1. Know your worth
It is very important that you know how much your services are worth before being confronted by clients, you could probably have a hand-bill for these or display the billing plan on your website it presents an aura of professionalism to your clients.
There are many clients who aren’t opposed to paying upfront. Not only because it proves to them that you’re a professional, but also because it gives them the cost of a project upfront. Some clients would rather pay the cost upfront instead of receiving an invoice that is higher than initially imagined.
If you haven’t already figured out how much to charge for your services, there are plenty of helpful guides to assist you. In most cases, you can figure out your rates by researching industry rates and what your competitors are charging. Don’t forget to also take into account your budget so that you know the minimum amount of money you need to make each month.
2. Build trust
Every new client is a prospect for permanent cliency, there’s a high probability that both parties are measuring and testing each other. You should always try to serve every customer to the best of your ability. It is a simple way to build trust so that when you ask for payment, the client would not hesitate.
On your end, you want to make sure that you have a professional website with samples of your work, testimonials and contact information. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a page dedicated to your rates or an FAQ that outlines your payment policies. Also, have some sort of social media presence to validate who you are.
3. Be transparent
Another way to build trust is simply by being honest. For example, when you’re first contacted about a potential project, be honest about your availability. If you’re too busy, then relay that information to the client. Why would they pay you upfront on a project that you won’t be able to start right away?
When discussing the project with the client, make sure that both parties clearly understand everything from the rate to the deadline. When you’re both on the same page, have everything in writing so that everyone is protected.
4. Be flexible
During the negotiation process you also want to provide some flexibility. For example, you may want 100 percent upfront, but the client may not be comfortable with that. You could have to settle for a 50 percent upfront and 50 percent paid at the end.
Besides the amount of the deposit, being flexible means accepting multiple types of payment methods. Let’s say that you have an ongoing relationship with a client, you could create a recurring payment option that charges their credit card at the beginning of the month.
5. Offer reassurances
Even with a legitimate website, testimonials, portfolio and the willingness to negotiate, clients still need to be reassured that you’re not going to take their money and run. You can relieve their anxiety by simply providing the following:
Guaranteeing that the project will be completed by the agreed upon deadline in writing.
Offering money back guarantees or refunds.
Frequently communicating with the client and providing status updates.
Maintaining a professional relationship with the client.
While this information could be included in your contract, you could provide a proposal layout on your website that outlines your processes, deliverables, time frame and cost of projects so that the client has an understanding of your process before hiring you.