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Let Bernadette Doyle, founder of Client Magnets, teach you a shortcut to avoiding or getting rid of problem clients by simply changing the terms of how you do business.

What To Do About Late Payers
By Bernadette Doyle

I often hear people saying, "I'm really struggling with late payers. I've done the work and it's just really frustrating. I'm small business and some of these large companies are taking like 90 days to pay me." For many business owners it seems like there's nothing you can do about this. It's just something you have to suffer, something you have to put up with.

So the majority accept this as a 'necessary and unavoidable evil'. But what if you didn't have to accept that? What if you actually made it a condition of your business that people paid you in advance or they paid you a percentage in advance?

Please notice your reaction to the suggestion I just made.
Because if your instant reaction is, "Oh, I couldn't do that.
That' wouldn't work in my industry," I just want to push you a bit and say, "Well, why not?" What's stopping you? Who says you can't do it that way?

Because the fact is, if you want to produce extraordinary results in your business, you may need to take extraordinary measures.

I can tell you from experience that the instant you set a condition like that in your business and you say, "Actually I now only deal with clients who pay in advance," you know what will happen? The ones that will grumble or the ones that might refuse to do business with you were the ones that were going to be the problem payers anyway.

Several years ago I did a very interesting exercise where I divided up my client list into 'dream clients' (love working them, in fact it's not like work at all, they pay me on time and in full) and 'problem clients' (wish this person had never darkened my door, always asking for extras, quibbling over fees, pay late if at all etc.)  As I reviewed this list I noticed a very interesting pattern. Every single one of the 'problem'
clients had done something during the sales process to flag their 'special needs'. They had asked for some extras, or a discount, some bending of the rules, some pushing of my usual business terms and conditions.

At the time, because I didn't know any better, I yielded to their requests because I thought I 'had to', and because I thought it was 'good business' to be flexible. Yet in every single one of these instances, their first request had just been the thin edge of the wedge and the start of a whole series of special requests.

So even if on the face of it it looks like you're losing a client or two by putting a condition like payment terms in place, the fact is you're losing the problem clients. Because the customers that were going to pay you on time, the customers that value you and aren't going to quibble over your fees or drag their heels over paying your invoices will comply with your requests because they recognize the value of what you're offering and they accept this as a term of doing business with you.

The bottom line is YOU get to determine the terms on which you do business. If you let your clients dictate the terms then don't be surprised if you live to regret it. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Bernadette Doyle publishes her weekly Client Magnets newsletter for trainers, coaches, consultants, complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, then get your free tips now at

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