It can be hard to figure out what to include in a lead generation agreement on your own, but we’ve reviewed thousands of documents to create this plug-and-play lead generation contract template. Get started pitching and converting lead generation projects now by downloading the template.
What is a Lead Generation Contract?
A lead generation contract is a formal agreement between a client and a freelancer. This document is like a roadmap for the formal business arrangement for provided lead generation work. Contracts help to protect both parties involved in the relationship by defining what will and will not be done as well as the legal recourse options for what happens if either party violates or breaches the contract.
Once the other party has had a chance to review the contract in full, everyone involved in the agreement should sign it to signify the start of the business relationship. Whether you’re a lead generation independent contractor or a lead generation agency, you need an agreement that clearly outlines what you and other parties are responsible for when it comes to creating lists of people to be used or sales and marketing purposes by the client.
If a dispute emerges in relationship to the lead generation agreement, the contract is a powerful and legal reference point. If the client gets confused about what was to be provided, freelancers can use the exact language inside to remind a client that what they are asking for is beyond the scope of the working agreement.
Knowing how to write or read a new contract is critical for a freelancer looking to start a lead generation business. Read on to learn more about what this means and how to use a contract template to your advantage.
What are lead generation services?
Lead generation can seem like a broad term, but it is often important for many companies to have a way to generate prospective customers. Conducting a lead generation process can be very overwhelming or expensive for in-house employees, especially if those employees do not have the right skills. This is a leading reason why many companies choose to work instead with a lead generation agency or a lead generation freelancer.
In many cases, the freelancers will be doing market research to determine prospective leads and gathering the contact information for those on a per lead basis. This can be done using proprietary information found in databases, through the personal network of the lead generation service, or through places such as LinkedIn or the public domain. How you act and which tools you use is up to you, but if this matters to your client, include it in the contract as well.
No matter how it’s defined, it’s very important for a lead generation freelancer to be able to identify what they do and don’t offer. This should be documented in a lead generation contract template for your benefit. When it comes time to share a proposal with a client, having a professional-looking lead generation contract template saves a freelancer time and allows them to put their best foot forward with the new working relationship. Each party makes a sign of good faith by signing the contract and agreeing to work with one another.
What to include in the lead generation contract
In a lead generation contract, the parties are planning to do business together but have not yet agreed to work together formally. As such, the contract review is important because it allows the creator of the document and other parties involved in the agreement to ask questions or make adjustments. In general, a lead generation contract template is a helpful tool for a new business agreement when it includes the following sections and terms.
At a basic level, a lead generation contract should include the names of any business or person involved in the working relationship, the services provided, and contact details for all parties. The freelancer might use this opportunity to define their process and communication intentions, such as that they will promptly return any emails or phone calls from the client.
You don’t need to go into extreme detail on what you will provide as part of the agreement, but it does help to be specific. Since you’ll use this template over and over again, make sure you have clarity on what it means to work for their client and how your services will be provided to them.
In terms of services, some things to consider include:
- Whether you’ll be doing any kickoff calls or other ongoing communication with the client in between deliveries
- What information you’d need from the client to get started
- Whether you’ll provide documents delivered in bulk, progress reports, or other information asked for by the client
- Where and how the data you transmit to the client will be stored
Dates and payment terms
Since there is so much variation for a lead generation contract template, any dates by which the freelancer promises materials to the receiving party should be included. If there is any other obligation for payment terms, like a deposit to be paid upfront or that payments only be made via credit card, this should be called out in the contract.
When altering a lead generation contract template, pay close attention to payment terms. Include terms specific to your company, if necessary, that protect you. This can include things like:
- The effective date of the start of the working relationship
- What you’ll do if there’s a credit card or check payment failure
- Whether you’ll charge late fees if the client forgets to pay
- Whether you’ll charge interest on late payments overdue by a certain number of days
- Whether you’ll charge on a per lead basis or a time basis
Clarity on results
One of the things that sets a lead generation agreement apart from other kinds of freelance agreements is that clients expect to get results. Unlike a blogging or social media contract where there are specific deliverables that are clearly defined upfront, such as a 500-word blog post or 5 text-based social media posts, it’s harder to define when a lead generation contract is “complete.” If you run a legal generation company, one of the first policies you should determine is whether or not you want to guarantee results.
If a lead generation agency guarantees results, these should be included as details in the lead generation contract. This could mean the contract is complete after providing X number of leads for X many months to the client, or it could mean that the contract lasts for a specific period of time during which the freelancer undertakes general lead generation work.
It’s important the parties agree on whether or not results are promised or guaranteed, especially if within a specific time period. Lead generation can also be difficult because the providing freelancer doesn’t necessarily have to guarantee the quality of the leads but will want to make sure that they create leads that are usable by the client. This can be a gray area for defining within a contract, but language such as “qualified leads” might be used to explain these concepts.
