’ve just filled out and signed the PDF! Now let’s download the signed PDF so you can email it back to the person that sent it to you:

Click on “Download”

And you’re done! Now just go to your Downloads folder and find the completed PDF. You can attach and send this PDF to everyone you need to.

Filling out and signing contracts shouldn’t be this hard. Try signing your contract with Roger here.

How to Reduce your Merchant Chargebacks

What are Chargebacks?

Chargebacks are debit or credit card transactions that have been reversed from the merchant’s (your) account because your customer has disputed the charge.

Chargebacks were created in response to the increase in consumer card fraud by scammers. Credit card chargeback laws were enacted in 1974 with the Fair Credit Billing Act, an amendment to the Truth in Lending Act, and debit card chargebacks were implemented in 1978 with the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.

Why do Chargebacks happen?

Chargebacks happen for a variety of reasons such as:

  • True Fraud: the transaction was fraudulent because your customer’s debit or credit card was stolen and used by a scammer
  • Friendly Fraud: the transaction was valid but your customer disputed the charge anyway. These disputes can happen because your customer was dissatisfied with their service, they don’t recognize or have forgotten about the transaction, or they’re simply trying to get something for free
  • Merchant Error: the merchant (you) made a mistake such as shipping the wrong item

What happens during Chargebacks?

Chargebacks result in delayed or lost revenue. This happens because:

  1. When the transaction is first disputed, your customer’s bank will contact your bank and have the funds reversed from your account
  2. You will then need to decide whether to contest the chargeback or not
  3. If you decide to contest the charge, you will be asked to submit evidence and a rebuttal letter arguing why the transaction was valid and your customer’s dispute should be voided
  4. Your customer’s bank will review the evidence, make a decision, and return the funds to either the merchant (you) or your customer

What are the consequences of Chargebacks?

Chargebacks can be very expensive for merchants. When all fees and expenses are factored in, chargebacks can result in up to 2x the actual transaction amount being taken from your bank account.

In addition to lost revenue, keeping your chargeback ratio healthy is even more important. If your chargeback ratio exceeds your bank’s threshold, the bank may issue additional fines or even cancel your account

The most common chargeback threshold is ~1%.

Should you fight Chargebacks?

True Fraud and Merchant Error chargebacks are typically not worth fighting. 

However, Friendly Fraud chargebacks can and should be fought. With proper responses and documentation, you can reduce your chargebacks by up to ~70%.

How do you fight back?

One of the first steps is to examine the transaction’s chargeback reason code. All major card networks (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express) have chargeback reason codes that explain your customer’s reason for disputing the transaction.

You should then work with your sales department / customer account executive to create your chargeback dispute package. Your chargeback dispute package should contain:

  • A rebuttal letter, which is usually a written letter or a submission form, that summarizes your case, explains your evidence, and disproves your customer’s dispute claim
  • Any evidence, such as signed contracts or electronic communication like emails, that support and help prove your case

Think of your chargeback dispute package like a court case. You’re presenting arguments and evidence to convince the judge, in this case the bank, that the dispute was wrong and the money should be returned to you.

A key part of any chargeback dispute case is having a strong, legally signed contract that clearly states the terms that both sides agreed to. Roger has helped thousands of companies solve this problem and reduce their chargebacks. Let us know if you want help.

So you got a PDF in the email… how to sign a PDF using DocuSign

Did someone just send you an agreement, contract, or PDF in your email? Are you struggling to figure out how to fill out and sign the PDF? 

This can be an extremely frustrating and confusing experience because you need to:

  • Wait until you’re home and in front of your desktop
  • Print out the PDF
  • Fill out and sign the print-out
  • Scan the print-out
  • Upload the scans to your desktop
  • Respond to the email and attach the scans

This multi-step process is manual and clunky. And if you’re on your phone or don’t have a printer? You’re outta luck.

In this article we will walk you through how to use DocuSign to fill-out and sign a PDF. This should save you time or if you don’t have a printer.

Create your DocuSign account:

  1. Go to www.docusign.com
  2. Click “Try for Free”
  1. Enter in your email address and “Reason for Use”
  2. Enter in your contact information
  3. Check your inbox for a “Welcome email” from DocuSign
  4. Click the link in the “Welcome email”
  5. Log into DocuSign
  6. Create your password
  7. Check your inbox again for a “Verification email” from DocuSign
  8. Enter the verification code into DocuSign

Your DocuSign account is now all set-up! Now let’s fill out and sign your PDF:

Drag and drop or upload your PDF into DocuSign

Click “Add recipients” and “I’m the only signer” then click "Sign" in the bottom right corner.

