Wisdom in a Traffic Jam

By on March 29, 2012
Wisdom in a Traffic Jam
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Always Get It In Writing

Dear Angella,
About three months ago, I started a job that I thought was going to be a perfect fit for me. I was helping a friend sell some jewelry she was making. I sold quite a few pieces. When I met with her to discuss my commission, she gave me some jewelry. I was really counting on a check what do I do now.
Wendy

Dear Wendy,
There used to be a time when a hand shake sealed the deal. This was all you needed, it was your word. Not anymore, in today’s economy, you need to put everything in writing. This protects not only you, but the other parties involved. Did you sit down with your friend and discuss what your commission was going to be? Did you clearly define your role as sales person? If not, the only thing you can really do is ask her to pay you a commission from this point forward. We all make assumptions from time to time, and occasionally they cost us more than we bargained for.

Here are a few items, which you should always get in writing.

1. An employment agreement. You want to clearly define the role the new employee is expected to fill. You don’t want to keep them guessing, they cannot be held accountable if they don’t know what is expected of them. Be sure and include any special projects or tasks they will be working on. What are their hours, and days they will work? Again make sure you add in salary, potential bonuses or stock options.

2. Anytime you are working with a building/service contractor, you need to make sure you are getting what you are paying for, and your satisfaction as well. If there is work being preformed, clearly spell it out. There is no detail that is too small. For example, what is the thickness of installation I will be getting, or how often will the corners be vacuumed out? You want to include a start and finish date. With a service contract, you want to add when they should renew, or a way for either party to terminate the relationship.

3. Dealing with a sales contract? If you are buying a product, or many products, you want to ensure that you are protected. What if the product comes to you damaged? Can it be returned, and if so who is responsible for the cost? Include a guaranteed date of delivery. If it arrives after the delivery date, are you still expected to take delivery?

According to Lisa Riggi, president of LHR administrative Services, “When meeting with a new client, we review their needs. The contract is tailored to those specifications. I make sure we are both satisfied. Then and only then do we both sign.”

You want to make sure both parties are satisfied with what they are signing. Once signed you only have three business days to back out of any deal. If at any point, you are having doubts or concerns, renegotiate your contract, or cancel it all together. Without getting it in writing, you can cause a lot of unnecessary problems; you could loose a client or friendship.

Do you have a question for Angella? Send it to Angella@wisdominatrafficjam.com or visit her at www.wisdominatrafficjam.com

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