Prevention is better than cure (Part 2 – Disease)
Now that the contracts are signed and exchanged and handshakes made, you proceed with your assignment, only to realize that yours (and your team’s) hard work goes unpaid. Not only does this situation leave you frustrated, but also can affect the working of your company and stuck up cash flows can lead to acute financial stress. As the old adage goes – “Prevention is better than cure”, hence how do we prevent ourselves from falling in for such clients.
- Prospecting is the key – If you failed in prospecting as mentioned in the previous article and have been unable to plug this leakage, then you will be in this situation more often than not. Tip – Create personas of individuals and companies you would like to work with and have had good experience with and more importantly those whom you would not like to work with. This is a dynamic process which you will be working on consistently.
- Start small – Target smaller wins and build confidence. This is what most companies do wrong. If you are an agency, how about you ask yourself this question – what do you specialize in and if the answer is everything, then you probably need to introspect. During your sales pitch if you overcommitted and under-delivered then you are not looking at a long-term relationship. Some clients might pay you, some will not. We believe in the motto – under commit and over-deliver, this way we always exceed our client’s expectations.
- Too good to be true – If you think you have cracked a deal and the margins are extraordinary, time to look at the deal again. You might be building castles in the air. Things that are too good to be true, usually are not true at all.
- Advance – Always take some token amount at the time of signing a deal as well as advance payment (could be 25%/50%, whatever suits you more as well as depending on the total size of the deal). This shows the seriousness of the client and gives you a hint at the professionalism.
- Take Control – If the client leaves you without paying you anything, you should have control over some part. It could be the website, a process, social media credentials. You have to ensure that the client cannot simply ignore you and walk away. (Trust us, this is one of the most important points and you will thank us at some point or the other)
- Legal way – If everything fails, now it is time to seek a legal opinion, but wait did you even have a contract with this client? Refer to our previous blog here to read about agreements and contracts.
In this phase, we discussed how we can prevent you from being taken advantage of and left high and dry. In our next blog, we will culminate this series when you have a client who owes you money but does not show the intent of giving it back to you. Stay tuned and do share your story/stories with us.