To fill out any questions:

  1. Click Text in the left panel
  1. Drag and drop the text box you just created into the appropriate place on the PDF
  1. Type in your answers

To sign the PDF:

1. Click Signature in the left panel

2. Drag and drop the digital signature you just created into the appropriate place on the PDF

3. Click the Finish button in the upper or bottom right corners

4. The “Almost Done” screen is optional so feel free to skip it.

This screen allows you to send a copy of the signed PDF to someone else. If you plan on replying personally via your email click “No Thanks” 

To Download the signed PDF:

1. Click on “Manage” in the top toolbar

2. Find the PDF you just signed - it should be on the top of your dashboard

3. Click Download

4. Confirm which files you want to download. Downloading both the Document and Certificate of Completion is OK.

And you’re done! Now just go to your Downloads folder and find the completed PDF. You can attach and send this PDF to everyone you need to.

Filling out and signing contracts shouldn’t be this hard. Roger is working on something to make the entire process faster and easier for everyone. Stay tuned for more!

How to sell to SMBs: Referrals

SMBs are tough to reach. Small business owners are extremely busy managing the day to day responsibilities and problems of their own business, making selling to them very difficult.

One way to get an SMB’s attention is through referrals - your customers may not trust you yet but they (usually? hopefully?) trust their friends and family. In fact, 82% of people have said they ask for recommendations from friends and family before buying a new solution. This makes referral marketing one of the most lucrative marketing strategies for any company. Here are some quick tips on how to get started:

1. Get your customer’s attention

Your customers may love you, but you know what they love even more?

Asking your customers for referrals is asking them to put their name and reputation on the line to promote your company. This is a BIG ask so make sure your customers are properly motivated and nothing motivates like some real hard $$$. 

2. Get the prospect’s attention

Similarly, any prospects your customers refer also need proper motivation. We suggest giving them a “time-sensitive” incentive to create a sense of urgency to get them to act now.

Balancing both sides (customers and prospects) of the referral flywheel can lead to explosive results. Dropbox's referral program fueled years of massive growth.

3. Make it super easy for your customers to refer people

Your customers are busy. They don’t have time to play “telephone,” so asking them to memorize different promo codes and secret phrases is asking for a lot of mental time and energy.

Instead, make referring people as simple as possible - a straight forward “copy and paste” or “enter an email here” should be enough. Like everything sales-related, every step adds friction and will directly impact your results.

If you make the referral process super easy then your customers can spend the extra time and energy referring people to you!

4. Make your referral program “social media friendly”

Sharing is caring and sharing on social media is the fastest and easiest way for your customers to quickly let their entire networks know about your referral program.

Look how successful sharing on social media was for Wordle

Make your referral program easy to share on social media and let Facebook and Instagram do the work for you.

5. Partner with super “influencers”

Influencers come in many shapes and sizes and many industries have their own specific “super influencers” that you may be able to partner with. Do your customers have:

  • Companies / success stories that they look up to?
  • Groups, networks, or industry associations?
  • Federal or state regulatory bodies?
  • Industry newsletters and other publications?

Find the super influencers in your industry and partner with them.

6. Regularly remind your customers about your program

How often do you recommend a new product to your network? Usually only when someone asks you for help and these conversations typically happen spontaneously and unexpectedly. Thus, you need to constantly remind your customers about your referral program to catch them at the right time. 

So make sure your referral program is top of mind for your customers - add reminders to your website, mention it every time you interact etc. Make sure the next time someone asks for a recommendation your customers remember your program.

Selling to SMBs can be hard. Let your current SMB customers make the process a bit easier for you :) 

5 Cheat Codes to help you Sell to SMBs

Did you know that there are more than 31 million businesses in the U.S. with fewer than 100 employees, aka SMBs? This means the SMB market is HUGE.

SMBs also have two extremely attractive qualities:

  • Shorter sales cycle: SMBs can make decisions FAST because they have fewer decision-makers than enterprises. Thus, SMBs need fewer touch-points than enterprises, allowing you to close more customers faster.
  • Lower requirements: SMBs are more flexible feature-wise and have lower security, compliance, and other technological requirements. SMBs just want to know that you can solve their problem and are more willing to adapt their workflow to your solution vs. enterprises which will need you to fulfill a long stringent list of requirements before even giving you a try

Thus, SMBs are an incredibly attractive market if you can figure out an efficient sales cycle. Here are 5 cheat codes to help you crack the SMB sales game.

