Bullhorns & Bullseyes Podcast

Sales Contracts (and more)

Guest: Tricia Meyer
May 21, 2024
Play Video about Tricia Meyer

Episode 25

Tom and Curtis are joined by Tricia Meyer, founder and managing attorney at Meyer Law, which provides insights on the different types of contracts and their significance in protecting both parties. Tricia begins by sharing her experience with Clever Baby, a teething and medicine dispenser product, and the importance of contracts in retail partnerships.

The conversation highlights the need for clear and balanced contracts to mitigate risks and avoid conflicts. Tricia emphasizes the need for simple and clear sales commission plans and contract terms that can be easily understood and tracked. They also discuss the balance between protecting both parties and not making the contract overly complex. Tricia also announces the launch of her product, The Clever Baby, on Target.com and Bye Bye Baby.


  • Contracts are essential in sales and marketing to protect both parties and mitigate risks.
  • Different types of contracts, such as customer contracts, referral agreements, reseller agreements, and brand ambassador agreements, serve different purposes and require careful consideration.
  • Intellectual property and confidentiality are key areas to address in contracts.
  • Automating the contract process can make it more efficient and less burdensome.
  • Having clear and balanced contracts in place can prevent conflicts and provide a solid foundation for business relationships.
  • Sales commission plans should be simple and easy to track.
  • Contracts should be tailored to the specific needs of the business and its clients.
  • Regularly review and update contracts to ensure they align with the business.
  • Balance the need for protection with simplicity and clarity in contracts.
  • Consider the risk tolerance of both parties when negotiating contract terms.

Connect with Tricia:

Meyer Law: MeetMeyerLaw.com
LinkedIn: ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/meyertricia/⁠

Tom Nixon (00:01.264)
Here we are, Curtis, once again with another episode of Bullhorns and Bulls Eyes. How are you, my friend?

Curtis Hays (00:06.237)
I’m doing great today. How are you?

Tom Nixon (00:08.208)
doing good. We are touching on a topic that I know we’ve really since the inception of this podcast come back to quite a bit because it’s near and dear to our hearts and that’s the intersection that should exist between sales and marketing.

Curtis Hays (00:22.141)
Uh, for sure. Yeah. I mean, that’s pretty much why we started this podcast is to talk about sales and marketing and how they intersect and how they need to collaborate and work together in order to achieve company goals. And problems exist on both sides and we want to bring in experts, um, that are involved in both areas of sales and marketing. I’m not sure today’s topics will be exactly what people are expecting, but I think they’re going to find it really valuable. It’s going to be a good conversation.

Tom Nixon (00:48.976)
Yeah, well, it’s going to touch on an admitted blind spot for me. I tend to put too much faith in people and not want to get gummed up in the works of legal technicalities. We’ll just figure it out later. Thankfully, I haven’t been burnt, but that’s only because I’ve sort of gradually begrudgingly started to move in the direction to which I think our guest today would advocate.

Curtis Hays (01:15.453)
Yeah, I wouldn’t say I’ve been burnt, but I have been in situations where I am thankful I have today’s guest on my side. So I can testify to that. OK, well today we’re going to introduce everybody to Tricia Meyer. Tricia is the founder and managing attorney at Meyer Law. I met Tricia about 10 years ago. We recently had Lindsay Mullen on the show, and Lindsay introduced me to Tricia.

Tom Nixon (01:25.52)
Let’s get around before I do something stupid.

Curtis Hays (01:42.525)
And she’s been a great resource. I use her for a lot of the legal contracts and those types of things and advice that I need for, I think now three different businesses that I’ve worked with Trisha on over the last 10 years. And Trisha’s got offices in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and now an office excitingly in, welcomed here in Michigan with us, Tom, she’s up in Traverse City. So welcome.

to the show. Trisha, good to see you.

Tricia (02:14.334)
Thank you. It’s good to see you both. Thank you so much for having me. And yes, super excited about the office in Traverse City. What a gorgeous place.

Tom Nixon (02:24.144)
I gotta ask you, Tricia, just this is sort of off topic because you’re in law and now you’re in Traverse City. Do we have a mutual acquaintance in Jay Harrington, who’s also been a former guest on the podcast? You know, Jay?

Curtis Hays (02:24.285)
That’s it.

Tricia (02:36.99)
I might, I don’t know the name off the top of my head. I’m sorry, Jay.

Tom Nixon (02:38.16)
Okay. Yeah. Well, he’s not listening because he’s busy hosting his own podcast. So yeah. Okay. Good. Well, thank you for coming on. Curtis says great things about you.

Curtis Hays (02:41.341)

Tricia (02:43.646)
Oh, got it.

Tricia (02:50.334)
Yes, all Curtis, it’s really been just amazing getting to watch you start all of these businesses and have all of this success. And I’m so excited to be here today.

