Contracts? We sign a lot of them. And while we understand their importance, we also know they can be a challenge. Each contract must be gone over a few times, negotiated and signed. Here are some thoughts on how to ensure you’re not giving away the farm.
Think of it as an ongoing process: Each time you deal with a contract you’ll gain new expertise and knowledge. Keep a journal of any new items and negotiations you wish to include in future contracts. You will be better prepared each time a contract is placed in front of you.
Ask Questions: Make sure to read the contract over thoroughly and make note of any parts that require clarification or discussion. As updated versions are sent along, plan on re-reading them to ensure that nothing else in the contract has changed along the way.
Ask More Questions: If you are questioning anything, or are just hoping for the best, do yourself a favor now and call. Never assume when it comes to contracts. Call the venue or vendor and ask more questions.
Common Language: If they say potato and they say potahto, this is an issue. A good contract covers all parties. And all parties will need to agree upon the language and meaning of the words used. Be wary of any ambiguous language that could spell trouble down the line.
Call Legal: Yes, meeting managers are required to know how to do everything, but most of us did not attend law school. In cases where the contract is very complex, call in a professional. Perhaps your organization has a legal department you can consult with, or you can hire a local lawyer to look it over. Due diligence is required in order to make sure you and your company are protected.
Touch Base: Keep up with the venue or vendor and check in to find if you should be aware of any updates or changes – even after the final contract is signed. It’s a fluid world, things happen, make sure you are in the know.
For more information about contracts, check out my blogs about Top 10 Contract Items to Know.
And if the whole idea of negotiating a contract gives you a headache, I can be your ibuprofen. Give me a call at 636-678-7661.