1. Build Trust

SMBs are usually run by mom and pops – human beings. They are very different from the giant mindless money printing machines that enterprises are. SMBs do business with people they know and trust.

They find their bankers through recommendations. They find their accountants through recommendations. This means… you should find a way to get recommended to them via a warm intro!

If you can’t, find a way to show them that you’re a human being:

  • Conferences
  • In-person sales
  • Personalized emails and phone calls

SMBs owners are human beings, so show them that you’re a human being they can trust.

2. Show Value

SMBs don’t want to see a fancy PDF with a bunch of charts or some flashy sizzle video. They just want to know that you solve their problem. The easiest way to convince them you can do that is:

  • Referrals from people they already know and trust (the warm intro).
  • Third-party social proof: Testimonials from “name brand” logos.
  • Great reviews on Yelp, Google Reviews, G2, Capterra, etc.
  • An actual product demo that is easy for them to “see themselves using.”

3. Easy Adoption & Usage

Have you ever had a great sales call end with a verbal YES, but then the customer falls out somewhere between the agreement signing -> payment -> onboarding process?

A prospect isn’t your customer until they’re using and loving your product. Every step between your first touch and them loving your product is a chance for them to say no and leave.

So think of your entire sales and customer onboarding process as a user journey. Simplify each step to make it easy and fast:

  • Sales pitch - what do you do, why do you do it, and why should they care?
  • Product and pricing options - make it obvious which one they should pick.
  • Sales agreement - make it simple by including only relevant information and make it mobile-friendly.
  • Payment process - it should be as easy as paying at McDonald’s.
  • Customer onboarding - don’t make them jump through hoops to use your product!

4. Qualify Your Leads

An often overlooked part of sales efficiency is making sure your leads are high quality so you’re not wasting time on “low probability” customers. This means you need to do the necessary research to determine whether a lead fits into your ICP (ideal customer profile) to ensure that they have a high probability of understanding and needing your product or service.

Some typical things to consider when qualifying leads:

  • Business type
  • Business size both by revenue and employee count
  • Geography
  • Title of your contact (are they a decision-maker?)

Most companies use a scoring model to quantify lead quality. Higher quality leads -> higher probability of closing -> higher efficiency for your sales team

5. Counter Concerns with Incentives

Every potential customer is going to have concerns before signing up -> they don’t know you or your product yet! Analyze your past customer conversations to figure out what the most common concerns have been. Develop incentives to provide confidence to your prospects.

  • Price -> free trial
  • Commitment Length -> monthly vs. annual plans, money-back guarantee
  • Missing features -> workarounds, product roadmap / estimates, direct communication with customer service
  • Unproven ROI -> case studies, social proof

SMBs are a huge opportunity but require a tailor made sales process. When done right, cracking the SMB sales process is the ultimate cheat code..

Roger helps sales teams transform their sales agreement, payment, and onboarding process into one simple experience - just like signing up for an app! Interested in learning more? Let’s talk.

PDFs Suck for Sales Contracts

Did you know that the PDF is almost 30 years old?

Three decades ago, every computer had a different way of interpreting and displaying file formats. A file looked completely different if it was on a Mac, Windows, or UNIX computer. Imagine the chaos when trying to share documents - you didn’t know if your report would look like the Mona Lisa or a Picasso!

In 1993, Adobe co-founder John Warnock released the first version of the PDF. Over the subsequent years, PDFs became an accepted standard for document sharing.

Life has changed a lot over the last 30 years. The problems and expectations of users today have also changed. Today, PDFs can cause more problems than they fix. Here are 3 reasons why PDFs suck for your sales contracts.

PDFs are NOT mobile friendly

Did you know that 50% of all emails are opened on a mobile device?

Have you ever tried to read a PDF on your phone?

PDFs are especially bad for sales contracts because they force your customer to wait until they’re in front of a desktop to review. This could be hours, if not days, later! By then, your email could be at the bottom of their “priority” pile and, as we all know, time kills all deals.

PDFs are NOT interactive

The last time you opened up a PDF, did you know:

  • What was important for you to read?
  • What you could skip?
  • What you needed to answer? 
  • What someone else needed to answer?
That’s why PDFs use these super easy to read bold and underlined fonts.
OR HAVE SECTIONS IN ALL CAPS WHICH ARE DEFINITELY NOT INTIMIDATING
Or include these intuitive and user-friendly ____________ fields.

