This guest post is brought to you by WePay – the easiest way to accept credit cards online.
So many clients, so many excuses. We’ve all had that client who is extremely open and willing to talk… until the subject of money comes up. Suddenly they’re a ghost and nowhere to be seen. When you do get in contact with them, they have endless excuses to throw at you.
Every freelancer has at least one story like this. Don’t you wish there was a way to make the process easier and more streamlined? Check out the following common excuses we’ve heard and see how to combat them so that you can get paid faster.
1. I was confused.
The last thing you want to hear when you complete a job is “Huh? This isn’t what I wanted,” or “So what happens now?” Confusion is a common excuse for clients that basically indicates they aren’t ready to pay you yet. The trick here is to be very specific with the job description. Go over every single little detail with them, including when they will pay and how, so there’s no confusion when the invoice is due.
2. Where and how do I pay?
Speaking of payments, don’t give clients any chance to wonder how to pay you. Some prefer checks. Others prefer credit cards. Still others prefer a simple solution like paying by credit card online with WePay. If you just offer one way to pay, though, some clients will use this as an excuse – warranted or otherwise – to delay your payment. Offer numerous payment methods, and it’s likely that you’ll get paid faster.
3. I couldn’t contact you!
Another common issue clients have is getting in contact with you. Like payment options, you want as many ways to contact you as possible. Don’t just rely on email; create invoices that include your phone number, physical address and other means of contacting you.
4. I never got an invoice.
Want them to be punctual? Then you should be, too. Lead by example and don’t turn anything in late, including your invoice. Even though you were super specific when they should pay, some people won’t pay until they see an invoice. And if you’re very late sending out the invoice, they may have forgotten about the great job you did, creating a further delay.
5. I didn’t hear from you, so…
Sometimes you get the feeling in the pit of your stomach that a client is going to be a problem. Unfortunately we don’t always follow up on this feeling and let things go. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to follow up with a client. Email them to ask if the work was ok or if they have any questions – anything to keep you in their mind.
6. I didn’t think this job was that serious?
This is one of the most infuriating excuses you can hear, as it practically invalidates your entire career. Generally what they mean, though, is they don’t feel “invested” in the relationship. Combat this with a deposit. Suddenly instead of hiring some random person for a new banner for their website they’re hiring a professional who requires money to initiate the business transaction.
7. Eh, there’s no contract, so what are you going to do, sue me?
Obviously the solution is in the excuse here. Many freelancers and small business owners don’t like to mess with contracts as they see them as annoying or as a possible bane to clients. However, they prevent problems, including non-payment by fussy clients. Just make sure every little detail you agree to with the client is in the contract.
Do you have a slow or non-paying client story? How did you collect your money? Tell us your tips to get paid faster in the comments!