December 20, 2018

Getting a Signature before Summer Vacation

Patrick Mersinger

Patrick Mersinger
Founder/Red2Black Group

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Summer vacation is great for everyone- except that salesperson waiting on a signature.  Trying to get a contract signed during the summer can turn into a game of hide and seek with vacation schedules.  Some sellers have missed quotas from the inability to obtain a signature before someone left town.  How do you become a priority before they leave?  

There are a few solutions, however, with any solution, there must be a risk associated with not signing or you need to micromanage the signature process.  

Rarely does someone forget their sunscreen when going to the beach. Why? The risk of getting sunburned makes bringing sunscreen a priority.  Consider offering a discount or value-add if signed by a specific date.  Be clear on potential issues if they sign later, for example getting moved down in the queue or losing a preferred spot on the calendar. Make the risk of forgetting to sign painful for the client.  

Unfortunately, even with the risk-reward system clients will still forget.  Typically, you need to micromanage the signature process.  I relate this to leaving my wallet, phone and keys on the counter so I will not forget them.   They need A visual to feel that the task is essential and easy to check off the list.   

To start:

  1. Highlight the areas they need to sign. Make the areas you need reviewed and signed front and center.   

  2. Send a timeline via email. In the timeline highlight the personnel on both sides involved in the process, with name, and title.  Identifying the people involved in the process upfront to avoid concerns or delays down the road.   

  3. After your contact provides the people involved in the process, ask for their direct contact information.  This information will help troubleshoot issues during your contact's absence.

  4. Setup an ongoing meeting with your contact until it is signed.  Highlight days to review different components, when you need changes back and the signatures.  (Some of you are thinking this is harassing the buyer.  Be honest and explain during the summer months coordinating contracts on their side and our team can be tricky. Therefore, to get it taken care of, we should work together to stay on top of it. )

  5. Emphasize the work your team will be doing while they are sipping pina colada's trying to forget you.  An example is outlining stating if you can get this contract signed today, your team can start executing on my side.  We will setup X, Y & Z while you are on vacation so upon your return your job will be easier.  

A few more ideas:

  1. Invest in online contracting software like DocuSign, HelloSign, or Concord.  

  2. Mail (not email) the full contract, with a return envelope. You are making it simple for them to sign and send back.  You are saving them the time to print, sign, scan and email back.

  3. Say please and thank you.  Sometimes simply saying, "will you please sign this today?" and "thank you" is all it takes.  Instead of a long drawn out message, be straight to the point and polite.

Comments? You can contact me directly via my ExecRanks profile.

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