What is a consulting agreement (contract) and why is it important?

What is a Consulting Agreement?

A Consulting Agreement is an agreement or a contract between two parties out of which, one is being a consultant and the other being a business or an individual that is taking certain services from the consultant. It is a consultancy contract in which the terms and conditions of consultancy scope, acts, deeds are clearly defined. It stipulates the tenure of consultancy. Consultancy is important if working needs to be professionally accurate.

Benefits of a Consulting Agreement

The following benefits can be achieved by the parties by entering into a consulting agreement:

  • It defines scope of work : when availing the consultancy services to new clients, one is likely to discuss a variety of projects that could be tackled. It is the client’s wish list can quickly grow quite extensive. However, to perform a job, it helps to have a clearly defined scope of work by outlining what tasks will be tackled in the contract.
  • Conflicts can be avoided : Specific amount of expertise can be provided as a result of the consultancy or consultant agreement. Scope of the services would be defined and in case of any non-performance of any services, the consultants would be at loss. Through this agreement, any form of conflicts between the parties can be avoided.
  • Expert Services can be utilised : Usually such consultancy agreements are entered between the parties in order to ensure that the services of the expert are rendered. For example, an organisation would enter into an IT consultancy agreement, if they want to revamp and streamline the entire IT resources of the organisation. The organisation would have to enter into a consultancy agreement with the IT Company. Consultancy agreement is not just limited to IT but also has professional fields covered such as accountancy services, legal services and other forms of business services.
  • Establishes the relationship : Such agreements would be generally in the form of retainers. Hence when entering into a consultancy agreement, it is important to examine the relationship. Usually a consultancy agreement is a commercial contract or agreement between the parties. Such relationship can only be established between the parties through a consultancy agreement. Without this agreement, the relationship between the parties cannot be established.

When to use a consulting contract

A signed consulting contract represents a new paying client, which is an exciting prospect for professionals.

With such a powerful business document, it’s important to understand when to introduce your consultant agreement to potential clients.

Consultants usually source new business from client referrals, strategic networking, and content marketing. Hopefully, by the time a prospect reaches out to inquire about your services, you’ve already established some credibility to take the relationship further.

You do a thorough analysis of your client’s bottlenecks and put together a detailed proposal outlining all of the issues in their current practices and how you can improve their results.

It’s at this point you can start some dialogue about your contract. This is a critical moment in your client intake process as you need to draw the line between free advice and paid work. When a client is confident in your approach, naturally, they’ll want to know about the services you offer and your payment terms to get the job done.

Your contract is also a reference document to follow up on prospects to see if they had any concerns about your terms and conditions. It’s a great way to extract objections and find common ground to close the deal.

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