Curtis Hays (03:01.117)
Well, you as well. And I think that’s, we’re not just bringing you on today as an attorney, but you’re also, you know, you’ve been involved with many startups yourself, managed and founded, you know, a few different companies, the most recent of which is pretty cool. And I want to learn more about is Clever Baby, which is a teething and sort of medicine dispenser combined into one. And when I was, uh,

Checking LinkedIn recently, you guys had some partnership, I think, is it with Target? Where they walked you through some kind of marketing strategy and those types of things. What was that all about?

Tricia (03:40.958)
Yes, yes. So we started the Clever Baby to really make parents’ lives easier and bring joy to kids. You know, we are just spreading the magical moments with the kids. And so our first idea is this teether and dispenser in one. It’s a plain -shaped teether that fits on top of a dispenser. And it’s so adorable. You can use it for giving medicine or for feeding baby food purees. The teether pops off. It’s a great thing for the baby to be able to grasp and hold.

Curtis Hays (03:54.525)
There it is.

Tricia (04:07.518)
and then sensory stimulation with the raised surfaces and allows the baby to get relief to those back teeth without gagging, which is really important. And so, yeah, we started this business after thinking of the idea for our first product jet while feeding our sixth baby. And we were so lucky to be chosen out of over 5 ,000 companies to be part of Target’s Forward Founders Accelerator program. It was an amazing opportunity that we took part of.

toward the end of last year and finished it up in December. And just an amazing opportunity where we got to learn exactly what we need to know in order to get into mass retail and, you know, get jets, sell millions of jets.

Curtis Hays (04:50.813)
Wow, that’s incredible.

Tricia (04:53.054)

Tom Nixon (04:53.072)
Yeah, and Curtis, you’re right. This is not the podcast I thought we were having today. So, yeah, I would imagine our listeners will be surprised as well, but you weren’t referring to the jet. That’s a cool little device you got there and congratulations. And I know I’ve worked with startups in the past who want to break into retail. It’s a lot more difficult than they think it is. They think. Well, all I do is contact them and they’re going to love my idea and the space is already there, right? There’s all these empty shelves that they need to fill and that’s not the case.

Curtis Hays (04:57.149)

Tricia (05:05.022)
Thank you.

Tricia (05:20.03)
Right, right, it is very complex. There’s a lot you need to know. It’s also very expensive getting into mass retail, which you might have already assumed. And yeah, there’s just a lot of nuances and things that we learned over the course of the Target Accelerator program that were just so invaluable and just, it was really amazing experience. Not only the education, but being able to meet all of those amazing people that are part of the program and the mentors and.

the team that runs the pro program. I mean, everybody’s amazing. The cohorts, the cohort, I mean, all of the companies are just rock stars. So it’s just cool to be able to be part of all of that.

Curtis Hays (05:59.709)
Yeah. And you’ve been a part of a lot of neat things like that, including, um, which, which I know well as 1871 in Chicago, which is sort of like, for those of us who don’t know here in Michigan, well known in Chicago area, which is sort of like an incubator place for startups to meet other professionals and get advice and training or, or access to different trades and different things, which you’ve been involved in for well over 10 years, I think, Trisha and coaching.

and providing legal advice to startups, as well as emerging growth companies and those types of things. So you’re just, you know, you come with so much, you know, wisdom, I think, and experience in helping companies that you’re definitely going to be a valuable guest today.

Tricia (06:45.342)
Aw, thank you so much. And you know, it’s something that I’m really passionate about. You know, mentoring at Incubators and Accelerators 1871 is near and dear to my heart. I’ve been involved with that since the very beginning. And again, I’ve just really met a lot of really cool founders and created a lot of cool opportunities and spread a lot of knowledge to help those founders avoid unnecessary mistakes because, you know, that’s what it’s all about. If we’re all helping each other, we’re all going to get much further more quickly.

Curtis Hays (06:47.069)

Curtis Hays (07:13.501)
I think our listeners might have missed that you said your sixth kid, you were using the jet there on. So you did all of this and are managing to raise six kids. That’s pretty impressive.

Tricia (07:17.854)

Tricia (07:23.198)

Yeah, they range in age from 6 to 15. My oldest is just about to get her license. Scary.

Curtis Hays (07:34.141)
Oh boy. Well, that might actually help. You’ve probably got some helpers around and maybe she can help cart people back and forth to some of their sporting practices.

Tricia (07:39.646)

Tricia (07:44.894)
Right, right, absolutely.

Tom Nixon (07:45.456)
There you go. There you go. Well, let’s talk about your other business. So, you have multiple children, obviously, multiple business pursuits. The one that we referred to an outset was, you know, I mentioned my reticence to address the devil that often exists in the details or should with a contract, right? So, in terms of discussing sales, you also help companies cross

t’s dot i’s in terms of the contracts that need to be in place between vendor and contractor and customer, all those things, right? So tell us a little bit about what Meyer Law does with respect to sales contracts.

