May 13 2011
Ofyrox closed their last deal by unplugging their server and sending all the hamsters home.
Closing sales takes a lot of work. I remember working for a design firm and spending a lot of time getting clients to agree to statements of work, schedules, and fees. This iterative process can take weeks and is truly tiresome. Each revision requires a new proposal that, as my boss would always remind me, is a binding contract once signed. If we include language that’s ambiguous then we may end up doing more work than we expect. If we don’t outline the client responsibilities then they make take weeks to get back to us prior to approving the next steps. It’s important that the contract is correct.
This process isn’t all bad though. It’s actually ripe with opportunity. This is the time where you can learn what the client needs and educate them on how to get there. It’s here you set their expectations and prepare them for the process.
For many firms both large and small, this process is managed by good old fashion Word documents. They’re rather useful, since for contractor work each proposal is different. This works for a while and is certainly effective for closing business. Writing a new proposal each time and then emailing it takes a lot of time though. Now there’s a better way to manage the contract negotiation process, with Ofyrox. It’s a new site that allows you to break down your proposal into specific sections of work so that all parties are 100% clear on what the tasks entail. Once everyone agrees to the work and the fee, then they can accept the project and begin work.
The first thing to know about Ofyrox is that it’s a well designed web application. It’s clearly build by those that have been working in web development for a number of years. I strongly suspect they’ve also negotiated a contract or two in their day and know about the many pitfalls. As such, their service works as follows. Users are broken into two groups. First are Contractors. These are the people that will initiate the negotiation process via Ofyrox. They in turn will direct their prospects to register as a Customer. And then the negotiation games begin.
In Ofyrox’s system the process is organized and neatly laid out. The contractor will prepare the framework of the proposal before sending to the customer. This is broken down into offers, which are comprised of services, which are comprised of options. So let’s say you have a client that needs a shopping cart added to their site. First thing you’ll do is create the services that describe adding the shopping cart. This consists of just the name and brief description. Then you add a series of options that quantify exactly what will be entailed with that service. These could include creating three prospective layouts, and then creating the final design, and lastly implementation and testing. Each of these steps will have a fixed dollar amount associated with it as well as hours. Too often contractors pick up clients without a detailed list of tasks with specific outlines of work, time, and money. Ofyrox’s system brings this to the forefront so that customer expectations are properly set from the beginning.
Once the services with their various options are created, then you can create an offer. This will consist of as many of the services and options as you like. Each offer is given a permanent link (which is configurable), which you can send to the customer. The customer can review, approve, reject, or make changes to the offer. They can even add in new options in the event it’s not included. In turn, the contractor can view those updates and accept, and or make changes as well. Once the negotiations are over, the customer will press the accept button and the project can begin. Both customer and contractor are given graphs on their dashboard where they can track the progress of their contracts.
Negotiating contracts takes a lot of work. Ofyrox makes the iterative process both easy and professional. With it contractors can quickly and easily articulate new projects and customers will be fully aware of what they’re purchasing.