Bottom line.  Using Super-simple engagement language for every new customer is your best pathway to customer acceptance and evergreen cash flows. Just ask any successful business owner and they will tell you the same. 

Don't get me wrong… There are other valuable benefits too like setting expectations and mitigating risk but for now we are going to emphasis how to use simple language to assure you get paid and become an ongoing cash-flow-king.

This will only take you a few minutes but it will benefit you for a lifetime.  In this article we will use the words ‘engagement’ and ‘proposal’ interchangeably.

Do not engage your customers orally, unless you like making things hard on yourself.  Every new customer should be engaged in writing and it should only take a few seconds for each new proposal. You'll be glad you did it.

We'll show you:

  • How to locate sample proposals and languages to get rolling
  • 3 rules when sending proposals
  • Additional languages to consider (optional)

Sample Proposals and Languages

Once you are logged into BizPayO, head over to the Engagements tab.  From there you will find a bunch of sample agreements and languages, provided by businesses all over the map in many professional industries.

Feel free to use them, edit or build your own.  Everything is saved right in BizPayO for easy access every time you are ready to go-get a new customer.

That being said, every customer and engagement will be different.  Always seek professional guidance before you put them in us

Rule 1: Simple matching method

No disrespect to children... Always prepare your agreements so a child can understand them.  Doing this limits questions and keeps your customer focused on the task at hand - clicking YES to engage you!

Rule: Always match your services paragraph with a separate matching fees paragraph. Something like this:

CORE SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED:
1.  We will review your existing documents.
2.  We will oversee your books each month.
3.  We will prepare your annual filings.

FEES:

The one-time fee for items 1 above is $1,000.
The monthly fee for items 2 above is $400.
The annual fee for item 3 above is $900.

Optional Language Here> ‘Our fees are tax deductible.’
I love adding the tax deductible language here, strategically located right after the fees.    It lessens the pain a little and has worked like a charm all these years.

Rule 2: Ironclad payment policies

Who told you that it was ok to get paid later, for work you complete now? 

Think about how nuts that is. Please stop that. Put the power of payments back into your hands.

Cash produces prosperity, receivables inspire insolvency.  This core concept has revolutionized the cash flows of hundreds of firms that I consult with.  Receivables go away.  Billing time vanishes.  Vacation time grows. There is nothing fancy about it.  Anybody can do it.

If you want to get paid alongside your engagement, whether upfront, ongoing or later, you MUST do both of the following:

  1. Launch proposals to your customers electronically, and
  2. Include language about how you expect to be paid  

Result: When they e-sign your engagement, they also agree to your payment policies. No exceptions or ambiguities. Now you have control of your cash flows. 

Rule: Always add language that has your customer agree that all your fees, whether paid now or later, will be initiated by you (not them) upon completion of your work, or milestone.  This language also covers any fees for outside scope work.  Now you are fully covered.  Something like this:

PAYMENT POLICIES & SCOPE

Payment for our fees will be automatically initiated by us from your stored payment profile which you will provide when engaging us. You agree to pay your fees per these terms.  This policy is an important part of our engagement.

If there are matters that arise which are outside the scope of the above services, we will alert you in advance for your approval. If approved, you authorize us to electronically initiate payment for these additional services from your stored payment profile at the time these services are rendered.

Rule 3: Tell your clients how to proceed

Don't assume they know.  Don't make them look to find it.   Have a separate explicit paragraph that spells it out.  Usually this is near the end at the most logical location.  Something like this:

TO PROCEED:

  • Type in your name on the engagement portal to digitally sign & accept.
  • Remit $250.00 which represents an advance towards future billing. Please remit electronically on the engagement portal.
  • Ongoing fees per our engagement be initiated automatically from the payment profile that you use above. Your payment profile will be securely stored and encrypted in our payment portal.

Results - Your base proposal template

Now that you understand all 3 rules you have a super-simple and complete proposal that you can shoot off to everyone in seconds. See below.

Just add it to your library in BizPayO, then modify on-the-fly as needed.

The following outlines the terms of our services.  We are well equipped to handle your affairs and look forward to working with you. 

CORE SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED:
1.  We will review your existing documents.
2.  We will oversee your books each month.
3.  We will prepare your annual filings.

FEES:
The one-time fee for items 1 above is $1,000.
The monthly fee for items 2 above is $400.
The annual fee for item 3 above is $900
Our fees are tax deductible.

PAYMENT POLICIES & SCOPE
Payment for our fees will be automatically initiated by us from your stored payment profile which you will provide when engaging us. You agree to pay your fees per these terms.  This policy is an important part of our engagement.

If there are matters that arise which are outside the scope of the above services, we will alert you in advance for your approval. If approved, you authorize us to electronically initiate payment for these additional services from your stored payment profile at the time these services are rendered.

 TO PROCEED:

  • Type in your name on the engagement portal to digitally sign & accept.
  • Remit $250.00 which represents an advance towards future billing. Please remit electronically on the engagement portal.
  • Ongoing fees per our engagement be initiated automatically from the payment profile that you use in item #2 above. Your payment profile will be securely stored and encrypted in our payment portal.

For a quick video overview of smart engagements have a look at this video:

Appendix:

Additional Language or Attachments

For reference, below are some additional categories to consider.  

In BizPayO, you can either cut/paste the language for these right into your proposal template or add as a supplementary attachment.

Remember less is more when it comes to winning new customers, but the decision to add more language is entirely up to you. 

  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Withdrawal provisions
  • Limitations of liability
  • Intellectual property, ownership of data and data protection
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Privacy policy
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