Faster T’s and C’s!

August 15, 2018 - By Elgin Ward

Customers want to speed up their contract negotiation process.
Customers T’s-and-C’s can sometimes slow down the Customer negotiation process.
Wise Customers act proactively and strategically to develop an ALTERNATIVE set of T’s-and-C’s to speed up their negotiations.

For Customer Stakeholders, speed really matters.
Customer management evaluates these Stakeholders on how quickly they get projects installed, configured, rolled out, up and running. These Stakeholders are extremely sensitive to anything that slows down their projects. This includes slowdowns caused by the negotiation, documentation, and signing of Contract Terms and Conditions or T’s-and-C’s.

Suppliers and their Sales Reps likewise struggle with this T’s-and-C’s related problem. They, too, want to complete the sale and the implementation of their products as quickly as possible. Suppliers are always proactively and strategically looking for ways to speed up the process of negotiating T’s-and-C’s.

At a conference I just attended, one of the Presenters formerly worked for one of the largest Software Licensors, a Software Vendor that is reputed to have extremely complicated and challenging Contract T’s-and-C’s and to be very difficult to negotiate a contract with. The Presenter shared with the audience a profound fact about this difficult Software Vendor. To help speed up Contract negotiations, this difficult Software Vendor has developed a very extensive library of ALTERNATIVE Contract T’s-and-C’s – literally a fallback provision for essentially every Provision in its standard Contract. When a Customer earnestly pushes back on a particular Provision of the SW Vendor’s Standard Contract, the Sales Rep already has in his or her hands an approved ALTERNATIVE provision to satisfy, at least partially, the Customer’s demands – and, even if the Customer is not fully appeased, at least the Sales Rep and the SW Vendor have demonstrated their willingness to listen and to make concessions to the Customer.

Many Customers have learned from this proactive and strategic approach of Vendors. Many Customers have developed their own Contract T’s-and-C’s and firmly insist that they be used rather than the Supplier’s Contract template. But, as totally predictable, Suppliers push back on these Customer Contract T’s-and-C’s – and this, of course, slows down the negotiation, documentation, and signing of the Contract. Those Customers who really desire to speed up their Contract negotiation process have learned a lesson from the Vendor’s Playbook. These wise Customers also have developed a library of ALTERNATIVE Contract T’s-and-C’s that have been reviewed and pre-approved by the Customer Legal Department, thus speeding up the process.

3 KEY TAKEAWAYS

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