- Rachel Allen
- 23rd Nov 2020
What talking money has in common with a bikini line wax
Now there’s two things I never thought that I would put into the same sentence. Bikini line wax and talking money.
And, no it is nothing to do with talking money hurting loads.
It is actually to do with your attitude to doing it.
I once had a bikini line wax from a young girl who was clearly new to it. She was awkward and clearly uncomfortable with dealing with the more private areas of my anatomy. This made the entire experience far more painful for me than it needed to be and made me feel just as uncomfortable with the experience as she was.
However, other waxes I have had, have been done by highly professional people who (like medics) don’t think twice about where they are working, they have a job to do and they do it as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Making the experience far more comfortable all round.
The same is true of talking to your clients about money. If you feel icky asking for money, talking about your payment terms or how much you charge then your client will also feel awkward and icky.
However, if you are slightly detached and completely matter of fact about it then the entire experience can become transactional and painless for both of you.
So, how do you do this? Here are a few tips to help you remove your own ickyness about talking money with your clients
1. Have a fee structure – if you are making up prices on the go then you could well feel awkward about telling a client your price. Should you have discounted more, will they be OK with the price etc. Your discomfort will be picked up on by your client, even if just subconsciously. But, if you have a set fee structure then you can give your prices with confidence.
2. Have set payment terms – by this I mean decide up front how you will invoice or request payment. Whether it is sending PayPal invoices up front and requiring payment before the service is delivered, or invoicing within 7 days of delivery and expecting payment within 30 days of the invoice; decide how you are going to invoice and let your client know when you expect them to pay. They may push back and ask for something different, but if you know in advance what you are prepared to accept then you can give a clear and confident yes or no to their requests.
3. Have a scapegoat. This could be a business partner or even your accountant or the bank, but have someone you can blame for what you are requesting. My business partner often tells our new clients that I insist on all first orders being paid for up front. This allows him to be the good cop to my bad cop in a situation where he may feel slightly less than comfortable. Saying that your accountant or your bank won’t allow you to give payment terms of more than 30 days for example can make it a far easier thing to say.
4. Display your terms and conditions then stick to them – while ideally these should be legally set up, to be honest most people will follow your terms if you just lay them out clearly. Maybe put them on your website, or on the back of your invoices so that your customers know that they are there.
5. Use contracts for large deals or long term payment plans – if you are entering into a very large deal with a company then it is worth having everything agreed in writing before you start. Also, if you are offering extended payment terms it is worth having this set out in writing and signed beforehand. You may decide to risk it (and most people will not let you down) but the more that is at stake the more you should take out the insurance of having a written agreement before you start.
6. Work on your own money issues – many times when you feel awkward talking to your clients about money it is because you have some money stories going on in the back ground. Maybe you fear that you aren’t experienced enough to charge this much, or maybe you feel that nice people don’t talk about money. These are all BS stories and are holding you back. Do some work to identify and move past them, as they are just stories and are stopping you from reaching your full potential!
Hopefully these will give you some ideas for how to make your money conversations a little easier. And remember, be like the therapists and be confident in what you are doing – it will make the whole experience much easier for you and your client.