Owning a business and having loyal clients is a blessing. But, how do you handle asking your clients for money either as an upfront deposit or a complete payment after the due date?
Not knowing how to ask a client for money can be frustrating. No businessman would love a delayed payment. And sometimes you may need an upfront deposit for a job.
In addition, knowing how to respectfully communicate with your clients is ideal for the growth of your business.
So, how do you politely ask a client for money? To help you, I’ll be breaking down 13 great ways you can politely ask clients for your money in this article.
13 Ways to Politely Ask for Money from Clients
There are countless you can ask your clients for money without offending them. First, there are three golden Ps that can help you when requesting money from clients. They include:
Professional – don’t waste time on unnecessary pleasantries, make sure you go straight to the point with a firm tone. It’s your money remember?
Polite – while being professional, don’t forget to be polite. These two go together. You should remain calm, even with a firm tone.
Persistent – if your clients don’t respond when due, keep on reminding them in a calm yet firm manner. You don’t have to become aggressive.
The goal here’s to build and maintain a good business relationship. So, learning how to ask your clients for money can maintain this relationship and even attract more loyal clients.
First, you should create a work contract and discuss the price of the job. Another way to make your request is through email. Additionally, you can ask for money by sending a text message.
That being said, here are 13 different ways to politely ask clients for money:
- Create a work contract
- Discuss the price of the job
- Tell them that the investment cost…
- Tell them what they’d get for the investment
- Ask for an upfront deposit
- Ask at the right time
- Make your request through an email
- How to ask via a phone call
- Send a text message
- Make payments easy for clients
- Hold on to work until payment
- Revoke the client’s access to the asset
- Use third-parties
Create a Work Contract
Creating a work contract is essential for a thriving business. It’s the first step toward getting your money from clients.
So, before you think about asking clients for your money, you should have a contract stating clearly the payment terms that’ll bind you both.
Without a working contract, it may be difficult to get money from difficult clients. But, with a contract, when you ask for your money, the document will serve as a reminder of the penalty for not paying.
Discuss the Price of the Job
When a client meets you for a job, you must discuss the price. Discussing the price will let them know what they’re going in for.
Most people fail at discussing this part, which makes it difficult to get their money from clients in the end.
So, ensure you discuss the price of the job a client meets you for, so it’ll be easy to ask for money later on.
Tell Them that the Investment Cost…
Another way to ask a client for money is to rephrase the statement, “the price cost…” So, Instead of saying the price of the job cost this amount, you could say, “the investment cost this amount.”
In this way, the client feels more relaxed and will be more conscious that they’re investing with you.
Tell Them What They’d Get for the Investment
Another way you can ask a client for money is to tell them what they’d get from the investment they’d be making, that’s what they’d get from the money they’d be paying you.
Telling them the result of what they’re paying for will encourage them to pay up because they know you’ll do a satisfactory job.
Therefore, you ought to give them the result they expect.
Ask for Upfront Deposit
Another way you can ask a client for money is to ask for an upfront deposit. Getting a part payment from a client shows seriousness on their part and will also guarantee them that you’ll do their job.
However, you may not ask for an upfront payment from all clients. Some brands may not collect from old and trusted clients, especially if it’s a small job.
So, it’s left to you to make your decision about collecting an upfront deposit. Conversely, you must ask for a deposit from new clients.
Ask At the Right Time
Knowing the right time to request money from your clients is a very important tip to take note of. You don’t want to appear like you’re breathing down on their neck and at the same time, you’re afraid of requesting late.
If you want to ask for an upfront payment, it’s ideal that you discuss it on the first day of business if you don’t have a work contract that contains it.
Also, if your due date has elapsed, you should request payment immediately. There’s no point waiting. The more you wait, the more it becomes difficult to get your money.
In addition, you can send a gentle reminder to your client before the due date. However, ensure you’ve done a good part of the job before reminding them of your money.
So, asking for your money at the right time will make it easier to get them from clients.
Make Your Request Through an Email
Email is one of the key ways of communication in business. It provides a cheap, faster, and reliable way to communicate with clients.
Therefore, sending a request through email is an ideal method to ask clients for money. You can send an email to remind them of the payment’s due date or to request payment after the due date.
In addition, you should keep your email polite and straightforward. You don’t want to bore your clients with long messages they won’t bother to read.
The subject should contain the purpose of the email, and ensure to attach the invoice to the email and let the client know about that.
Before sending your clients an email, ensure:
- You’re contacting the right person: you wouldn’t want to send an email asking for money to the wrong person. So, crosscheck first that it’s the right email address
- The invoice number is accurate: check that it’s the right invoice for the right client
- It’s the right amount: ensure your figures tally. Double-check that everything is well summed up and that the total amount matches with that in the email
- Work details are accurate: make sure the work details are what you did for the client. It’s necessary to double-check this, especially if you’re working with several clients at the same time
How to Ask Before the Due Date
You can send your client an email to remind them of the payment’ due date to prevent late payment. This reminder is to ensure that they’ve it at the back of their mind and may even pay up before it’s due.
This email should be friendly and straight to the point. Below is an email template asking for money before the due date.
Subject: Payment reminder from Classy Stores
I hope this email meets you well. This is just a gentle reminder that payment for invoice (#3890) is due on 6th January.
I have attached the invoice. Please review it and feel free to contact me if you’ve further questions. You can send in payment through the following ways…
We appreciate doing business with you
Ask for Payment on Due Date
Sometimes customers wait until it’s the due date before making payment and some don’t pay up until they see a reminder.
So, if your client hasn’t sent in payment by the due date, you can send them a reminder email. They might’ve forgotten and your email will serve its purpose well.
