There are times when technology doesn’t do what I want it to, and all of my best intentions and intended efficiencies go out of the window. But it should never happen in front of a client or prospect.

I learned that the hard way recently. I was in front of a pair of prospective clients and the meeting was going well. The couple decided that they would like to sign up for my retainer package, so using my iPad, I pulled up their contract on my digital contract app. The wife signed the e-contract but it put her signature in both places – there was nowhere for the husband to sign.

That threw me. I had rehearsed this at my desk multiple times and it had worked flawlessly, I didn’t know what I had done wrong.

Knowing I was a startup firm, this couple handled it very graciously. I told them that this obviously wasn’t how it was supposed to work, and that I would get them a paper contract to sign in the next 24 hours. Embarrassed and slightly flustered, I carried on with setting them up as clients. I went home, and even with an additional client added to my roster, I didn’t feel the elation that others had brought.

Lesson learned: I need to have a backup for everything. If my contract app doesn’t provide the solution I want, then I need a paper contract in my bag. If my Mi-Fi runs out of battery, my cell phone needs to be available to provide Internet access. If there’s no Internet, I need physical materials to help me explain my points.

It only took one meeting without a backup plan to ensure that I will never again go into one unprepared.

So tell me: What backup plans do you have in place?

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