Tricia (08:25.598)
Sure, yeah, we help companies really with day -to -day matters, all transactional, but there are so many relationships that you have within your business. They all have different considerations depending on the type of your business that should be thought through. And then also, your contract should be tailored to your risk tolerance. So we have some clients who are extremely risk averse. They do not want to take on any level of risk, and so we draft the clients in that way. We have other clients who are like, no, I’m okay taking on this level of risk and really only want to protect myself here.

And so then we help draft the contracts that way. It’s really important to be really thoughtful about the structure of your contracts, the level of risk tolerance that your client has so that way you’re drafting it in a way in which fits their business and what their purpose and goals are. So yeah, we help clients with various contracts that they need for their business from the customer contracts to referral agreements to reseller agreements to brand ambassador agreements.

to sales commission plans. I mean, the list goes on. There are many.

Tom Nixon (09:29.84)
What is a typical risk that you think is of utmost importance for somebody who is selling a professional service like Curtis or I or our clients that they are overlooking that a simple contract and I don’t mean to oversimplify it but that a contract like the one that you would counsel somebody to have a place can protect against.

Tricia (09:50.526)
The main thing, well there’s two main things. There’s many things, but two of the most important things are one, your intellectual property. So if you have any intellectual property and let’s say you’re sharing that with your customer, you need to grant them a license to use that. You should not allow them to use it without any kind of parameters around what it is that they can and cannot do with it. It’s also,

important to make sure that you’re very clear in your customer contracts that if you are developing things for your clients what you own versus what they own and what you’re granting ownership rights to them for. So just intellectual property is one of the one of a business’s most important assets and so making sure that you have an understanding of what you own versus what you’re licensing and making sure you’re very clear with respect to the rights and restrictions around that is super important.

Curtis Hays (10:41.469)
Thank you.

Tricia (10:45.342)
Another important thing is if you’re going to be sharing confidential information with the other party, you definitely want to make sure that it’s protected.

Tom Nixon (10:57.36)
Yeah. Kurtis, you’re the one that is even for this very podcast. You wanna have a um a contract in place with our guests. So, hopefully, Trisha signed this because otherwise, who knows what’s gonna happen?

Curtis Hays (11:08.637)
Actually, I think we scheduled Trisha before I got that in place. But in this example, so Melody, who’s one of Trisha’s attorneys, I reached out to Melody and said, you know, hey, we’re using people’s photos, we’re taking video and putting it up on social media. Should we have a release for this and a consent that we can use their name, you know, their company, share their social media links, you know, those types of things.

Tricia (11:08.83)
What up?

Tricia (11:14.366)
in this example.

Curtis Hays (11:38.653)
And so, yeah, she said, for sure, you know, let’s, let’s put that together. And so now I’m trying to automate the process of signing up a guest that I have a calendar link that they can book themselves. And then immediately after they book the, you know, recording, which is what we’re doing now, they get sent to the release page and then they can read through that, do a digital signature. And then we both get sent a PDF of that signature with the release. So.

Tricia (11:38.782)

Tricia (12:08.19)
Yay, I’m clapping. I’m clapping because you thought through the process, which is so important and so many companies miss. They’re using these cumbersome agreements that maybe they don’t need to use and they don’t put the agreement in place because they think it’s going to be this cumbersome experience. But what you did is you thought through it, which is what we recommend all our clients do, and think about the best way and the most efficient way to get that signed, right? Because you don’t want to waste time in any avenue of your business.

Curtis Hays (12:08.733)
Yeah, trying to follow.

Tricia (12:36.03)
And so what is the most efficient way to structure it? And you did it, which is exactly right. Automating it, making it very, you know, where they can click and agree and sign it and you’re off to the races.

Tom Nixon (12:47.888)
I was going to ask you about that Tricia, because I can’t even articulate very well what my apprehension is. It’s not even in a version, but I’ve always not wanted to have contracts in place because I just felt it instilled trust between, you know, vendor and client or I’m just not a detailed person. I don’t know. Or I just don’t want to get bogged down in it. What do you find is driving people’s resistance to this and how do you get them to overcome it?

Tricia (13:12.638)
I mean, if we’re being honest, I joke that I need my own lawyer on the clever baby side of things because I hold things up having to draft things like ambassador terms or giveaway terms or whatever the case may be. So I get it. I think it’s people just don’t want to get bogged down or they put too much trust in the other party. And then what happens is you’re cleaning up a mess if things don’t go right. And in

position that I’m in, I see a lot of disasters, unfortunately. So it’s easier just to approach it from the standpoint of this is a contract to protect both parties. It really has both parties interests in mind. You know, I prefer balanced contracts myself. And, and it’s here to protect us. It’s not here to slow us down or to, you know, give one party necessarily an advantage over another.

