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Getting Clients to Sign on the Dotted Line


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Consultations, estimates, proposals, contracts, oh my! If onboarding your clients is a struggle, this session is for you. I’ll share my super straightforward system and break everything down into actionable steps you can put in place to get clients to sign on the dotted line. When you have a buttoned up client onboarding process, your clients will have confidence moving the project forward with you. It’s how you set the stage for a smooth and successful project (and keep yourself efficient, calm and sane).

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Getting Clients to Sign on the Dotted Line

  1. 1. 11 G E T T I N G C L I E N T S T O S I G N O N T H E D O T T E D L I N E
  2. 2. 22 Jill Anderson I design and develop websites for creative professionals.
  3. 3. 33 So, there’s a client who’s interested in working with you. Now what?
  4. 4. 44 This my way. It works for me. It may not work for you, and that’s ok.
  5. 5. 55 1 D E F I N E T H E T E R M S O F YO U R C O N T R A C T 2 Q U A L I F Y & V E T T H E P R O S P E C T 3 S H O W M E T H E M O N E Y 4 P R E PA R E F O R A S T R O N G K I C KO F F
  6. 6. 66 1 D E F I N E T H E T E R M S O F YO U R C O N T R A C T
  7. 7. 77 Yes, you need a contract.
  8. 8. 88 Do you need a lawyer?
  9. 9. 99 What if they don’t sign it?
  10. 10. 1010 Items to Include in Your Contract: TERMS & CONDITIONS So everybody’s on the same page. EFFECTIVE DATES You don’t want an Estimate or Proposal to be valid forever, so include a length of time your estimated fees will be applicable.
  11. 11. 1111 Items to Include in Your Contract: FEES & CHARGES Explain any fees and expenses, the payment timeframe, and what happens if payments are late. GRANT OF RIGHTS State who owns what (and when), and who gets to use what (and when).
  12. 12. 1212 Items to Include in Your Contract: CLIENT RESPONSIBILITIES Let clients know what you expect of them such as timely decision-making and provision of content as well as who is responsible for errors in the finished project. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION Agree that confidential information disclosed during the project stays private.
  13. 13. 1313 Items to Include in Your Contract: RELATIONSHIP OF THE PARTIES I'm an Independent Contractor and there is no exclusivity. WARRANTIES What does the future hold regarding this project and relationship? Define the parameters, time periods and details regarding support services and maintenance.
  14. 14. 1414 Items to Include in Your Contract: INDEMNIFICATION/LIABILITY If something bad happens in the future and it’s somehow related to your project, who is responsible? TERM AND TERMINATION What if the project stalls? What if it gets cancelled? Include specific timeframes and expenses associated with each situation.
  15. 15. 1515 Items to Include in Your Contract: MISCELLANY Terms can be modified only in writing. A client may authorize expenses or revisions orally. Any disputes must go through arbitration. SIGNATURES The signature makes it real, folks!
  17. 17. 1717 Create a link to your contract for clients to sign online such as:
  18. 18. 1818 2 Q U A L I F Y & V E T T H E P R O S P E C T
  19. 19. 1919 Just because someone wants to work with you doesn’t mean you necessarily want to work with them.
  20. 20. 2020 Have a consultation call.
  21. 21. 2121 Use an online scheduler program like Calendly to make it easy for people to schedule a consultation call (or kickoff call or training, etc.).
  22. 22. 2222 Discuss timeframe, budget, and where they are in the decision making process.
  23. 23. 2323 Pay attention to red flags.
  24. 24. 2424 They don’t have a budget. They bad mouth previous creatives. You’re having communication issues. They’re having trouble defining what they want. They’re in a rush. They talk about their personal lives (a lot). They stand you up. They want everything! They’re waiting for a check to clear. They’re doing other things.
  25. 25. 2525 3 S H O W M E T H E M O N E Y
  26. 26. 2626 No project is real unless you’ve received money for it.
  27. 27. 2727 Package it up.Package it up.
  28. 28. 2828 Use accounting software like FreshBooks.
  29. 29. 2929 Send one email to the client with a getting started checklist with links to your estimate, contract (and questionnaire).
  30. 30. 3030 Hey [name] - great chatting with you today! I’d love to work together! Keep in mind that my schedule tends to fill up quickly, and I’m currently booking projects to start in [month/year]. Here’s my questionnaire which will help us maximize our time together during our Kick-Off session: Once the below three items are completed, we can get our Kick-Off session scheduled: 1. Review + accept this estimate (and I’ll send you an invoice for the first installment of the project fee). 2. Pay the first installment. 3. Sign and return these Basic Terms + Conditions showing you how we’ll work together: Let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to working together!
  31. 31. 3131 4 P R E PA R E F O R A S T R O N G K I C KO F F
  32. 32. 3232 Once the contract is signed by the client and the deposit is paid, you have an official project!
  33. 33. 3333 Have a kickoff call.
  34. 34. 3434 Use a project questionnaire to act as the scope of work.
  35. 35. 3535 Get to work :)
  36. 36. 3636 Want to chat more? Get the slides Get the ebook Schedule a free 30-minute chat Tweet @JillLynnDesign