Getting Past Legal Hurdles – The Sales Process

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January 2nd, 2012


You finally hear the coveted phrase, “we’re ready to move forward”, or some derivation thereof. Depending on the type of solution you sell, both you and your agreement may arrive at your prospect client’s lawyer, or with a CFO, procurement agent or purchasing department. There are important questions for you to ask, to glean information you need to know:

  • Can you use your agreement or will they insist on using their own contract?
  • How long does it take to review a typical purchase?
  • Can you work with them directly or does your sponsor act as the liaison?
  • Do they insist on certain standard clauses, which must be included in every contract?
  • And if so, can your sponsor provide those for you to review?
  • Will they consider a mandatory arbitration clause which might be helpful to your business?

There are many other questions you can ask, you should carefully assess this aspect of your sales process to ensure you’re operating efficiently late in your process and to minimize surprises. If you can simplify your own contract, it can help reduce the legal hurdles immensely – work with your internal team and counsel to find the proper balance between legal protection and business sales efficacy (I once worked for a Silicon Valley software company that had a 15 page legal contract to procure their solution – this was later drastically reduced to a much more manageable size). Consider creating a simple order form, limiting the legal to those which are critical for your operation and include an arbitration clause. Simpler is usually better. If you wind up in a legal battle before or after the sale, it’s usually a losing proposition for everyone. For more sales tips, read Sell More & Work Less now available on Amazon:

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