Handling of confidential information by the lead generation company
Any lead generation freelancer working on behalf of a client will have to learn potential information about that client or the prospective clients. Such confidential information might be of a proprietary nature. In order to avoid future legal proceedings and to protect the rights of the parties involved, a contract between a lead-generation company or freelancer and a client should clearly State who owns the information and whether or not the agency or freelancer has the right to disclose anything about their client.
This can be especially important for freelancers to understand if they wish to name their clients and testimonials were on their website after the fact. It is possible that the client does not want proprietary information about them revealed or for it to be known that they used lead generation services, so it is helpful to document this in the contract in advance.
If you notice that many of your clients are concerned about proprietary details, you can build a standard statement into your ongoing contracts about your protection of the other party’s confidential information. If your client has a legal team reviewing the document, this can increase the chances of getting the signature so you can start to work.
Here’s an example “The disclosing party’s confidential information will be kept confidential under the terms of this agreement and will remain private. The disclosing party can waive this protection at any point.”
Ali generation service or freelancer has to spend a great deal of time gathering information before providing deliverables to a client. As a result, these Freelancers should carefully review any lead generation contract template to make sure that the provisions inside align with applicable laws end provide circumstances under which the freelancer can terminate the relationship.
Likewise, freelancers will want to verify that there are no terms inside that allow the client to immediately terminate the relationship. The primary purpose for this is to allow the freelancer a window of notice to wrap up any ongoing work. It is standard to request that client provide a minimum of 14 or 30 days of written notice for example.
This benefits both the freelancer and any other entity involved so that everyone knows upfront how to end the relationship prior to completion of deliverables, if applicable. Ideally, you hope that such termination doesn’t happen or that you don’t end up a non-breaching party trying to enforce the contract, but if it does, you’ll know that you have provided clear instructions about how to part ways professionally.
How legal claims will be settled
It is important to define how any disputes or legal claims will be settled inside your contract. Typically, contracts include boilerplate language about the home state of the person who is drafting the contract. This means that the applicable law of that state will determine breach of contract and other relevant legal issues for contract stakeholders. If any such party violates the contract, the agreement might have instructions about arbitration, mediation, or other methods or resolving the open dispute.
Many companies are set up as a Delaware corporation, for example, because they find the laws of that state to be very favorable to businesses when those companies go to court. However, you can still protect yourself as a company regardless of your status if you have well-written and validly-signed contracts. The terms of the agreement must be expressly set and it’s recommended that you use the full force of the law available to you in your state to protect your interests.
You want to have control over how legal issues are settled as the freelancer because it will make it easier for you to pursue a legal claim. Many people choose to require arbitration or mediation because these are easier to schedule virtually and don’t require extensive court fees. Additionally, you don’t have to wait months to get on the calendar of your local court.
How to write a Lead Generation Contract
There are two primary steps to writing a lead generation contract: find out what the client wants and highlight what sets you apart to be the one to provide those services.
Find out exactly what the client wants
Since lead generation can be nebulous or unclear as a term on its own, meet with your client to determine what this means for them. Ask them what “lead” means and how they determine if a lead is qualified or not. You’ll get valuable information that will help you prepare a compelling proposal and contract for them, but you’ll also be able to tell upfront if you’re able to meet their expectations.
If the client is unclear, ask the following questions to learn more about what they expect with leads generated by you:
- Can you tell me more about past lead generation services you’ve used?
- Where do your most qualified leads come from today?
- What data (email address, physical address, telephone numbers) are most relevant for your marketing team?
- In an ideal world, how would you like to be notified of new potential leads?
- Are there any previous guidelines set around the development of new leads? Can I see them?
- What do you expect as a “finished product” for this working relationship?
Asking these kinds of questions not only helps you to write a great proposal, but it shows the client that you were really listening about what is most important to them. You can then Taylor the services that you suggest to them based on what you discovered in this initial call.
If you determine that the client has unrealistic expectations about what can be provided under the umbrella of lead generation services, this is also your opportunity to provide some education and reframe with the working relationship will look like. There is perhaps nothing more frustrating to a freelancer than learning after the fact that the client had unrealistic expectations based on their goals, budget, or timeline.
Highlight what sets you apart
Knowing what the client wants is the first part of writing a great proposal for lead generation; it also gives you a chance to talk about the unique offerings expressly provided by you or your team. With a lead generation business, it’s on you to look for ways to stand out from your competition.
If you are new to the business, rely on your passion for these kinds of projects and any past experience you have in school or in a volunteer capacity. It is often one of the biggest hurdles for new freelancers to get over to get their first couple of projects, but if you can deliver an outstanding experience to these new clients, your chances of success in the future rise significantly.
As an experienced freelancer, there's a good chance that you already know some of the biggest benefits that clients have found in working with you. You can even use social proof statements from these previous clients to help convert your current client. You can share with them the experience that these past clients had and using your lead generation services and some of the ways that this contributed to their bottom line. This social proof is powerful and is one of the best ways to convert these new clients and to give them peace of mind and confidence that they made the right decision in their lead generation provider. Any specific benefits aligned with your company should also be shared in this section of your lead generation contract template.
