Corrections or additions?
This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the June 20, 2001 edition of U.S. 1
Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Speeding Contracts Through `Legal’
When the sales team sells a software contract but the
programmers don’t go to work until six or nine months later, who is
to blame? Fingers often point to nit-picking lawyers.
If a contract is delayed, it damages customer relations, postpones
revenue, and frustrates the commissioned sales people.
But one lawyer,
contracts need to be tailor made for each client, their negotiation
does not have to drag on for months and months. "There is a high
level of frustration when sales people have negotiated the business
terms of the deal it gets bogged down when they turn it over to the
lawyers or contract managers."
Anderson, who is with Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, presents a
seminar, "Why Do IT Sales/Business Development Consultants Fail,
and What to do About It?" on Wednesday, June 27, at 8 a.m. at
the Palmer Inn. Cost: $119. Call 609-844-9880.
Anderson has found nine ways to speed-up the sales cycle:
selling. In other words, don’t give away the store. "If you sell
the intellectual property associated with consulting services, you
can’t use it again," says Anderson. Maybe you were the consultant
who had the bright idea for "one click" sales that Amazon
patented. If you helped them develop that, and your contract did not
exclude the intellectual property rights, you would not be able to
use this idea again.
Choose the licensing option, he urges, unless you are prepared to
"erase the memories" of those who work on a project. License
the rights to use software or modifications. Or ask a higher price.
is willing to take for a sales contract. A typical sticking point
is "termination for convenience," the client’s right to call
it quits. Meanwhile the consultant has made the commitment to gear
up and has lost other business opportunities. Other potential problems
involve liabilities, warranties, indemnification, and non-solicitation
clauses. "The sales people need to understand these issues. If
a client mentions termination of the contract, the salesperson will
mention a termination fee."
making to as few people as possible. Ask who will make the decision
to permit a "termination for convenience" and who will
the fee. "Quicker decisions are made with fewer people," says
as the starting point for a contract, you can focus your attention
on specific deal breaker issues and develop fall-back positions. Tell
your salespeople, "If someone asks for X, here is our standard
issues that relate to what they sell. "Gone are the days when
they can be nothing but relationship massagers," he says.
to do to support the sales team and how to balance that by minimizing
risks. "Too often, the legal team doesn’t care," says
noting that Great Divide between sales people and legal people.
people are trying to protect the company at all costs, but we need
an integrated process here."
proposals. Then you might have better luck when you call your attorney
with a last minute question. "Commission and revenue deadlines
greatly increase the pressure," Anderson says, "and the
turnaround time is generally 3.5 minutes on a 200-page proposal.
sales people know the idiosyncrasies and priorities of the clients,
says Anderson, and they need to be there during negotiations for
property rights. They can ask the question, "Will we need to
things from this project?"
the same requests over and over again and did we give on it every
time? If we did, maybe we should change our form of agreement and
not waste the time negotiating. If the standard is two times fees
and we always get negotiated down, let’s buy more insurance, change
the template, and not waste the time." Ask what deals got killed
because of issues and what can be done about it? "Too often, the
dead deal just lies there and no one looks at it again."
physicist who did implant dosimetry at Sloan Kettering. He went to
Colgate, Class of 1985, and Rutgers/Camden Law School, and he
in Monmouth County. His clients have been various software companies,
including Comvault (in Oceanport), People3 (a Gartner Group affiliate
that does HR consulting in software), Vertec Corp. (a
services provider in Murray Hill), and Synchronous Technologies (an
application service provider for telecoms in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania).
"It’s hard enough for a salesperson to get a foot in the door,
and when you have a chance to take your shot, you need ammo,"
says Anderson. "And it needs to be standard. I have seen different
service level commitments sold for the same product. Then you have
to tell your service folks that the response time varies from four
hours to 36 hours. How do you manage a department like that?"
— Barbara Fox
Jasna Polana, the estate of someone quite wealthy, would
seem an appropriate location to hold a charitable giving seminar.
And sure enough, Catholic Charities thought the
would be an ideal spot for its "Financial Survival Strategies"
workshop set for Thursday, June 28, at 8 a.m. Those who attend can
ogle the grand staircase and enjoy breakfast in the sumptuous
while they hear pitches for such opportunities as "charitable
remainder trusts" and "guaranteed income and planned
Among the speakers will be
on Lenox Drive;
of CapTrust Financial Advisors on Main Street in Lawrenceville; and
Center. For reservations call Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton,
at 609-394-5181, ext. 153.
The 88-year-old behavioral health care and social service agency
care to more than 100,000 people each year,offering services for
and sexually abused children, the elderly, battered women, people
who are homeless or hungry, girls and women experiencing crisis
the seriously mentally ill, people struggling with addictions to
and other drugs, people suffering with AIDS or HIV infection, children
in need of a family or home, and families, couples, and individuals
in need of counseling.
"Our goal is to heighten the awareness of opportunities that are
designed to maximize one’s charitable contribution and offer a sense
of personal security simultaneously," says Reilly, financial
representative at MetLife Financial Services and board member of
Charities. "Today’s investors can benefit greatly when they have
the tools needed to make informed decisions about charitable giving.
Many are pleasantly surprised to see the personal benefits that
charitable giving can offer."
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