In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how you can protect yourself from non-paying clients and what a pain, when you’ve delivered a product or service to somebody, and then they don’t pay you and you need to chase them for payment.
Or maybe they ghost you, we want to avoid that from happening. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today, how you can prevent that and ultimately save yourself time stress and frustration in the future.
Why I require upfront payment for my services (stories) to protect from non-paying clients
So first of all, when we know better, we do better, sometimes we do have to go through these things before we realise that we need to change the way that we’re operating to prevent it.
When I first started out in my first business, and I was a baby entrepreneur, I didn’t know better. And I wasn’t very confident in myself. And not only was I severely under charging, which is a topic for a whole other post.
But I remember the first client that I offered a package deal to and I said to her, you know, you can pay this much per session, or you can pay for four sessions in advance, and there’ll be discount on this much. And you’ll save money. And she’s like, Yeah, of course, I’ll save money, I’ll go for that option.
And I was like, great. Let’s look at it. And she’s like, cool, I’ll pay you per session. And I was like, oh, okay, because I wasn’t confident enough to speak up for myself and explain, no, I meant, if you want the discount, you need to pay in advance. That’s the whole point.
So I was already undercharging, and then I shortchange myself even further. And I offered her this discount without an incentive for it. So I was also undercharging, as I said, and so she turned out to not be a very committed client, I was chasing her for payments. And she didn’t finish all of the lessons, which means I didn’t get the payment for them.
They never happened.
She was last-minute cancelling and all of that sort of headache that we don’t want to be dealing with in our business. And the situation came down to two things that are really common.
WHY you may feel icky when it comes to asking for money
The first one is feeling icky about asking for money. And the second one is having set policies in place that you know, you can refer to deal with this situation as soon as it arises.
So first, let’s talk about why some people feel icky, or even bad or guilty about asking for money even from clients.
The beliefs that we carry around money come from all of the messages that we hear all around us from a young age from our parents and family members from society as a whole, from movies, TV, and the news.
And with all of those messages that are coming in all the time, when you have a look at them. It’s no wonder that we feel sometimes bad asking for money.
One of the more common money messages that we often hear growing up, is it’s rude to ask for money, or it’s rude to even talk about money. And our subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between it being rude to ask for money, or asking for money in a business because we are actually entitled to receive that money.
So the message that your subconscious mind has got is just, it’s rude to ask for money. Don’t do that, because you don’t want to be seen as rude or bad person.
And that’s why we can even feel guilty when we’re asking people for money, even though even though your customers expect you to ask them for money, because that’s just business.
Remember that money is simply an exchange of value, they’re giving you something and in return, you’re giving something to them your product or service.
We don’t need to overcomplicate it more than that or add so many emotions into it. And I find that we tend to add those emotions into it more when we’re a solo business owner, and we’re the one dealing directly with the customer as well.
And if we’re having a bad day, we’re feeling more emotional that day, we can perform less well with our sales and our offers and the way that we present ourselves and how confident we are with our clients.
But really, we need to separate business dealings from our ego. And sometimes it helps to think of it like if you were an employee for someone else’s business, and you just had to refer to their policy and just stick to that, you would likely feel less emotional about that because it’s less tied to your decisions and the rates and policies that you have set in place for your business.
And so it doesn’t feel as personal.
So you can separate that out in your mind and make a distinction between the two that this is business.
This is personal, and I don’t need to get emotionally involved when I’m just asking for a payment that the client expects to pay.
Making those awkward money conversations easier by enforcing your policies
Now while we’re always working on our money mindset, sometimes those conversations can still feel awkward for a while when we need to ask for money or chase up money that is owed to us.
Now, I now require all payments to be upfront. From way back that experience that I spoke about that started the video, I learned very quickly, that that would protect myself.
It protects my income, and therefore my time and stress and so many other things. And it also creates a more dedicated client, they’re committing to doing that program with you paying up front and seeing it through to get the results.
So to help you to do that, it really helps to have clear policies that are set there in writing.
And if you’re having an emotional day or a bad day, and you feel like wavering from that, or if someone questions that you can simply refer to your policies.
For example, you’ll want to have a cancellation policy, or refund policy payment terms. If people are allowed to do a payment plan, what dates does it need to be in by and is it keeping up to date with the service that you’re offering, so that you are never chasing money that is owed to you and they are in arrears?
If a client is already in a situation where they’ve gotten behind on payments, don’t be afraid to chase that up and ask for money. You can always look at templates online if you need help with the wording of how to do that.
But also, don’t be afraid that if they’re ghosting you are trying to get out of it to send that to collections like any other business would, because you are owed that money and you deserve to be paid for your time or your products.
Now there are some cases in a business where you might want to make exceptions to the rules or to your policies. And that’s completely up to you and at your discretion.
You can do that if you wish, but it helps in general to have that policy that is there ready to go. And you can just refer to when you need it and overall stick to your policies.
If you would like some more personalized help to upgrade your mindset and get more amazing business results then feel free to reach out to me to talk about coaching or taking one of my programs.
Reach out to work with me one on one or ask about the next intake of Business Class Mind, the program that helps you upgrade your mindset for amazing business results