(Please excuse my sarcasm.)

All of these beautiful and aesthetically pleasing changes require your customer to read and digest the entire document. This takes time, adds friction and delays signing.

PDFs are NOT collaborative

PDFs do exactly what they were meant to do: transmit information in an unchanging, emotionless, and dead presentation.

But when was the last time you wanted your product’s sales pitch associated with something described as “emotionless and dead?”

Today’s sales contracts need to be dynamic - customers often request changes. Forcing your customers to use emails to review all of the back and forth redlines is cumbersome and annoying.

The sales contract is one of the last steps in your product’s sales pitch - don’t use an emotionless and dead PDF. Instead make your sales contract dynamic, web-native, and mobile-friendly. 

Interested in learning more or having our team review your sales contracts? Let’s talk.

How to write Sales Contracts that even Jay Z would love

“My word is my bond.”

This simple phrase has been said by everyone from:

Is “my word is my bond” one of the few things that all humans can universally agree on?

The origins of the phrase are simple: in the past, relationships were built purely on a person’s words and actions. Your business partner’s word was literally worth their “bond.” 

Unfortunately, over the years, distrust and disputes have corrupted the simple concept of “my word is my bond.” Trust has been replaced by threats and “my word” has been replaced by the dreaded “sales contract.” 

However, not all sales contracts need to be "dreaded." Here are some simple guidelines for how to write sales contracts that are so simple and easy that even Jay Z would love:

1. Do you even need a sales contract?

Not all couples need a marriage certificate and not all business deals need a sales contract. However, in general if your business deals involve:

  • Specific products or services
  • Negotiated prices
  • Set timelines and terms

Then a sales contract is actually helpful for both you and your customer to confirm exactly what you’re both agreeing to and what each side’s expectations are. Relationships are about expectation setting and a simple clear sales contract sets the foundation for a good business relationship.

2. What do you need to include in the contract?

Beneath all the heavy legal jargon, sales contracts are really just confirming what you and your customer are agreeing to. Thus, we suggest including the key terms of your deal:

  • What goods or services are being exchanged?
  • What’s the price?
  • What are the payment terms?
  • What are the timelines?

You should also add any important terms specific to your business:

  • If you’re selling physical goods - delivery and logistics information may be important
  • If you’re selling a SaaS subscription service - a section on data privacy may be helpful

Our general rule of thumb is to include any information that’s been discussed or negotiated during the sales process since these are clearly the deal points that your customer cares about.

Also, make your contract stupid simple to read - put the key terms upfront and in plain english so that they’re easy to see, understand, and review.

3. What do you need to EXCLUDE from the contract?

One common mistake we see businesses make over and over again is including unnecessary questions: 

  • Do you really need your customer’s phone number? 
  • Their home address?
  • Their pet’s name? 
  • Their mother’s maiden name?

Make your contract stupid simple to fill out - only ask for information that is absolutely required, explain why you need it, and how it’ll be used.

What about the “extra legalese?”

Sometimes your sales contracts just require a lot of necessary language and disclaimers. We’ve seen two successful strategies when dealing with all of the “extra legalese.”

If this is an ongoing business relationship with numerous “transactions” in the future: 

We suggest having your customer sign a Master Service Agreement (MSA) to start off the relationship. Your customer can then use simpler order forms or change orders whenever a new “transaction” happens. This minimizes the friction for each new additional order.

If this is an one-time transaction where you don’t expect many changes in the future: 

We suggest using a simple, easy-to-understand “order form” and including any lengthy terms and conditions as an addendum or even a clickwrap agreement. 

Signing a sale contract can be as scary as signing your life away or as simple as a “yes.” Let’s bring trust back into our relationships. Let Roger help you create a sales contract even Jay Z would love.

Interested in learning more or having our team review your sales contracts? Learn more here.

7 Remarkably Simple Tips to Get your Contracts Signed Faster

Have you ever gotten a customer's verbal “yes,” sent them your contract only to never hear from them again?

“Contract ghosting” is a real problem that all sales execs have experienced.

Here are 7 remarkably simple tips that help Roger agreements get signed 80% faster and 2x more often than average.

