Demanding Advance Payment

We seldom work without fees upfront, especially from new out-of-state clients. I suspected this potential client was playing cat-and-mouse with us and would take advice without paying. He tried "the check is in the mail" routine, and we didn't bite. This e-mail was my way of saying "We will begin once we receive payment—really receive payment." Sending him the wire-transfer option implied we're a solid business, not a Mom and Pop shop.

Michael was a bit outraged that we put so much emphasis on being paid, a clear sign of a potential receivables problem. This e-mail worked; he paid us by check, we waited for the check to clear, and began the assignment. It's so much easier to get your money in advance, before you provide advice, than after the client thinks they no longer need you.

From: Bill Frank at CareerLab []
Sent: Monday, July 12, 20— 9:02 AM
To: Michael Perezito, MD, FACS
Subject: We haven't received your payment

We received your signed agreement postmarked July 7, 20— but have not received your $6,000 deposit. 

  1. The simplest way to get us the funds is to give us a credit card number with expiration date. You may call me with that number.
  2. The second-fastest way to get us the funds is to wire-transfer them into our account. A quick phone call to your bank is all that is necessary.
    • Wiring Instructions for Bank of America: ABA Routing Number: 102527300090
    • For beneficiary in account name of: CareerLab. Account: 08699344
  3. Or, if you prefer, you may FedEx us a check.  We will continue once the check clears.
I've attached an invoice for your use.  Please give me a call at your earliest convenience to let us know how you would like to proceed.  

Thank you,


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