Get Everything in Writing

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Rick Schwartz shared some advice on Twitter that I agree with completely. When you close a deal, make sure all aspects of the deal are memorialized in an email:

Nearly all of my deals are closed via email. I don’t particularly like discussing deals on the phone, nor do I generally have the opportunity to finalize a deal in person. I have done both though, and it is important to follow up shortly thereafter with the deal points highlighted to ensure both parties are on the same page. This is especially important when a deal is not a simple purchase but involves some sort of payment plan, revenue sharing agreement, or something else that is not particularly straightforward.

Typically, I will send a short email congratulating the other party on concluding a deal (if appropriate) and list my understanding of the deal. I will ask the other party to please confirm that we are both on the same page. Once this has been confirmed, I will send the deal bullets to my counsel to draft an agreement based on the deal structure.

Importantly, I like to send the follow up nearly immediately after the discussion. I want to make sure the deal terms are still fresh in the other party’s mind, and I like to keep things moving so nothing comes up in the interim.

I don’t recall having a deal fall through because the counterparty disagreed with my interpretation of the deal, but I almost always follow up with a summary when details are not worked out via email.

1 COMMENT

  1. You raised an important writing point Elliot asking the other party to confirm the details is a great way to have a record. More importantly is that the tactic of asking for a response can also be used during an initial sales outreach. For example yesterday I was doing a cold call to a manufacturer. I was told to send my contact to an email provided by the receptionist. In the body of that email along with my contact info I requested some info about one of the products that they offer. When I got a response shortly thereafter from the prospect I realized that asking for info vs just providing static info s a great way to keep the conversation going and even perhaps get some extra information they may provide in their reply to your request for info.
    So my tip is to make your email communications are active vs passive and you have a better chance of ongoing communication that could lead to the coveted sale.

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