1. Keep (the contract) simple, stupid

BIG COMPLEX WORDS IN ALL CAPS NEW TIMES ROMAN FONT CAN BE TOUGH TO READ AND CAUSE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO HESITATE AND SECOND-GUESS

We recommend shortening your contract to a simple, easy-to-understand “Order Form” and including any lengthy Terms and Conditions as an addendum or even a clickwrap agreement.

2. Keep (the questions) simple, stupid

Does your contract require your customer to enter their phone number… when you’re already on the phone with them?

Are you asking your customer for their e-mail address? Their mother’s maiden name? Their pet’s name?

Remove any unnecessary questions that your contract is asking. More questions = more work = more chances for your customer to decide you’re not worth the trouble. Amazon found that the average check-out process used 14 forms when only 7 forms were needed. How many unnecessary questions does your contract have?

3. Make your customer's life easy

Now that you’ve eliminated your contract’s unnecessary questions, go the extra step - fill out as many of the contract’s questions for your customer as you can.

Do you have their name, phone number, and address already? Fill it out for them! 

4. Context, context, context

Do you give your social security number to anyone on the street? Of course not! Or at least we hope you don’t.

For any sensitive questions you need to ask, provide context. What information are you asking for? Why do you need it? How is it used?

5. Talk like a human

Your customers are human beings, not lawyers! Unless you’re selling to lawyers I guess, in which case - good luck.

Help your customers understand what they’re signing. Are the descriptions of your company’s Service, Price, and Terms all on different pages? Pull all that critical information upfront and make it easily digestible. These are the important terms your customers want to see. 

Human beings want to know what they’re signing, why they’re signing it, and what they’re getting in return. Don’t make it hard for your customer to get the answers they need.

6. Time kills all deals

Send the agreement ASAP! 

The best time to send a contract is when you’re still talking to them so you can…

7. Hold their hand

The best time to get your customer to sign is when you’re still talking to them - that’s when you have their complete attention and their intent is highest. It also allows you to answer any questions and objections before time and indifference seep in.

Send the contract while you’re still talking to them or, at the very least, make sure that you’re available (and that they know you are) when they’re reviewing your contract. 

Getting your contract signed is the final step of your sales process so don’t just send over a PDF and assume your customer will figure it out.

Roger agreements help deal with all of these issues. Find out more at thanksroger.com.

🚫 Top 10 mistakes selling to SMB owners like me

I own ~50 restaurants, have sat through hundreds of pitches, and have spent millions on new software and hardware solutions. Here are the biggest mistakes I see over and over again.

1. You send email or Linkedin messages instead of getting a warm introduction

I am not going to read your emails. Also, please stop the LinkedIn messages requesting specific call times or sharing product demos - it gets old quick. Instead, get a warm introduction to me - a recommendation from someone in the industry is worth infinite “perfect pitches.” If your pitch needs to be cold, call me and leave a short message. I’ll probably still ignore your call but I may listen to your VM. If you don't leave a message, I will assume you’re spam and block your number.

2. You talk to my employees

Don't Google my store number and call my employees. You are wasting everyone’s time. You need to talk directly to a decision-maker - usually the owner or a department head. Department heads are good leads because they’re usually working on initiatives and are open to new solutions.

3. You don’t scrub this “secret” free database of contacts

Did you know you can find the contact info for every major U.S. franchised system in their publicly disclosed FDDS? You can get names, phone numbers, etc. - all for free.

DFI Franchise Search

4. You think you got the entire call to get my attention

I barely have time to breathe, much less to listen to your pitch. You got 20 seconds to get my attention or I am hanging up. I don’t care what you’re trying to “disrupt,” just start with what process or system you are replacing / improving and why I should care.

5. You think you will blow me away with your “results”

Everyone promises me everything but I know your estimates are BS. I expect only <50% of the higher revenue / lower costs you promise to end up flowing through as real dollars. You won’t be able to fix my skepticism, but defining a short-term success metric and hitting it will make me much more comfortable rolling you out to the rest of my system.

6. You want to do a big deal

Unless you are a well-established name-brand player, don’t even ask me to consider signing up all my locations for whatever you are offering, it ain’t happening. Offer me a low-risk trial with 1 location and a short-term commitment or even better - no commitment. To be honest, if you’re an important system that’s adding value, we will just keep using you.

7. Your onboarding process takes more than 10 minutes

If your onboarding process is non-intuitive, takes more than 10 minutes, or is disruptive to my team’s workflow, go away. My employees are busy and we don’t have time for it.

