Icon Key
Bookmark and Share


Business Development

Negotiating Payment in Advance

Print View |  Bookmark & Share  |  Comment |   |  Back to List |  << Previous Next >>
Unless I'm working for a trusted friend or well-established corporate client, I am always paid in advance. That keeps my receivables near zero. I've found that those who dispute fees most vigorously are likely to be the biggest collection problems. In this case, I sent a corporate client an invoice to be paid in advance. He took issue with that, and wanted to pay in three installments.

I replied with 50% now and 50% later, which he accepted. Notice I set a date for the second payment, insuring that I would always be "paid in advance." And we received the two payments as requested. Besides the coaching assignment, I got a follow-on outplacement assignment two years later when the executive left the company. Regina Widaman is the Vice President of Human Resources.

From: Jeremy Jaiden [mailto:Jeremyjaiden@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 20— 11:22 AM
To: Bill Frank at CareerLab
Subject: RE: Invoice
I received your invoice for $9,000 for the Executive Coaching project for Marshall Rickie. We would typically pay for these of services in installments. Regina Widaman suggested 1/3 now, 1/3 in the summer and 1/3 upon completion.  Please confirm this is acceptable to you and I'll initiate payment on the first installment ASAP.

From: Bill Frank at CareerLab [wsfrank@careerlab.com]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 20— 12:45 PM
To: Jeremy Jaiden
Subject: RE: Invoice for Marshall Rickie  

Hi Jeremy,
Thanks for your thoughts about Marshall Rickie. As a general rule, executive coaching services are always invoiced in advance, primarily because the work is front-end loaded, meaning it is intensive and time consuming in the beginning. As the year continues, it tapers off to an hour or so per week.
Given our long-term relationship with KFC, we are fine with two payments: $4,500 now, and $4,500 June 1, 20—. We trust this works for you and appreciate two payments rather than three.
I hope you have already seen some changes in Marshall. He seems to be learning and responding quickly.
Thank you,

Print View |  Bookmark & Share  |  Comment |   |  Back to List |  << Previous Next >>


Add a Comment
Your rating:
Your URL:
Your e-mail:
Enter security code:
 Security code
(please enter the
numbers on the image)

William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.