If you offer reporting, follow-up, guarantees, training, or other documentation, this is the appropriate time to mention it to your new lead generation business client. Especially when a client is speaking with other freelancers or agencies, the details about what set you apart can make a big difference in their final decision.
In some cases, your new client might wish to make changes to the contract that you provide to them. They may be doing this on their own or working with a legal team in order to make these edits. It is very important that you still review this document to verify that it is in line with your company policies and your wishes.
Be prepared for negotiation
Contracts are meant to be negotiated, so it is expected that you and the other party may have some pushback or adjustments required. The manner in which you handle this negotiation in your agreement can set the tone for a good working relationship, so it’s worth it.
Make sure you review the contract for legal jargon if the document is provided to you by the other party or if they make substantial edits to your document. Terminology like “at the sole discretion”, “material breach”, “party hereto”, “prior written consent”, “obligations hereunder”, and more can all seem like boilerplate jargon, but could require you to adhere to additional terms you did not discuss with the client in advance.
If a client add something you are not comfortable with into the agreement, you also have the ability to push back and explain why you were concerned about the wording. This is true even when you are using a lead-generation agreement you created.
Creating a Lead Generation Contract is simple with Bonsai
You should never have to feel like you're starting from scratch when subject to creating a contract. We have extensive experience in finding and reviewing different kinds of agreements for lead generation services.
Using our contract template can help you go step-by-step through the process of gathering all of the most important information from the other business so that you can write a compelling and protective contract. Not only does creating a good contract will not only help you get off on the right foot with your new client, it also gives you a written reference to return to in the event that someone gets confused about the scope of the work.
This is extremely important and lead generation services, which might be provided for months at a time. It is possible that your point of contact during that period may change, but your written agreement helps to define what each party is responsible for and can minimize the possibility of legal claims.
Use our lead generation contract template to review many of the most important issues in starting a new business relationship. You can also use this agreement to take and tweak for all of your potential future clients. This way you know some of the most important issues to pay attention to and some of the areas in the agreement where a client might try to negotiate. Ultimately, this makes you a more informed business owner, but it also showcases a sense of professionalism when you are aware of some of the most common legal issues involved.
You should always use your lead generation contract template anytime you kick off a relationship with a new client. It is very important to keep good records and to execute a valid business agreement, although you hope that you never have to exercise these in court. You are protecting your interests as well as the interests of the client when you use contract templates.
Lead Generation Contract FAQs
What if I can’t generate leads?
The termination clause mentioned above might become very important in the event that you’re unable to generate any leads. The primary purpose of your contract will likely be to provide leads to the client, not necessarily to close those leads or nurture those leads. If you state a guarantee in your contract and are unable to meet it, the client can legally terminate the contract per its terms.
When should I send a lead generation contract?
In most cases, you should only send a contract once the client has given you verbal or written notice of their intention to hire you. This typically requires some advance communication between you and them to determine what they want as far as services. Usually, this is documented in a proposal presented by you to them. If you discussed the proposal over the phone, however, it’s okay to send the lead generation agreement as your next step. Do not start on any work for the client until they have signed the lead generation agreement.
Will I ever have to enforce a contract in court?
While a contract between two U.S. entities can end up in small claims court or civil court, the reason most lead generation freelancers use contracts is to decrease the chances of legal action. In many cases, filing a legal case is time-consuming and expensive.
You can include language in your contract about the company’s ability or requirement to pay legal bills if you are required to enforce the contract in court. If you need to pursue this route, having a clear contract to back you up will be helpful in your claim against the breaching party.
What if my client can’t convert the leads?
As a lead generation provider, your primary goal is to provide the client with the contact information and the names of the people who could be qualified leads. At this point, it then becomes the responsibility of their marketing or sales team to pick up the torch and contact or convert those leads. Be aware that a common area of contention is that the client claim that you did not provide them with quality leads, which is why you should clearly defined this in your agreement up front.
It is ultimately not your responsibility, however, to convert the leads if you have done at your proper research and met the terms of the working agreement by providing the kinds of leads the client requested. Most freelancers choose not to guarantee results with lead generation services because there are too many factors outside of their personal control.
What if my client won’t sign the contract?
The goal of talking to your client in advance is to present them with a contract agreement most likely to be signed. You should already know exactly what they want and are comfortable with before presenting the contract. If they refuse to sign, however, ask specific questions about the areas of concern. Depending on the issues, you might be able to remove those sections or negotiate a new provision in that section so that all other parties feel comfortable.
For example, if your client doesn’t want to agree to pay late fees, perhaps you can tighten up the language around when they must pay invoices or you might require a bigger deposit upfront. Since many things in contracts can be negotiated, be open to the client’s request for edits within reason. However, if your client tries to take things out of the contract that would harm you or your business, you might have to let the client go.