And that’s why I think structuring it the right way is super important to consider like Curtis did and like we just talked about. Because if you have the right structure in place and it’s a very efficient process, you’re not gonna get bogged down. It’s not gonna feel heavy. It’s just gonna be part of the process. And then you know that you’re protecting what you’re working so hard for. Because truly speaking, one bad contract could sink your whole company.

Tom Nixon (14:32.24)
What are some of the other contracts we were talking about this disclaimer for the use of the podcast, but outside of the contracts that you would have with your customers, are there other contracts that you should have in place, but maybe you don’t think you have in place?

Tricia (14:45.822)
Yes, so let’s say you’re trying to grow your business and you want to bring on referral partners or resellers. It’s important to think about truly what you need. People use those terms interchangeably. I need a reseller, I need a referral partner, but they’re really two different things. A referral partner is basically referring you business, you’re entering into the contract with that end customer, and you’re giving them usually a commission. With a reseller,

they’re taking your product, reselling it to another party, and you’re not entering into the contract with that end party that’s gonna be using your services, but rather they are. And so there are certain protections that you need in that contract with that reseller. And maybe you wanna flow through certain terms related to any IP that they would have access to or other information. And so I think, you know, looking at the different avenues you’re going to use to increase the sales in your company and then figure out,

the, you know, which relationship makes most sense. And then thinking about the protections that are necessary is really important as you grow out your kind of different sales channels.

Tom Nixon (15:51.28)
Curtis, I’m curious how you’ve handled it because we even had the situation even within the last three hours where we say, okay, we’ll send you over a contract to execute. We don’t need anything fancy, right? It’s like, ah, we’re not formal, but we’re not anything fancy. So what do you do? I mean, I’m sure you insist you’ve gotten to the point of insisting. Well, you’re not, it’s not going to be fancy, but it’s like Tricia said, it’s going to protect both of us.

Curtis Hays (16:13.213)
Yeah, I’m, we’ll say on your earlier question, I don’t like doing it because I’m like a conflict avoidance person. So it’s like, I just feel like there’s the opportunity for conflict when I’m like, well, here’s the contract. Can you look this over? And I just, I don’t want the questions that might come back from presenting the conflict or to rub the person the wrong way, so to speak. So there’s that side of it, which I do think then, automate it.

Automating it certainly or for the most part, most of my general terms and conditions are just on my website. And then I reference those in a, in a statement of work. So I do try to make it as easy as possible. And then this last year we, uh, we, we did upgrade our CRM and go to HubSpot and HubSpot actually has a tool for us to do our contracts with the signature. So now I’m not.

doing a PDF and then taking that PDF and putting it into like a Dropbox sign or we’re not signing it physically and faxing it back and forth, which is so, you know, 20 years ago, it’s like these tools can be effective, um, and use the right way to automate and just make it so much easier and really appreciate this as an endorsement for HubSpot. But the fact that it does this for us and keep it all aligned is, uh, is definitely helpful. Um,

What was your original question though Tom.

Tom Nixon (17:38.224)
Well, for the client that says, we don’t need anything fancy. Let’s just get started.

Curtis Hays (17:42.077)
Yeah, I mean, okay, so I have been, again, I don’t want to call it burned because I was protected, but I have come into situations where having the contract in place has come into play to go back to the client and say, well, these were the terms that both of us agreed on. And I do think we should abide by those terms that we both agreed on and let’s march forward this way. If you don’t have that in place, you really don’t have a leg to stand on at all. So you leave.

You know, room for interpretation, but room for conflict. And again, being conflict avoidance for me, I’m better off having the terms and the agreement and all of that in place because otherwise I am asking for conflict in some way. The conflict doesn’t necessarily have to be, you know, in a bad way, but certainly, you know, questioning something later on down the road, whether it’s a deliverable, whether it’s they expected to get something that they didn’t expect, or they.

expected to own something that they don’t actually own, you know, that could eventually all come into play at some point.

Tom Nixon (18:48.176)
Tricia in our business, in the marketing world, more generally, I don’t do this sort of marketing, but what’s become hugely popular since the advent of social media is this idea of influencer marketing or having brand ambassadors because, you know, somebody might have a million followers that you can leverage in the way that we used to back in the old days, which is there are a million people watching General Hospital. Let’s just put a soap ad during it. Right. So influencer marketing and brand ambassadors. Now, this is another form of contractual relationship, isn’t it?

