March 8th, 2017 David Finkel (Taxloopholes.com Advisor)
In my last article on the power of your written trail to protect yourself and your company I shared the two key “filters” you need to pass your written paper trail through. I want to share more details on the nuts and bolts of documenting your business deals and relationships so that you see it isn’t hard or a “cost”. Rather, done well, it will make you money and reduce your stress.
First, we call it “CYS” which is the polite why of saying “cover yourself”. Whether you’re talking about a confirming email, a clear contract, a written note from a conversation, or a letter agreement, CYSing is a real need in the business world.
Over the course of 20 years leading a business coaching company that has worked with thousands of companies, I’ve seen first hand hundreds of instances where our client’s vendors, suppliers, or customers backed out of agreements or changed the rules of engagement midstream on our clients.
Most business owners say, “I’m too busy to put it in writing.” Or when they put it in writing they rush it and leave it fuzzy. That’s why in my last article I told you to imagine you were writing your paper trail to a neutral judge who would only see your written trail and nothing else before she decided your fate. When you do that you include key details and shape the narrative more intentionally.
I also suggested you do one last look at your written documentation and ask yourself, “Is there anything here that a rabid, aggressive plaintiff’s attorney would take out of context or misconstrue to intentionally hurt me?” If there is, fix it.
In this article I want to share with you 6 keys to actually keeping your clear written trail.
Make sure to include key details. What was the date, time, and parties involved in that conversation? What specifically was discussed and agreed to. The more detailed your notes the more credible they will be. (E.g. “March 2nd, 2017 at 3:35pm Pacific. Talking with Mark Smith via phone…”
Remember, you can use more than one tag. E.g. “Phone notes; Baker mechanical; CYS” (Yes I actually have a tag that is “CYS” and think you should too.)
Your CRM (customer database): Record key conversations to your CRM. It makes them easy for you to find. Remember to include the date and time of the conversations so that you can increase their power and credibility.
I hope these six tips give you pause to rethink how you strategically and systematically document your written trail and CYS, both as an individual, and as a company.
If you enjoyed the ideas I shared, then I encourage you to download a free copy of my newest book, Build a Business, Not a Job. Click here for full details and to get your complimentary copy.