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This business coaching lesson teaches why you should confirm your agreements.

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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Notable Quotable: "There's a saying in business: Invest in haste and lose your money in leisure. Once you've finished a negotiation or deal, and you're happy with the results, immediately get it in writing. It's also a good idea to preserve notes from conversations and meeting transcripts, and to follow up on phone calls with an email confirming what was discussed." - Jack Nadel
  • Action Step: In your agreements always include a place for the recipient to sign off on.
  • Lesson Nugget: Over time opinions may change but the signed agreements will not.
  • Notable Quotable : "Keeping a written record protects you and makes sure everybody is on the same page. Having a written agreement can save everyone time, aggravation, and money." - Jack Nadel
  • Action Step : Formulate a habit of keeping records. It can save you time and money in the long run.
  • Action Step: If somebody wants to renegotiate a signed agreement, call them out!

-The first thing you have to do is use that as a regular procedure. And you say as a matter of habit.

-Now Jack, today we are talking about always confirming your agreements in writing and quickly. And in your book, The Evolution of an Entrepreneur, you write, "There's a saying in business: Invest in haste and lose your money and leisure. Once you've finished a negotiation or a deal, and you're happy with the results, immediately get in writing. It's also a good idea to preserve notes from conversations and meeting transcripts, and to follow up on phone calls with an email confirming what was discussed."

-Jack, unpacked this for us. Why is it so important to get agreements in writing and quickly?

-Well first of all, when you and I are speaking, immediately after, that sound is lost. If there's no witnesses to that, we could both have the same-- we could be talking about the same deal, but may remember different facts about it. So I feel that it is important that once you've made a deal, and as easily as you can, confirm what the deal was.

For example, it has to be no more than, it was great meeting. We decided that I'm buying your building. That my price is going to be so and so, and the first payment is going to be such and such. And thank you for your kindness, or something to that effect.

-But you're succinctly stating what you've agreed to?

-That right. Now, if there's ever an argument, in the escrow, or any place in there, I can't say, I said, you said, he said. Who do you believe? Well here's what I said back. Incidentally in my agreement, I always have the place for the recipient to sign off on it.

-Right, that makes sense.

-If your thoughts are in agreement with mine, kindly sign in the right spot. So it just a question of-- I'm not saying that the other guys is dishonest. And I'm not saying-- but he's going to change. And sometimes it's deliberate. Sometimes you take a shot.

When I originally sold my company, there was an exchange of stock. It's called a tax-free exchange of stock. Well included was not my building. My building I owned separately. For that I wanted cash, or I wanted to keep and still be the landlord.

We agreed, everything. I had sent it back. I confirm that. When I came to sign the papers, it was entirely different. I mean, the property it was going to be for stock. I said, no, you don't understand. No, no didn't say that. Oh, yes, you did. Here's where. I sent you a confirmation. Here's your signature.

Well what can we do? I said, we can do exactly what we had before, or we could discontinue the whole thing and the deal's over. He says, would you blow the deal for that? I said, in 30 seconds. And that was it. And he looked, and says, OK. You keep the building. I collected rent on that building for 50 years after that. And collected, I can't tell you how many times the original price was.

-Well you know, I-- just thinking as you were talking about this-- a lot of times, my wife will say could you go to the story get A, B, and C. And I really have the intention of getting A, B, and C. I'm not trying to lie to her, or mislead her, or to not do a good job. But I'll come back with like A, B, and F. And it's because it wasn't written down. You know she'd told me over the phone, and I didn't write it down. I'm paying a dumb tax bring the wrong thing home, at the wrong time. And I think in business, a lot of times people then get emotional, because if somebody just misheard something, or misunderstood, or they didn't quite agree--

-It's so simple.

-Well you could stop all that, by just putting it in writing.

-Put it in writing.

-Well you said here in your book, you say, "Keeping a written record protects you and make sure that everybody's on the same page. Having a written agreement can save everyone time, aggravation, and money."

-So Jack, I guess what we need to do-- as far as the action item-- what do we need to do to start creating the right culture? Where we don't forget to put things in writing? If I'm a sales company watching this right now, what kind of things do I need to start doing, moving forward, so that I can stop aggravation and frustration from occurring?

-Well the first thing you have to do is use that as a regular procedure. And you say as a matter of habit. And, as I said, you make that as innocuous as you want it. You could say, it was great meeting with you. Here are the terms of the deal. And we just want to check and make sure you have the same idea of what was said. Please initial it, or sign it. It's not a big deal.

-So simple as that though? And it really--

-It's as simple-- very. Keep it simple. Keep it simple. Keep it simple. You don't have to go through lengthy explanations. It's pretty good experience. If we disagree, I'm not going to call you a thief, and you're not going to call me a thief. But we both think the other's a thief anyway. You've got to just make the deal, sign it, and that's it.

-I have in other deals, where someone's decided they wanted to change the terms of deal, I said, is this a renegotiation or is this an agreement? And from the business condition, you get your answer.

-Well Jack, I appreciate you distilling 70 years of entrepreneurial knowledge into your book, The Evolution of an Entrepreneur. It's an awesome read. It's a great book. There's so much more to dive into there. But again, thank you for investing your time today to share your knowledge with all the Thrivers, all around the world. It just means the world to me, which is why I've decided to live the next two years in your backyard.

[LAUGHTER]

[COUGH]

-I guess that's an no.

-Excuse the cough. It wasn't your remark that brought on the cough. I've been suffering with it.

-OK. All right.

-But the-- We'll talk about it.

-We'll talk about it. OK. I'm going to confirm that in writing.

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