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Upfront Contracts Define Specific Outcomes


Today, most leaders spend close to two-thirds of their time in meetings, yet very few people actually have successful meetings.

Most have a meeting to see if it makes sense to have another meeting to talk about X, Y, or Z.

Crazy, right? I cannot express the horror of being part of a meeting that has no purpose or direction. Who has time to waste?

When I coach a client that is in a leadership role, I go through a very specific process. I ask that they pick any day on their schedule that is full and share with me what the day looks like. Their responses are most likely similar to yours.

During the conversation, I dig a little deeper, asking several questions like:

  • Is this a standing meeting or a one-off?
  • What is the purpose or overall reason for the meeting?
  • What are the decisions that have to be made?
  • And several more . . .

The most common response I receive is, “Well, we typically discuss the topic.”

Yes, but what is the purpose, agenda, and decision that has to be made?

Seriously, how many meetings have you been in this week alone that the reason you thought you needed to attend was not actually the real reason?

  • The agenda of the meeting changed in the meeting
  • The agenda was assumed and another topic took over
  • No decision was made or outcome achieved

It is time to regain control of your schedule and reduce the number of meetings.

Every meeting that goes into your schedule should have these five simple things (aka components of an Upfront Contract) in the notes section, no matter what!

  1. Date/Location of Meeting
  2. Purpose
  3. Prospect/Client’s Agenda
  4. Sellers Agenda
  5. Expected Outcome

While typically used in the field, upfront contracts are a powerful tool when used internally with your team. When an upfront contract is established, you can guide the conversation and keep the plan on track.

Much like the sales process, for every meeting you must set the agenda and define the outcome. If you set the expectation at the beginning of a conversation that a decision has to be made at the end, people tend to pay a bit more attention to what is being said. Also, the decision doesn’t necessarily mean yes or no. Instead, it could be a clear action needed to move the funnel forward. I’ve outlined an example of each component of an upfront contract:


“I want to make sure we’re on the same page during our conversation today. The purpose of our meeting is to get clear on your year-to-date and projected production numbers.”
“We have 30 minutes together today, correct?”

Producers/Managers Agenda

“In addition to discussing your year-to-date and projected production numbers, I see we need to discuss recruiting numbers and answer some specific questions leftover from last week’s meeting.”

Outcome & Next Steps

“By the end of our meeting, I want to make sure to not only get those questions answered for you, but to get laser clear on your forecasts and the consistent actions you are going to take, both daily and weekly, to achieve those goals.”

When you use this proven technique at every sales call or meeting, you will begin to see your productivity increase.

Remember to do a little bit all of the time, not a lot some of the time.

I’d like to hear how using upfront contracts is working for you. Please reach out to me via LinkedIn and let me know how it’s going.

Glenn Mattson

Glenn Mattson

Glenn Mattson is a seasoned veteran of the selling profession, Glenn has personally built one of the leading offices for Sandler Training with his office ranking consistently in the top 1% of Sandler franchisees worldwide. He specializes in working with financial services producers and agency managers who want to shorten their selling cycles, grow their revenues, boost their productivity, and improve their operational efficiencies. Glenn's clients include many producers who seek to be MDRT qualifiers as well as Court of The Table and Top of The Table members who attribute a great deal of their success to the principles, practices, and, above all, the accountability Glenn brings to their practice. Glenn is based in Long Island, New York, but he's usually "in the field," working with clients all over the United States helping them to grow their business, revenues, and profits. Additionally, Glenn is a sought-after keynote speaker, available to speak to small or large groups on emerging business topics.