“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 Trust has been replaced by threats and “my word” has been replaced by the dreaded “sales contract.”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:
Not all couples need a marriage certificate and not all business deals need a sales contract. However, in general if your business deals involve:
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.
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:
You should also add any important terms specific to your business:
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.
One common mistake we see businesses make over and over again is including unnecessary questions:
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.
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.