Sales Tip – Adding Conditions & Contingencies To Order Forms

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I’m really going to go “old school” here. For whatever reason (maybe some consider this to be too pushy), many salespeople are extremely hesitant to pull out the order form and put it out on the table. For the life of me, I fail to understand why. Getting the order form out, and doing so as early as is appropriate, is an extremely powerful part of the selling process. Not only does your customer see it, they also know exactly what it is for. It’s there for them to agree to do business with you! Getting that piece of paper out presents you with several advantages:

  • If they don’t keel over from the shock of just seeing it, or tell you to put it away, you have already earned the right to proceed to the next step.
  • What better way is there to review the conditions and details associated with investing in your product or service?
  • You should be using your pen to point out each area of the form. Seeing the pen out is also another one of those steps toward providing somebody something to SIGN with.

Now, let’s carry this a couple of steps further. As you go through this process the customer may raise various different conditions, request changes, ask for clarification on certain sections of the order form, or they may even not agree to certain terms or specifics. Many, if not most, salespeople will head back to the office, redo the order form, and then try to go back in and complete the sale. No. No. No!!! If it is at all possible, you will scratch out, notate, do whatever you can on that existing order form and then initial the changes and have the customer do the same. If they will even agree to initial the changes, there will be zero difficulty in obtaining their full signature on the dotted line. None!

The bottom line is … you have to act while the opportunity is hot! When I was back in commissioned sales, and this was often on order of $100,000 or more, probably a majority of the orders that I turned in were scratched up in one way or the other. Often, they were a mass of notes. Drove the sales managers and billing people nuts which was an added bonus. LOL. I never promised more than I was authorized to provide. If there was any question about that, I always wrote on the order that the condition was contingent on management approval. I cannot remember one order that bounced back on me nor did I ever have a client object to this process. Most importantly, I know without a doubt that I secured many sales in this manner that I may very well of lost if I had walked out that door and gone back to the office to do my “editing”.


Author: Craig M. Jamieson

Craig M. Jamieson is a lifelong B2B salesperson, manager, owner, and a networking enthusiast. Adaptive Business Services provides solutions related to the sales professional including Boise’s best B2B leads groups, NetWorks! Boise Valley. We are a Nimble SCRM and a HootSuite Solution Partner and a Value Added Associate for TTI Performance Systems. Craig also conducts training and workshops primarily in social selling.