What Do You Call Your Contracts?

I was talking with a business owner recently.

They aimed to have lots of foot soldiers. Account Managers (also known in their company parlance as Ambassadors) on the road. Physically walking from door to door. The masterplan was to get 1,600 of them up and running.

I wondered what kinds of things he’d learned since starting up a year prior.

One example fascinated me.

He’d changed the name of the contractual docket.

It was called what it was.

A Debit Order.

(The same as the UK’s standing order. Official notice for your bank to pay particular funds each and every month)

He found potential buyers didn’t seem to like being asked to sign it.

So he changed his language;

Payment Instruction.

And overnight, signature resistance disappeared.

I remembered my early days in the field.

The contract was the contract.

And in many cases, it’d need to go through Legal so what’s the point of some cunning yet transparent euphemism anyway.

Yet not all sales situations are like those.

A touch later in my career, we termed a really rather nasty lease document a Rental Agreement instead. For the same reason.

I often refer to official docs as “paperwork”.

Seasoned campaigners will talk of “getting delivery in motion”, “securing the resource” or “kicking-off your project”.

Whichever, the point remains. It’s often best to call a spade a spade. But sometimes it is a shovel. Or even, a tool to help produce next year’s crops.

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