When you have a prospect who is excited to start working with you, what are your next steps to make it official? If you’re jumping straight to sending an invoice, I would recommend that you first send a contract. In the contract, you want to include what the customer is buying, terms and conditions, costs, and a space for signatures. Now when you’re ready to send the contract, do you have an easy way to capture electronic signatures from your clients? If not, you’re probably tired of emailing and chasing down your customer to print, sign, and return the contract. To get contracts signed sooner and securely, invest in an electronic signature system, allowing clients to easily sign documents.
How Does an Electronic Signature Tool Work?
Here are steps for how to get an electronic signature:
- Type up your contract in a Word document.
- Make sure to include a space for name, title/role, date, and signature for both you and your client
- Upload the Word file into your electronic signature system.
- Add the names and email addresses of everyone who needs to sign the contract.
- Add the order of who is to sign first.
- Add where names, dates, and signatures are to be inserted for each signer.
- Send the contract via the tool.
- Once your client signs the contract, the system will prompt you to sign the contract.
- Sign the contract.
- They system will notify that all parties have signed and will email a copy of the final signed contract to all parties.
While the signed contracts will be stored in your electronic signature tool, it’s also a good idea to save a final copy to your own online cloud system.
The great thing about an electronic tool is that you can see if the user received and opened your email. It will also send reminders if the contract still hasn’t been signed.
What Should be Included in Contracts?
The contract or client agreement should cover what the client is buying, terms and conditions, and costs. Examples of what to include in every contract are:
- Client Name
- Company Name (if applicable)
- Name of product / service being purchased
- Investment Cost
- Payment Plan (if applicable)
- What’s included vs. Not included
- Start Date
- End Date
- # of sessions or meetings (if applicable)
- Rescheduling, Cancellation, or Late Policies
- Confidentiality Policy
- Place for client signature, name, and date signed
- Place for your signature, name, and date signed
What Type of Electronic Signature System Should I Use?
- DocuSign – this is the system that I use, which has worked great. It is free to customers who purchase an Office 365 Business Premium plan. Otherwise, it ranges from $25 – $40 per month depending on the plan.
- HelloSign – this is one that some of my colleagues have used, and it ranges $13 – $40 per month (when paid annually).
- Adobe Sign – I’ve also heard some business owners who use this tool. It ranges from $29.99 – $39.99 per month.
It doesn’t matter which electronic signature system you use, but having one will allow you to easily collect the necessary signatures. You will save time and get contracts signed sooner by allowing your clients to receive, view, sign, and automatically receive a final version of the contract within an online signature tool.