Here’s an email template for payment on the due date:
Subject: Payment reminder from Classy Stores – Due today
I hope you’re doing fine. This is a quick reminder that your invoice (#7839) is due for payment today. I have attached the invoice below.
You can send in payment today via the following ways…
Kindly reach out to us via the following telephone lines… or email us at… if you’ve any questions.
Do have a nice day.
Ask When Payment Is Due for a Week
After sending a reminder on the due date and you don’t get a response, you shouldn’t send another the next day. However, if after a week, you’re yet to get your money, you should send a follow-up email.
Sending them weekly or bi-weekly reminders will urge them to pay up while giving them breathing space.
Subject: Payment reminder from Classy Stores – One week overdue
I hope this email meets you well. According to our records, your payment for invoice ((#34926) is overdue by a week.
Please review the attached invoice below and make payments via… to avoid late payment fees.
You can contact us via… if you’ve any questions about the invoice or payment methods.
Ask When Payment Is Long Overdue
Subject: Payment reminder from Classy Stores- overdue invoice
You’ve been one of our valued clients since we began business, and you’ve always met up with paying your bills within the stipulated time.
We’re sending you this fourth reminder to let you know that your invoice (#6290) is long overdue for payment. As stipulated in our payment terms, a late payment attracts a lateness fee of…
Please contact us as soon as you can to arrange payment and kindly let us know if you’re having any difficulties.
As always, we accept payment via… Kindly see the attached invoice for full details.
Ask for Payment Via Phone Call
Another method to ask for money from clients is through phone calls. This step becomes necessary if the client isn’t responding to emails.
Payment emails become futile if:
- The payment is long overdue, maybe past a month
- You’ve sent the client not less than two emails
- The client is yet to pay or isn’t opening the emails
Therefore, a straightforward and polite call with the client should solve the issue. Speaking to the client via a phone call will aid in reaching an agreement quickly and finalizing payment.
While on the phone, speak in a calm tone. Also, you should sound firm without raising your voice or sounding rude. In addition, it isn’t the time to get emotional or need pity.
First, verify you’re speaking with the correct person, introduce yourself, and state the reason for your call.
Ensure you remind them about the work contract before ending the call.
Send a Text Message
Your clients may not pick up your call. Probably they were busy at the moment and placed their phone on ‘do not disturb,” or for some other reason, you can send them a text instead.
Here are some examples of text templates you can use:
Sending a Text for Upfront Payment
Hello… How are you doing today? Concerning the business we discussed yesterday, I’ll be needing an upfront payment to enable me to work effectively. Here are my account details and the amount you’ve to pay as a deposit and full payment. Please, contact me for any questions.
This is suitable when requesting upfront payment for large projects. Also, if it’s a new client you can request a deposit to guarantee their loyalty.
Sending a Text before Due Date
Hello Mary, I hope you’re doing well. This is a gentle reminder that your invoice (#489) is due on or before February 15th. Here’s the attached invoice. Thanks for trusting us
This is a text template to use when you want to remind your client of payment before the due date. This reminder is essential to prevent late payment.
Sending a Text on the Due Date
Good day! This is a reminder to let you know that your payment is due today. Here’s the attached invoice. Please review and send in payment at your convenience. Have a nice day!
You can use this template when it has reached the deadline and your client is yet to respond to payment.
Sending a Text When Payment Is Due for a Week
Hi. Our records show that invoice #456 is a week overdue for payment. Please, review and respond appropriately. Contact us for any questions. Thank you!
This is a suitable template you can use for invoices that are a week overdue.
Sending a Text When Payment is Long Overdue
Hello Johnson. It’s Mary from Tribes. We did business together last month and my records show that you’re yet to make payment. Could you respond with an update on when you would pay? Here’s an attached invoice. Contact me for any questions. Thank you!
You can use this template when a client is yet to pay for over a month.
Make Payments Easy for Clients
When requesting money from clients, you should provide multiple methods of payment to make it easier for them.
This method will provide your clients with plenty of options so they wouldn’t have excuses about finding it difficult to pay.
Hold on to Work until Payment
You should also hold on to the client’s work until they finish up payment. This method will encourage them to pay up if it’s something important to them.
For instance, if you sold computers for your client and they’re yet to pay, you shouldn’t release it to them until after payment.
In this way, they’ll be moved to look for means to pay up to be able to make use of the computers they requested for.
Revoke the Client’s Access to Assets
This step becomes necessary if any of the above doesn’t work. You’ve sent emails, called, and texted, yet the client is still holding onto your money.
Then you should restrict their access to the company assets or any shared documents if the work contract allows that.
Next, you should inform them via email or text message that you’d be halting business with them since they aren’t paying up.
You can’t continue working for them if they won’t pay you.
After giving your clients enough time and if they don’t respond accordingly, you should consider using agencies that can handle such matters or take legal action against them.
Collation agencies are companies that work to recover long overdue funds.
You’ll need to send all business records and transactions with the client to them and they’ll work to collect your money for a percentage.
Using these agencies can be very expensive as many of them collect a percentage between 20 – 50% of the amount owed.
You can also consider hiring a legal practitioner to represent you in court. However, you should inform the client before doing so, as this information may spur them to pay up before you contact a lawyer.
Asking a client for your money may seem like a simple thing until they delay in paying you. Knowing how to ask politely is very important as it’ll maintain the working relationship.
The above methods are ways you can politely ask for money from clients after doing business with them. First, you should start by sending friendly yet firm emails to them.
Then, you should call or text them when it doesn’t work. If any of these methods don’t work, you can then employ the help of a collation agency or take legal action against them.