A slight change in wording that will get you paid faster (and reduce stress)

99% of the time, delays in building websites come from the client… not the web designer

While we’ve probably never met you, we know the type of person you are.

You stick with deadlines, you work with integrity, you want to make your clients happy and you want to get paid for your work.  You’re like us and that’s one of the many reasons we are glad you are here.

But sometimes… things are out of your control and that’s why you are going to love this post.

It’s a simple change in wording that drastically decreases stress and deadlines AND makes your client responsible for getting their website done.


THE UPDATE REQUEST EMAIL

How many times have you gotten an email like this:

Email from Mr. Client (Tuesday 10:03 am)
Hey Ian! I have some updates I need you to make in the attached Word document.  When do you think you can you have it done by and how much will it cost? We have a meeting with the boss on monday and he really wants to see those changes completed, so it would be great if it could be done by then.

and then you respond promptly with an email like this:

My Response (Tuesday 10:46 am)
Hi Mike, I checked out those updates and I can definitely have them done by Friday so you can review the changes, the cost will be $340. Here is a link to send payment [payment link goes here].

Pretty standard email correspondence, right?

I’m sure you’ve received/sent some variation of that hundreds of times, but there is an inherent problem in your response…


THE PROBLEM

After you send that email, you get busy and forget all about Mr. Clients request.

Wednesdays comes and you remember that email, but assume that maybe Mr. Client doesn’t want those updates done for some reason.

Not a problem, you’ve got plenty of other work to keep you busy.

Then you get this email late Thursday afternoon:

Email from Mr. Client (Thursday 4:37 pm)
Hey Ian! That sounds good! I just paid your invoice! Looking forward to those updates!

And you instantly think to yourself “Are you fucking serious right now???”.

The client paid Thursday night and you said it would be done Friday so guess what you are doing tonight?

You’ve gotta rush Thursday night to get it all done, but if the client had just paid on Tuesday you could have taken your time and done a little each day.

That happened to my friend Sean while he was out skateboarding and saw an email like that on his iPhone… he had to swim home immediately.

He was a bit dramatic with the whole thing, but I admire his commitment to customer service.


THE SOLUTION

So how do you stop this?

How do you make the client responsible for getting the work done too?

The answer is simple and elegant and it’s something that we’ve been doing for the past year or so (because we got burnt by clients that did the exact same thing as above).

Here it is… instead of saying this:

My Response  (Tuesday 10:46 am)
Hi Mike, I checked out those updates and I can definitely have them done by Friday so you can review the changes, the cost will be $340. Here is a link to send payment [payment link goes here].

You say this:

My Response  (Tuesday 10:46 am)
Hi Mike, I checked out those updates and I can definitely have them done within 3 business after we receive payment, the cost will be $340. Here is a link to send payment [payment link goes here].

Did you catch the difference?

Of course you did!

The beauty in that new response (“done within X business days after we receive payment”) is that the deadline is now a variable deadline.

And that variable starts when the client pays.

Since you know it’s going to take about 3 business days to get done, it doesn’t really matter to you when those 3 business days start.

But if it matters to Mr. Client (like if the boss wants to see the new site updates on Monday), Mr. Client is going to pay you a lot quicker.

BOOM. Mo Money, Mo Faster!

Your friends,
Ian & Amy Anderson