Tricia (19:17.502)
It is, it is, and it’s another one that you want to make sure that you have the right contract in place and the rights to be able to use the assets that they provide and be really clear on what your expectations are. What are they providing you with? On which platforms? How many times a week or what, you know, month or whatever the situation is, making sure you have those rights, the license rights to be able to use their assets and their name and likeness.

for perpetual period of time forever really. Sometimes, you know, influencers are savvy and they want a time period around that. You can only use it for a year and then you have to pay me again, next fee or whatever. You know, but on the company side of things, you know, you definitely want to get that license for as long as you possibly can. And so yes, it’s important to have all of these different types of contracts for all these different types of relationships that you will use to help increase the sales in your business.

Tom Nixon (20:12.624)
And then by show of hands, raise a hand if you thought general hospital was going to be coming up on today’s podcast. No, nobody. All right.

Tricia (20:18.174)
I used to be a favorite of mine back in the day. Now I don’t really watch TV, but back in the day, I loved GH.

Tom Nixon (20:23.952)
Same here, same here.

I may have to turn my man card in but I was a huge fan. I can tell you all about Luke and Laura. Oh yeah. Oh wow. That’s right.

Tricia (20:30.238)

Curtis Hays (20:31.517)
Oh wow.

Tricia (20:33.054)
Oh my God, my assistant, Chrissy’s gonna love this. She still watches it, you guys. Yep.

Curtis Hays (20:36.829)
No way.

Tom Nixon (20:38.832)
Yep. My mom just as an offshoot, speaking of things you didn’t expect to hear on the podcast today, started watching it when she was pregnant with my oldest son who is now 60 years old and she still watches it every day. Wow. So, there you go. Some of the same characters are still in it too. It’s just insane. Anywho, it’s moving along. So, Curtis, anything you want to add about General Hospital or anything else Trisha said?

Tricia (20:51.23)
Oh my gosh. Wow. Oh my gosh.

Curtis Hays (21:00.285)
Now, Stephanie used to watch all my children. That was the one that was always watched. And she would record them while she was at work during the day. When she got into her twenties, she would literally VHS them and then come home and watch them on the VHS. Yeah. Pretty funny. Yeah.

Tricia (21:11.646)

Tricia (21:18.014)
I love it. We’re all 20 our age.

Tom Nixon (21:20.784)
Yeah. We are. Yeah. Alright. So, um permission to move outside of the general hospital realm for just a minute. Anyway, so another form of contract or relationship related to sales is when you have either independent reps or I’m guessing employees or so sales commission plans need to have defined contract terms as well, right?

Curtis Hays (21:27.773)
Please, please do.

Tricia (21:41.918)
That’s exactly right. And let me tell you, with sales commission plans, you want to keep it simple. We have drafted the most complex, convoluted compensation methods ever that nobody wants to track. So keep it simple. Make sure that you can track it and you have the team, the manpower, womanpower, whatever we’re going to call it, to actually track and manage the whole sales commission plan. Because…

We have clients who I think a lot of times over engineer it when they can really keep it simple.

Tom Nixon (22:16.912)
What do you guys think? Whoever wants to answer this first? Because Curtis, you brought this up a second ago and it clicked with me on why I might be averse to pause. Let’s get a contract in place. When you’re nurturing a prospective client, you’re trying to get to a point where you’re like partners, right? And they trust you. And now we’re on the same side of the table. It would seem perhaps to the uninformed that.

the minute you then put a legal document in front of somebody, it’s now we’re on opposite sides of the table. And I think that’s what’s like it’s changing the nature of the relationship. So who has either one of you has good tips for not letting that either be the perception or your own head trash to get past.

Curtis Hays (22:53.117)
Well, I’ll start and say, and I think this also applies to the sales commission plans, which everybody, you’re creating the guidelines under which everybody understands and now how things are supposed to operate, right? And when you do that, you create clarity, you create transparency. It’s when there is uncertainty,

That allows the individual to go outside the bounds that eventually creates the conflict or creates the worry because you don’t have the clarity as to where you both stand. So like in sales agreements, if the salesperson, if it’s not simple and they don’t understand it, that’s going to create conflict. They’re going to find a loophole around it. They’re going to question the numbers. The salespeople are motivated by what they’re

commissions are. And so having something that’s simple, easy for them to measure, everybody agrees upon, it’s just going to make for a healthier culture in the end of the day. And Mario actually talked about this at Assisted Living. And one of the calls that we had with him was like, once he got his sales commission structure right, the business changed. It was like we had the marketing right, but he just couldn’t get the salespeople motivated in the leads coming in.

Um, they didn’t understand commissions or the structures that he had weren’t actually working right. And he iterated through those and eventually found something that was working and it transformed the business. So I think that then also allows you to like, you’re more likely to get the right people. That, uh, are a good fit for that commission structure, right? Don’t hire somebody that wants something that you’re not willing to, you know, provide in the same sense that I wouldn’t want a client that.

we don’t necessarily agree on terms. So let’s all just make sure we agree on terms and where we’re all at. Otherwise we’re asking for an unhealthy relationship at the end of the day, right, Trisha? I mean, would you agree?

