In every business there comes a time when you need to get someone’s signature on a document. Whether it’s a proposal, approval forms, working agreements, contracts etc. the goal is the same: make the process of sending, signing and managing documents easy.
The truth is your business efficiency will come to a grinding halt the minute you need someone to sign a document. If you’re like most solo and micro business owners, you still rely on your clients taking time out of their busy day to print, scan and email or fax the document back to you. This is a colossal waste of time and effort. Not only is it time consuming and cumbersome, it often leads to delays.
Anything that takes a person more than a few minutes to complete will fall to the bottom of their To Do list. Guaranteed.
Before you know it, you’re spending time and effort following up with emails and phone calls … that is if it doesn’t slip through the cracks.
Here’s how to make the signing process easier.
Enter the eSignature
The trick is to make the process of signing as streamlined and easy as possible for both you and your customer. Doing so will improve you business efficiency considerably and make it simple for your clients to complete … which leads to deals closing faster.
Enabling your clients to use an eSignature improves the process immensely. An eSignature is a digital representation of a person’s name. It can be a scan of their actual signature, their signature using a stylus or mouse, or a pre-designed unique signature that becomes the electronic representation of their name.
Is it legal?
eSignatures are legally binding in the United States, Canada, UK, European Union and almost every civilized country in the world. An eSignature is an electronic indication of intent to agree to or approve the contents of a document.
How does it work?
No matter which third-party digital signature vendor you choose, the system is pretty much the same.
1. Send :: Upload the document that needs to signed to your eSignature service website. Add the names of the people that need to sign. Click the send button and document is automatically sent to your client.
2. Sign :: Your client receives an email requesting their signature. They’ll drag and drop their signature into the signature field. Once they click send everyone is alerted by an auto email and the document is stored in the cloud where you can access it.
3. Manage :: To track documents that are awaiting signature, you can access your account and review the status. You can also measure how many contracts you’ve sent and how many were successfully completed.
You can store all your document templates in one place. This saves you from having to search for templates on your hard drive and reduces the risk of using the wrong document. You can also manage various drafts that have been sent out.
Who are the vendors?
Here are 3 players in the field that are worth considering:
DocuSign :: $10+/month
Echosign :: $14.95+/month
Whichever vendor you choose, try them out first. All of them offer a no-obligation free trial period. I’d also recommend checking out their support team. Make sure they’re accessible and friendly … and you can actually talk to a live person.
Your next step
Take a moment to review your signing process. Is it cumbersome? Does it take up too much of your time with the back and forth emails? Does it take too long for your clients to sign and return? If you answered Yes, check out the third-party vendors above and take them for a test drive. Let me know how it goes in the comments section below.