A post to an online community that I moderate caught my eye last week. A member had written something about going over the terms of the deal with a client and in response received a comment saying essentially – don’t bother talking, just put your terms into your paperwork and be done with it.
Don’t get me wrong. Good paperwork’s a must for all businesses. Any time we’re entering into a business transaction, we’ve got to provide proper paperwork that clearly outlines the terms & conditions of the sale.
It’s the trying to slide things under the radar part that has me troubled. See, the thing is, at the point where you’re relying on your paperwork, one party is either suing or threatening to sue the other. Even if your paperwork’s airtight, that’s still not where you want to be going, especially if you’re looking to build long term relationships.
A lot of us “passion-preneurs” shy away from having those tough business conversations but we have got to get over that. We are much better off losing (or renegotiating) the deal because we were clear about our terms than getting sued because our clients thought they were buying one thing while we thought we were selling another.
This kind of upfront, straightforward communication is key to building the kind of long-term client relationships that will help you earn a living doing what you love.