Negotiating Payment in Advance

Unless I'm working for a trusted friend or well-established corporate client, I am always paid in advance. That keeps my receivables near zero. I've found that those who dispute fees most vigorously are likely to be the biggest collection problems. In this case, I sent a corporate client an invoice to be paid in advance. He took issue with that, and wanted to pay in three installments.

I replied with 50% now and 50% later, which he accepted. Notice I set a date for the second payment, insuring that I would always be "paid in advance." And we received the two payments as requested. Besides the coaching assignment, I got a follow-on outplacement assignment two years later when the executive left the company. Regina Widaman is the Vice President of Human Resources.

From: Jeremy Jaiden []
Sent: Monday, April 11, 20— 11:22 AM
To: Bill Frank at CareerLab
Subject: RE: Invoice
I received your invoice for $9,000 for the Executive Coaching project for Marshall Rickie. We would typically pay for these of services in installments. Regina Widaman suggested 1/3 now, 1/3 in the summer and 1/3 upon completion.  Please confirm this is acceptable to you and I'll initiate payment on the first installment ASAP.

From: Bill Frank at CareerLab []
Sent: Monday, April 11, 20— 12:45 PM
To: Jeremy Jaiden
Subject: RE: Invoice for Marshall Rickie  

Hi Jeremy,
Thanks for your thoughts about Marshall Rickie. As a general rule, executive coaching services are always invoiced in advance, primarily because the work is front-end loaded, meaning it is intensive and time consuming in the beginning. As the year continues, it tapers off to an hour or so per week.
Given our long-term relationship with KFC, we are fine with two payments: $4,500 now, and $4,500 June 1, 20—. We trust this works for you and appreciate two payments rather than three.
I hope you have already seen some changes in Marshall. He seems to be learning and responding quickly.
Thank you,

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