Tricia (24:57.342)
Yeah, I totally agree.

Tom Nixon (24:57.36)
Yeah, that’s a good point, Trisha. I wanted to kick that over to you because I when I took I did take a sales training class because I feel like I’m effective at marketing but horrible at sales. They’re two totally different disciplines in my mind. But so I wanted to understand it better. And one of the things I learned was you can agree to terms casually, right? And verbally and present the contract at the very end once all of that stuff has been ironed out. But the contract clarifies it and said, yes, this is what we both agreed to. So it’s.

we don’t forget. So, that could get you past this now we’re in an adversarial position as opposed to now we’re just documenting what we are both sitting side by side saying we want to do. Is that right?

Tricia (25:36.766)
Yes, and I do think that that is the approach. I think it’s being mindful though of how you structure it, making it really simple and like easy breezy, if you will, right? Knowing that it protects both parties, but setting it up in such a way to where it’s almost like part of your process and, you know, making it just very easy, very easy for you to manage, very easy for the other party to not feel like threatened or, you know,

Tom Nixon (25:44.496)
Mm -hmm.

Tricia (25:59.582)
Like we have some clients, I’ll actually bring up a point on that. We have some clients too who work in certain industries and they don’t want all this heavy legal language in their agreements, but yet they need those protections. So we’ll word it in a different way. We’ll word it like as if it’s in their voice. It’s very difficult to do that sometimes to kind of make the, you know, the protections in really plain English from like, you know, a perspective like that. But, but I think it doesn’t have to be a big scary thing and it doesn’t have to be a big cumbersome thing.

So I think thinking about structure, keeping it really simple and making it part of your process are all the ways that you can make sure that you are incorporating the contracts into your business. Because you’re working so hard, you don’t want one contract or one bad relationship to ruin everything.

Tom Nixon (26:44.624)
it. That’s the thing is like ruin. Everything is the worst fear and worst possible outcome. It almost never comes to fruition. I’ve never presented somebody with a contract. So, I’m not signing this. This is all kinds of details, right? They probably want it in some way so that they can file it away and refer back to it should they need to protect themselves.

Tricia (27:04.766)
That’s right. Yeah, it is really a win -win for both parties.

Tom Nixon (27:10.288)
Yeah, Curtis, you were going to add something to sound like.

Curtis Hays (27:12.797)
Yeah, no, I, and mine have refined over the years and that like we started with sort of a template of where we were at. And I think what you get over time is feedback from new clients who you bring on and they might have a legal who reviews it. And they said, Oh, we have a question about this. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It allows you to maybe look at it a different way and say, Hey, is this something I’m going to do special for this client? And I’m going to agree to the terms that they’re asking, or is this fair enough that I would actually.

offer this to everybody and I’m just going to change my general terms. And now this will be a practice that I’ve got implemented across all my contracts. And I would say early on, I probably did get feedback from maybe one out of five, but many of those I incorporated and now I rarely get a change to my terms and conditions, you know? So you just get to this point of like, yeah, this is fair. You know, this is fair for me. This is fair for, for most companies who I’m working with.

And it’s likely it’s a really good fit. I think if I were presenting a contract to a client who now wanted, unless they were a law firm themselves, if they wanted like 20 different revisions to my contract, I’d probably question whether or not it’s going to be a good fit working with that company. So it is maybe that sort of like last, that last hurdle to a relationship where it’s like, yeah, we’re signing it. We’re about to get married here in a way.

Tricia (28:28.574)
That’s great.

Curtis Hays (28:39.485)
you know, are we sure we want to do this?

Tricia (28:42.974)
Yeah, no, that’s absolutely right. And you bring up a very important point. It is important to look in totality about the feedback you’re getting on your contract and where you can make revisions to streamline things that maybe you will agree to now that you wouldn’t agree to maybe when you initially had the contract drafted. Definitely keeping up on that, whether it be quarterly or annually, it’ll just make you more efficient along the way. So yeah, that’s a very good point.

Curtis Hays (29:07.677)
With the sales contracts, do you see those evolving on a regular basis?

Tom Nixon (29:07.952)

Tricia (29:12.158)
I do when they start off being very complex, yes. Otherwise, no, they stay pretty simple.

Curtis Hays (29:16.797)
Yeah. OK.

Tom Nixon (29:21.904)
How do you, is there a, well, let me ask, is there a preference from your clients who hire you to do this? Cause I know I would have a preference to strike a balance between this long legal document. It’s something so short and so sweet that maybe it’s not even enforceable. So do you, how do you work a client through finding that sweet spot? Yes, this protects you B it’s not, you know, a 18 page document that it’s going to take some, your client’s attorney to review for three weeks.

