Businesses always hope that their clients will sign the contracts that they send. It's important that you know what your clients think of your contracts, however. Sometimes, contracts tend to overwhelm clients and to drive them away. You may lose business if your contracts scare clients away.
Written contracts can take any of a variety of forms. There are no hard and fast rules that dictate what your contracts should look like. If your business uses contracts that your clients must sign, here are four ways in which they may be sending clients away, and what you can do about the challenge.
1. You use contracts that are overly long
Imagine that you're excited to give your custom to a new business. The business, you hope, will take up work that you give them, and make your life easier. When they send you a contract for the deal; however, you find that it's ten pages long. You hoped that the business would help you, not increase your workload.
It isn't unheard of for businesses to lose clients because of contracts that are too long. They may simply not have the time to read through a long contract, and may be uncomfortable signing something that they haven't read. A contract that runs into pages can intimidate clients, and make them take their business to a competitor.
There are no standard templates that exist for contracts in most industries. For this reason, it can be hard for businesses to know how long contracts should be. In general, contracts should include every provision necessary to cover conditions that result in lawsuits. You can shorten a contract, but you need to be careful about what provisions to take out. Lawyers specializing in contracts can help businesses optimize the length of their contracts.
2. Your contracts are full of legal jargon
It's important to understand that when a client doesn't understand a contract, they may give up on signing it. The more use your contract makes of legalese, the greater are the chances that you will drive potential clients away.
Many lawyers now work hard to simplify the language that they use in the contracts they draft. You should look for such a lawyer for your own business. While some legal terms may be hard to avoid, a lawyer can work to minimize the use of such terms. Simple contracts directly help businesses retain clients. You should find a lawyer who can help you simplify your contracts.
3. Your contracts are too densely packed with text
When your contracts are filled with paragraphs of text and have little white space to offer breathers, you will overwhelm your clients before they even begin reading them. It's important to make a contract look readable, with short paragraphs, plenty of white spaces, the right amount of margin spaces, subheadings, and section numbers. It's important to make a contract look like an inviting read.
4. You have no contract to offer your clients
If you offer professional services through your business, your clients will want to see you provide them with a contract when they come to you. A contract can help make clear what the terms are, and what roles and responsibilities belong to the different parties involved.
Contracts help protect your business and also help you stand out, with an appearance of professionalism. As an example, if you were looking for a website designer for your business and found two different providers, you need to think about which one you would be more confident going with: one who offered you a properly drafted contract, or one who wanted to simply go on a verbal agreement. A contract helps you stand out as a professional in a field filled with competition.
As a business owner, you need to do everything that you can to impress your clients. Creating contracts that are attractive and reader-friendly is one of the many things that you do to attract and retain business.
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