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The Importance of UFCs (Up Front Contracts)

March 29, 2019

UFC stands for an Up-Front Contract. It’s a great way to manage the expectations of a buyer, and what your company is willing to take responsibility for.  UFC’s make the buyer and the sales person accountable.  It is a way to make sure that your salespeople are not Overpromising and Underdelivering, which can be a long-term nightmare for any company.

I am amazed to see how many B2B companies do not use this simple tool., which helps you avoid undesirable conversations after the sale has already been made.

 

UFC’s are used a lot with B2C customers. If you have your car repaired, or some home repair like a new roof, they always make you sign a UFC. For B2B, a UFC doesn’t have to be some written legal document, just make sure that you agree on the expectations before closing the sale. It’s the salesperson’s responsibility. The difficulty lies in that the salesperson must try to be unattached to the outcome. If they are worried about making the sale frequently expectations will not be met. This may take some training on the Sales Manager’s part to get everyone on board. This may be contrary to other thoughts on just get the sale, but in today’s world, it is reality. Salespeople must be trained on handling expectations before the sale is closed.

I have seen even my wife use UFC’s with our grandchildren. Example: “Before we go into this store we have to agree that when I say it is time to leave we leave.” Isn’t that better than arguing after the fact when it is time to leave. Or, “I am willing to spend up to $10 on a toy no more. Do we agree?” It’s probably harder to get a UFC with your grandchild than it is with a customer.

A great blog to read is Managing Expectation is a Key to Success in Sales and In Life. Without re-creating the wheel, the blog has 3 principle areas on Managing expectations.

1. Communication and Responsiveness Throughout the Sales Process is Crucial
2. Avoid a “Maybe” or No Responses from your Prospects.
3. Be Sure to set Priorities and a Reasonable Time Line.

Of course, the sales people will say this is easier said than done. However, without clearly defined and realistic expectations there will be many dissatisfied customers.
To make a clearly defined expectation there needs to be a reiteration at the close of the sale.

1. Correct me if I am wrong, this is what you expect?
2. This is what I agree that I am going to do?
3. The acceptable time frame and when I am going to do it is as follows:
4. If for any reason, we cannot meet your expectations, I will let you know. Do we agree?

If you would like to discuss further or have other thoughts, please do not hesitate to comment on the above

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