8. You don’t offer integration with our critical systems

Our point-of-sale system (Toast, Aloha, Square, Lightspeed) is our central nervous system and command center. So if your product doesn’t have easy integration with our POS just stop talking. This is an absolute dealbreaker. Figure out your customer’s critical systems and make using your product as painless as possible.

9. You think you got the deal

Once you get me interested, you still need to convince the other stakeholders in my org - usually my GM or Head of Ops who will need to implement your solution. If they don’t like what they see or hear, we are not doing it.

10. You make it difficult for me to say “Yes”

If you’ve passed all the hurdles, don’t make me jump through hoops to close the deal by sending a 20-page doc full of complicated and aggressive terms - I'm not going to deal with it. Send me something easy to understand and mobile-friendly so I can read and sign it on my phone. The best sales teams close me while I’m still on the phone.

If you are selling to SMB owners and want me to take a look at your closing process and documents, just email me.

Email Agreements are Legally Binding. ROGER That

Whether you’re a sales executive signing a new deal or a gym owner sending a liability waiver, you need an easy way to get that “Yes.” Your top priorities are speed and certainty - you know that time kills all deals.

Electronic signatures are a huge improvement vs. traditional paper contracts and wet signatures. However, electronic signatures can also create unnecessary friction. Making your clients and stakeholders create an account, sign in, enter names and draw signatures may give the impression that they’re signing away their first-born child. Often they get cold feet and loop in their legal department for review, delaying or derailing agreements.

DocuSign and other e-signature platforms are useful for complex, bespoke and highly negotiated agreements like home purchases, prenuptial agreements, or merger contracts. However, for more standardized and routine processes such as non-disclosure agreements, sales proposals, service terms, waivers, consents, or memos of understanding (MOUs), DocuSign is often overkill.

A common misconception is that legal contracts always must be long, formal and executed with formal signatures. However, agreements reached via email are just as legally enforceable as wet signatures on paper or digitally drawn with a mouse. Court cases have upheld the validity of legal agreements accepted via email in business transactions.

The email does not even need to contain the person’s full name; a first name or initials are sufficient for a legally binding contract. While hashing out an agreement, the terms “non-binding proposal” or “for discussion purposes” are often included to indicate that the terms are still being discussed and are not yet binding.

Say hello to ROGER.

ROGER is the easiest and most convenient way for your clients to give you that “Yes.” ROGER’s 1-Click Accept button is securely embedded in email so your clients can accept any agreements with the least amount of effort. They click the button once and it’s done. No more going through the hassle of creating an account, logging in, entering a name, and drawing signatures.

Let ROGER help you get that “Yes.”

Legal Agreements 101 - Phone Calls, Handshakes, Napkins and Email

To be legally binding, an agreement needs these components:

  • Offer: One party makes an offer, such as selling a product or service to the other party.
  • Acceptance: The parties agree or accept the offer.
  • Consideration: One thing of value is exchanged for another thing of value. For example, if you’re selling 1-Click acceptance software to a customer, you’re exchanging software for money.
  • Intent by both parties to create legal relations: Both parties should know that they are entering into a legal agreement. In agreements between businesses, the law generally assumes that both parties intend to enter into an agreement. When an agreement is between a business and a consumer, the bar may be higher, because the consumer may not be as savvy about legal agreements.  

Of course, many agreements also include other details such as how the agreement can be terminated, what happens if a party breaches the agreement, and how disputes will be handled. However, as long as these four key components exist, whether it’s a verbal agreement over the phone or a handshake deal scribbled on a napkin, a legal agreement has taken place.

That’s why emails are legally binding. Despite not having a formal document or signature, email can outline and record all of the key components needed for a legally binding contract. As long as the agreement’s terms, parties, and intent are clear, accepting contracts via email is faster and more convenient.  

That’s where ROGER comes in.

Similar to how Amazon brought convenience to millions of consumers and revolutionized retail with its 1-Click checkout, ROGER offers 1-Click acceptance of standard agreements via email. ROGER is the quickest and easiest way for both parties to acknowledge the agreement and is 10x faster than any other e-sign method.

Once the recipient clicks “I ACCEPT,” ROGER creates a secure and immutable digital audit trail and sends both parties executed copies of the agreement appended with a watermarked Certificate of Acceptance with a globally unique identifier and hash. The process makes it clear to both parties that they’ve reached an agreement and removes the extra steps of creating new accounts and signing in. This means faster Yes’s and fewer headaches for everyone involved.

Let ROGER help you get that “Yes.”