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How an Expiration Date for Your Contract Can Boost Client Relationships

How an Expiration Date for Your Contract Can Boost Client Relationships

We’ve all done it. Weeks pass by, and your clients haven't signed your contract that’s still open in your CRM platform… yet you are still holding their event date. Service providers, there is a critical aspect of client relationships that often goes overlooked—setting a contract signing expiration date.

Trust me, this is a game-changer when it comes to locking in your clients, creating a sense of urgency to sign, and ensuring all parties are happy with the original price quoted.

So, let's chat about how setting and enforcing contract expirations is a vital part of the prospective client journey.


Urgency is KEY as a Business Strategy

Let's start with a business tip! Customers act when there is a sense of urgency. That is why you see big companies advertising short-term sales or “once-in-a-lifetime” prices. People want to feel special when they purchase something and you should be using this tactic in your own small business to book clients. When setting a specific date for them to sign the contract by, you're introducing an element of urgency that nudges them toward making a decision. This isn't about pressuring them but rather giving them an incentive to take the leap. TLP recommends giving your clients no more than 2-5 days to sign a contract (48 hours is usually the norm)! When people know that a particular opportunity has an expiration date, they're more likely to take action, giving them the nudge they need to commit.

Furthermore, in the service industry and especially when dealing with weddings and events, clients often have several options to choose from and they’re likely considering a handful of talented professionals just like you. When you establish a signing expiration date, you're asking them to consider you seriously. It's like saying, "Hey, I believe in what I offer, and I hope you do too!" This encourages your clients to evaluate their options, reflect on what you bring to the table, and make a decision that feels right for them while valuing your time and expertise.  Remember, you're not just offering a service; you're offering an experience. 


Give Clients a Deadline to Get The Price You Quoted

Ultimately, by setting a contract signing expiration date, you're extending a courtesy to your clients—the promise that their chosen pricing and package will remain intact until that date. This provides a sense of security for your clients and puts the ball in their court to determine if they want the price you quoted now or are willing to take the risk and wait until later when your prices may increase. Let them know that they will lose this rate if they do not sign within that time period. Also, if you are offering any sort of discount or addition to their package as a way to get them to book asap, be sure to tell them that this is only guaranteed if they book with you by “x” date or the discount/additions will no longer be available. It's a gesture of transparency, reliability, and urgency that will be appreciated.

When you send your client the contract, if you need help with the proper wording to use about an expiration date HERE is a great post with a template email that you can copy/paste into your workflow!


What Happens If They Don’t Sign By The Expiration Date?

Now, let's chat about what happens when the contract expiration signing date sails by and your clients didn't sign. Once that date comes and goes, it's time for a little reality check for your clients. They should be aware that your offerings are in high demand, and after the contract signing window closes, their chosen package, date, and pricing might no longer be available. This not only encourages prompt action but also reinforces the idea that your services are a hot commodity worth snatching up. KNOW YOUR WORTH and reopen that date on your calendar for other clients!


Always Be The Last Person To Sign The Contract

Last but certainly not least, let's talk about the golden rule of contract etiquette. When it comes to sealing the deal, ensure your clients sign the contract before you do as the service provider. This not only establishes a precise sequence of events but also ensures that both parties are on the same page before any commitments are finalized. This also makes it so that you are not legally committing to any terms or prices before your client does, and that you can make necessary changes to the contract once the client sees it.  


So, there you have it! Setting a contract signing expiration date is more than just a step in the process; it's a strategic move that can elevate your client experience and streamline your business dealings. By creating urgency, prompting decisions, securing pricing, and following proper contract etiquette, you're setting the stage for a harmonious collaboration that benefits both you and your clients.

Are you ready to take the next step in your business and get legally legit? Find out which contract you need in your business arsenal HERE!

THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT & IS FACT-SPECIFIC. A proper legal analysis is necessary based on your location and contract. Consult an attorney in your home state for advice regarding your contract or specific legal situation.
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