Tricia (29:48.702)
Yeah, it really depends on the type of industry they’re in and then their risk tolerance really is what we look at and then make recommendations based off of that. And then anything, any risks that they’re taking on by making their contract extra light, we just make sure that they’re aware of those risks so that way they are going into it with the eyes wide open instead of being blindsided after the fact if they get, you know, some something happens with a contract that they didn’t anticipate.

Tom Nixon (30:16.656)
have you ever maybe this isn’t your line of work, but have you ever had to take action to enforce a contract?

Tricia (30:24.222)
Yeah, so we don’t do any litigation work, but we’ve definitely sent some nasty letters on behalf of our clients for others that have been in breach.

Tom Nixon (30:30.8)
Mm -hmm.

Tom Nixon (30:35.76)
Yeah, once it gets to that point, it’s already adversarial. So, I would remove all of my self -inflicted apprehension and say, go get him, Trisha.

Tricia (30:42.238)
Yeah, yeah, we take it all the way up until it becomes a claim in court. And then once that happens, we transfer it over to our litigation counsel who handles it and runs with it from there. I do not want to deal with litigation. I like helping people build the foundation to help support building their dreams. That’s what I like doing.

Curtis Hays (31:03.773)
Yeah, avoid litigation at all costs. Right.

Tricia (31:07.486)
Yeah, yeah. Wait. Litigation is a time money and energy suck. I mean, it really is. So, you know, the contracts necessary to just get everyone on the same page. Again, doesn’t have to be scary. You can keep it light, make it easy, and then you’re protected.

Tom Nixon (31:08.144)
which is what the contract’s there to do, right? In essence. Yes, exactly.

Tom Nixon (31:26.928)
right? Well, this is really exciting. I wanted to go back to the topic we opened with, which was this awesome little jet. Tell us again what the name of that product is and then we’ll ask you to tell us more about where we can find you at Meyer Law.

Tricia (31:39.262)
Yeah, so you can find the Clever Baby at the cleverbaby .com and Jet is there along with some other items, baby product items.

Tom Nixon (31:49.136)
And are they in retail yet?

Tricia (31:51.358)
Well, when is this going to air, you guys? Maybe I can make an announcement.

Tom Nixon (31:53.936)

Curtis Hays (31:56.189)
I can answer that question in a second, but it’s about a month from now. So we are looking at May 21st. So today is May 21st.

Tom Nixon (32:04.528)
It’ll be in May.

Tricia (32:09.854)
Yeah, oh my husband’s birthday. Okay, that’s my husband’s birthday. So happy birthday to him. So yeah, I can make the announcement we are launching on target .com on May 5. And we are also launching in bye bye baby in store and online within the next couple of weeks. So two huge opportunities for us that we can’t wait to we can’t wait to launch we are ready.

Curtis Hays (32:16.221)

Tom Nixon (32:16.816)

Curtis Hays (32:37.085)
That’s awesome. Yeah, so exciting.

Tom Nixon (32:39.472)
Super exciting. Cool. All your contracts are in place, I presume? All right.

Tricia (32:41.182)

Oh, you got it, yep. Even though sometimes I need a lawyer, I end up having to buckle up and just do it.

Tom Nixon (32:53.424)
That’s okay. I told you I need sales training. So, you know, physician heal thyself.

Tricia (32:55.454)
Yeah. Yeah.

Tom Nixon (32:59.728)
Curtis, any last words of wisdom in your own experience? Because you’re pretty good at this now. I’ve seen you work in firsthand and you’re not afraid to send a contract. They’re structured very simply like Trisha would recommend.

Curtis Hays (33:03.837)

Curtis Hays (33:13.181)
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I’ve tried to keep what I would call a statement of work to be one page. So that’s very simple for the client to understand the deliverables and then all that confidentiality and non -compete and you know, who owns what like all of that is in just a general terms and conditions. And there’s a link in my statement of work to that up on my website. I know when that’s updated and if I have.

a client who needs an adjustment to that. Let’s say they want to adjust payment terms or late payment percentage or some weird things you’ll get sometimes of like, I’m not willing to pay that percentage if I’m going to be late on a payment. Well, you do X. So then we just put an addendum on the statement of work that says, okay, we agree to these terms that are overriding the general terms. And that makes it really simple.

you know, an easy, easy to update. And, you know, in a couple of cases where I have had situations, it’s, um, you know, Hey, look, business owner or whoever it is, this, these were the terms that were in the original agreement. And I’m, I’m, I’m hoping that we can stick to those in our original agreement. And then, uh, if that doesn’t work, then like Tricia said, you know, then I’m handling it over or handing it over to, uh, to Melody at her firm who’s been.

working with me for the last 10 years and Melody puts together one of those letters and, and you know, usually something like that. It’s they understand like, okay, well, uh, Curtis was serious about this. Curtis has all of his things in place, right? You know, and so if they want to take it that next step, um, you know, we see where it goes, but so far I haven’t had to do that. So.

