Contracts are Marketing Documents - Part 2
Here’s what happens when a company pays attention to how a contract reflects on the company’s brand.
I represented a small HR training company that provided employee training to big companies. My client got an exciting opportunity to work with a big multinational firm based in France. As is often the case, big companies usually insist on their own contract templates that all their vendors have to sign.
When my client got their contract, it was clear that the contract was not tailored to the transaction because it didn’t mention any of the specifics that they had previously discussed about the project. The agreement looked suspiciously like an imperfect English translation from another language. Maybe they even used Google Translate (gasp!)
So, my client and I went through this agreement with a fine toothed comb. We went over all the things they had discussed before the engagement in meetings and emails, and added them to the agreement. We also beefed up the boilerplate clauses which were vague or missing important provisions. I prepared a bullet list to help my client explain the reason for all the changes we made, and she was able to handle the negotiation herself.
Well, the French company admitted that no one had ever made changes to their contract template before, and that this was a first for them. But they also gracefully acknowledged that their immediate impression of my client was that, because she was so diligent in reviewing their agreement, they believed she would be diligent in delivering this important training to their employees.
They ended up accepting all of our changes to the agreement and the relationship started off on the right foot.
As a side note, they even revealed later to my client that they decided to adopt the revised contract as their new contract template!