Ahhh, the feeling of signing a new client. It never gets old, does it?! 💃🏽
The contract is signed, the invoice is paid.
You’re ready to celebrate!
It could be a couple days later, or maybe even a couple of weeks later.
The client says they want to make changes to the contract 😳
Now, before you go dreaming up the worst case scenarios, take a second and breathe, sis.
We’ve seen this go down a million times over, and we have the exact tips you need to make sure you handle this like the expert you are. Use these strategies to preserve the client relationship and come out on top, no matter what unexpected surprises come up.
Don’t Freak Out
First things first…you’ve GOT to keep your cool. You may not even know exactly what they want to change yet, so don’t let your mind think the worst or fill in the blanks before speaking to the client. Don’t ghost the client, disappear, or have any sort of meltdown. Keep it profesh, always.
The key thing here is to COMMUNICATE. Be direct, honest, and practical. Find out exactly what it is they want, and see if it’s possible for you to give it to them. Lay everything out on the table and see how you can work together to salvage the relationship and move forward in the best way for both parties.
You want to avoid having to give refunds or leaving on bad terms with your client. Always try your best to protect the relationship and your reputation by seeing how you can come to an agreement.
Hear them out and figure out what it is they want and why it is they want it.
Review Your Original Contract
The next thing you’ll want to do is go back and review the original contract you both signed. Take a look at what it says about making amendments and changes, as well as contract termination if that’s what they want to do.
Any professional contract should include these clauses about amendments and termination. If yours doesn’t, it might be time for an upgrade 😉 Check out all of our lawyer-created, plug-and-play contract templates here.
Get Any New Changes in Writing
The third and final tip is to get any changes to the original contract in writing.
Any changes that are made need to be put in writing, added to the contract, and signed and agreed to by both parties.
If you are amending the contract to add on services, that needs to be clearly communicated.
- Maybe you’re a web developer and your client wants to add on more web pages to the scope
- Maybe you’re a podcast producer and your client wants to add in an additional episode to be edited per month
- Maybe you’re a coach and your client decides they’ll need an extra few sessions to hit their goals
Whatever the changes may be, simply discussing them over the phone or email isn’t enough. Add it to the contract and make it offish 💁🏽 and don’t forget to make those price adjustments if more services are added!
What if the client isn’t looking to add on or change services, but terminate services altogether?
In this case, you’ll have to review your termination clause. What happens in the event a client wants to be released from a contract?
- Do they need to pay a certain amount in order to be released from the contract?
- Will they have a remaining balance to pay if they exit the contract early?
- Will you provide them a pro-rated refund amount based on services rendered?
Looking for the easiest way possible to amend your contract without getting yourself into a sticky legal sitch?
Check out our Contract Release and Modification Addendum Template Mini-Bundle! This bundle provides you with two documents, one to amend your contract and one to release your client from the agreement.
In the case of the modification template, it’s easier than ever to make changes to your original legal document. This template won’t void your original contract, it will simply add on extra terms to it!
And in the event either party does want out, the contract release template will help you go about that in the best possible way. It’ll lay everything out clearly, including your policies on refunds or cancellation fees.
While no one wants to think about a client relationship going sour, it DOES happen, so you might as well be prepared for it. At Coaches and Company, we help you come out on top, no matter what life throws your way.