Tom Nixon (35:02.928)
how does that sound best practice statement of work simple one page and then what I would the is it boilerplate sort of TNC.

Tricia (35:05.246)

Tricia (35:11.23)
Well, it actually, no, it’s not boilerplate. That’s a taboo word that I can’t stand because nothing’s boilerplate. It depends on your type of business and your risk tolerance for sure, because different businesses have different nuances. But what I would do for your customer agreement is also look at your type of customer. If you’re negotiating against enterprise clients, they’re not going to want your statement of work and your click to agree terms. They’re going to probably force you to.

Tom Nixon (35:15.536)

Curtis Hays (35:16.381)

Tricia (35:36.382)
use their agreement. So, you know, in that case, then you’d have your lawyer look at it and then point out the risks to you. And then they would raise any things that could, you know, sink your business. And then you could take those things back to the other party. So I think it is important to look at the other party that you’re negotiating against and structure it that way, depending on how those negotiations typically go. Because sometimes, like if you have a SaaS product, you might get away with a click to agree, you know. But for like, Curtis, for your business, that…

your structure makes total sense. So I think it’s important to look at the other party.

Curtis Hays (36:10.077)
And I definitely don’t have boilerplate Tom, like, cause we do have some, some, uh, IP and some of our stuff, including some of our analytics work has some of our own scripting that we’ve been developing over the last 10 years and stuff that we do. And so, um, you can’t take that with you. If you, if you know, their contract ends or, you know, you go to another company, you can’t take that with you.

So, and that’s outlined in our statement of work that that’s our intellectual property. So, again, just like if I were to end my contract with HubSpot, I don’t get access to HubSpot’s tools anymore, right? So, you know, we consider that sort of a tool and software and that needs to be included then in our statement of work. But the creative that we do, we don’t own. So, if I build you a website, you own that website.

At the end of the day, that’s all yours and you can do what you want with it. So, um, you know, that all has to be outlined in our agreements so that a customer understands that. Um, right. Tricia, you’re going to say something.

Tricia (37:15.358)
Yeah, I am going to say something that is true. I mean everyone does run their business in a different way. So everything down every single term of your contract really needs to be looked at and you need to figure out, okay, is this how I want to run my business? Like, you know, am I how much notice do I want to give them if I want to terminate for breach? If I want to terminate for convenience, you know, should they have the right to terminate for convenience? And if so, how much notice do they need to give me? And if I want to terminate, how much notice do I need to give them?

So there’s all of these nuances and like decisions to be made as to how you want to handle these things for your business. Now, once you get that baseline done, then usually edits are made, you know, very sparingly, just as you learn through negotiations. But it should be in the beginning, very much tailored to your business, how you want to run your business, and then also your risk tolerance, like I’ve mentioned 800 times.

Tom Nixon (38:07.504)
Well, in case people didn’t hear it the first 800 times or they want to learn more about why boilerplate is a dirty word or they just want to pick your brain on why and how to construct their contracts. Where do they go to reach you, Tricia?

Curtis Hays (38:13.949)

Tricia (38:14.782)

Tricia (38:21.31)
Meetmirelaw .com.

Tom Nixon (38:23.888)
Meet Meyerlaw .com. All right. Cool. Well, thank you so much for illuminating this conversation today. I think people hopefully learned a lot and I would refer people also to Curtis who is practicing what Trisha preaches. So.

Tricia (38:38.27)
Yes. Thank you guys. Yeah. Thank you guys so much for having me. I so appreciate it.

Curtis Hays (38:38.301)
Trying to.

Tom Nixon (38:43.746)
Well, we’ll do it again sometime and until then, everyone will see you on the next episode of Bull Horns and Bullseyes.

Listen anywhere:

We’d love to hear from you! podcasts@collideascope.co

Additional episodes:

Bb Epis23 Nikki Little

Episode 23: The Power of Integrated Marketing

Building off last week’s mention of “The PESO Model,” Tom and Curtis discuss the power and benefit of integrated communications with Nikki Little, Senior Vice President at Franco.

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Episode 5: Aligning Sales and Marketing

Fractional CMO, author and frequent podcast interviewee Aimee Schuster joins our pod to break down her view of what ails many sales and marketing departments in organizations today.

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Episode 4: Going Meta on Bullhorns and Bullseyes

In a very "meta" episode, Curtis and Tom discuss the meaning behind "Bullhorns and Bullseyes." What are some examples of "bullhorn" tactics, and what are some examples of "bullseye" methodologies?

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