Sometimes we get overly excited about a new client or a new project that we glaze over the issue of payment, especially in our early days of running a business. We know the end result is collecting on the invoice, we just don’t want to seem too pushy about it. We don’t want to offend anyone or seem to focused on getting paid rather than doing a good job. But in doing so, we neglect important information that can save us a headache or two down the road. Why do many of us gingerly address the issue of money? Are we afraid that being straightforward will turn away prospect clients? Are we trying to soften the blow by downplaying the fact we eventually want to get paid for our time and services? The exchange of goods and services for payment is what makes the economy what it is. When doing business, it should be obvious that money matters. And such matters should not be a shock to our clients or hard to address for us.
- Don’t shy away from talking about your fees. If they’re pricey, explain why and the real worth of the service your clients are getting. Show them the value outweighs the cost.
- Be upfront about late fees. And you should have late fees. It deters clients from consistently making late payments. If that’s not enough of a deterrent, make those late fees multiply.
- Be willing to work with your client’s budget by offering a payment plan. It’s easy to set up, terms can be to your preference and it shows your client that you’re willing to work with them.
- Get it in writing. Every financial transaction you have with a client, should be in writing. You never want to take a client to court but you should have to, you want to make sure you covered your butt by producing an agreement of payment for services rendered.
- Don’t be afraid to offer a refund or a reimbursement, but don’t broadcast it. Refunds should be given on a case-by-case scenario as a last resort. If you can’t offer something in exchange of a refund — a coupon, a discount, a freebie, something — then go ahead and negotiate a refund.
- Yes, negotiate refunds. You may not have to offer one depending on what you can substitute it with and you may not have to offer one in full. Talk to your client, come to an agreement and work out something in both parties’ best interests.
Money shouldn’t be a overly delicate topic, particularly with clients. It’s a tool. Used to purchase, pay, and transact. We use money the same way our clients and understand its value just the same. So the next time you sit down with a client, don’t be a afraid to talk money, but also talk value. Remind them that money is what they’re giving to you, but value is what they’re getting in return.
- 4 Ways to Get Your Clients to Pay Their Bills & Invoices on Time (business2community.com)
- Money (kyrinetay.wordpress.com)
- Dealing with late payment of invoices – getting over the awkwardness (freeagent.com)