When it comes to asking for money, people start to act funny. This is not a poem I swear. Why is it that we have a problem asking for money when we provide a service? Work isn’t free and money is a part of business. I go as far as saying, pay me first, then I’ll do the work! How dare I!!!? It’s easy…
Time = Money
How cliché, right? But why do we keep forgetting this simple equation? Work aside, let’s speak on the types of services that take time. This includes coaching, consulting, teaching, meetings, anything on the phone or in person, and whatever else you can think of.
If you ever exchange your time for money, I say that you NEED to get paid first. Why? For starters, time is not a tangible object. Once someone gives you their time, you can’t return it. Since you can’t return it, who holds more risk? The person offering their time to you has much more to lose.
With time, it’s also usually pre-scheduled. Meaning, when you buy someones time, they are setting aside an hour (more or less) to spend with you. That in itself is time that can be spent on projects, tasks, family, or anything else really. To not get paid for that before hand, just doesn’t make any sense.
What about trust?
I’ve heard people say things like “Well we’ve never done business before” or “Why don’t you finish the work first, then I’ll pay you.” This almost sounds like fear to me.
If you break it down, there are lots of people out there that build their authority and trust worthiness in many different ways. A primary example would be through blog posts. Seeing someone pour out there knowledge on a specific topic, and verifying that info is legit builds up a small trust element.
When you decide to hire someone for the work, you intend to pay them for it, no? When you fill out someones quote form, or contact form, you’re essentially saying, “I made the choice to trust you for the work I want done, I’d like to know how much you’re going to charge me” And if you didn’t fill it out with that thought in mind, whose time are you really wasting?
I’m very big on telling people to find clients that WANT to work with them, rather than the other way around. Working with people who actually see the value in what you do is a no brainer! You can ask them for money, because they already trust you, and you need to deliver some outstanding work in return. Once both parties are happy, then that relationship begins to grow even more, and you’ve got yourself a client for life.
If you’re the type of person whose always skeptical on whether or not you should pay for something, then you may want to re-evaluate who you’re currently working with. There’s no required rule that says, half now, half later, or do the work and I’ll pay you when it’s done.
If you find someone who you want to work with, treat them how you would want a client to treat you. Trust that they’ll get the job done and you’ll pay for the job accordingly. If you don’t have that feeling off the bat, then hire someone else, because it’s not going to be a good relationship.
This is not written in stone
Of course there are times when half now half later is OK. I usually do it with bigger projects/payments. I may even break it into phases. BUT before I schedule anything, I always, and I mean always take a down payment. That’s the start of building trust.
If it’s small jobs, I generally take payment up front. I’m not in this business to take someones money and laugh in my secret layer over a few hundred bucks. That’s bad for business. In fact, that’s bad for EVERY business. I’m a company, I only do good if I make people happy, not pissed off. So the next time you’re looking for someone to do work for you, just keep in mind that trust is a two-way streak, and no one likes getting burned.