Boss Responses

#34: Is It Worth Compromising on Your Payment Terms? with Eagranie Yuh

May 30, 2024 Treasa Edmond
#34: Is It Worth Compromising on Your Payment Terms? with Eagranie Yuh
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Boss Responses
#34: Is It Worth Compromising on Your Payment Terms? with Eagranie Yuh
May 30, 2024
Treasa Edmond

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In this episode of the Boss Responses Podcast, host Treasa Edmond is joined for the fourth day by guest Eagranie Yuh. They delve into the complexities of dealing with client payment policies that conflict with your own business practices. From insisting on deposits to negotiating terms with large corporations, they share valuable insights on maintaining professionalism and protecting your business interests. Hear practical advice on how to handle clients who prefer net 30 payments, the importance of communication, and flexible solutions like retainers. Listen in as they empower you with strategies to stand firm with your policies while still fostering beneficial client relationships.

Eagranie Yuh helps marketers in risk, insurance, and HR build brand authority with white papers and podcasts. She’s an award-winning writer and journalist, and she’s written for publications like The Washington Post, The South China Morning Post and Saveur. Her work has been anthologized in Best Food Writing and has received several M.F.K. Fisher Awards. Prior to starting her own consultancy, Eagranie was the editorial director in a marketing communications agency, where she helped Fortune 500 companies conceptualize, develop and implement content marketing programs.

Connect with Eagranie on LinkedIn.

Support the Show.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode of the Boss Responses Podcast, host Treasa Edmond is joined for the fourth day by guest Eagranie Yuh. They delve into the complexities of dealing with client payment policies that conflict with your own business practices. From insisting on deposits to negotiating terms with large corporations, they share valuable insights on maintaining professionalism and protecting your business interests. Hear practical advice on how to handle clients who prefer net 30 payments, the importance of communication, and flexible solutions like retainers. Listen in as they empower you with strategies to stand firm with your policies while still fostering beneficial client relationships.

Eagranie Yuh helps marketers in risk, insurance, and HR build brand authority with white papers and podcasts. She’s an award-winning writer and journalist, and she’s written for publications like The Washington Post, The South China Morning Post and Saveur. Her work has been anthologized in Best Food Writing and has received several M.F.K. Fisher Awards. Prior to starting her own consultancy, Eagranie was the editorial director in a marketing communications agency, where she helped Fortune 500 companies conceptualize, develop and implement content marketing programs.

Connect with Eagranie on LinkedIn.

Support the Show.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Treasa Edmond:

Welcome back to the Boss Responses podcast. What do you do when you have set business policies and your client's policy is in direct conflict? That's what our question today is all about, and this one deals with money, so the policy is more important than perhaps in other situations. Let's go ahead and see what Eagranie opinion is about. Should you allow a client to not pay a deposit when that is your standard terms? If you're a freelancer, business owner or anyone who deals with clients, you're in the right place.

Treasa Edmond:

I'm your host, Treasa Edmond. I've been dealing with clients and running my business for nearly two decades and in that time I've dealt with my share of doubt, imposter syndrome and not knowing what to say when a client asked a question I wasn't ready for. I created this podcast to empower you with the boss responses you need to grow your business. Each week, my guest co-host and I will bring you five episodes packed with practical insights. Monday through Thursday, we answer your questions, and Fridays we dive deep to explore how our co-hosts embrace their role as the boss of their business. Welcome to Boss Responses. We are back for day four with Eagranie and Eagranie. I want to thank you again. Your advice this week has been amazing and I hope people are taking it to heart and I hope we can have you back again in the future.

Eagranie Yuh:

Thanks, Treasa, it's been really fun and it's really. It's always interesting to hear other people's questions and it makes you question the things that you're doing in your own business, so it definitely goes both ways.

Treasa Edmond:

You know it really is, and I think a lot of this, we've been doing this long enough that this stuff happened to us a long time ago and we've forgotten about it and we've moved on. And that ability to revisit it makes us think about what we're doing in our business now and maybe there are some things we need to look at. All right, so last question of the week are you ready? I am Are you ready, teresa?

Eagranie Yuh:

I think so. We'll see All right. So our listener question today is recently I've had two potential clients tell me they pay a net 30. So a deposit which I require for all projects over a thousand dollars is impossible. I walked away from one, but this new one is a brand name I'd love to have in my portfolio. I really don't want to start without that deposit, but I also don't want to miss this opportunity. What would you do?

Treasa Edmond:

The fact that it's a brand you'd love to have in your portfolio, that's a mitigating circumstance. However, I have a hard and fast rule on this. Especially if I'm doing ghostwritten books, we don't start without a deposit. So if you pay net 30, that's fine. I'll invoice you today for that deposit. We'll start 30 days from now. If they need the project done faster and they want to work with you, then they will get that done. It pretty often happens that they get it done much quicker than 30 days, so that's one option is to stand your ground and see.

Treasa Edmond:

Now, Eagranie works with larger corporations and I know it gets to be a bit more of a sticky widget there, so we'll hear from her about that in a minute. But so my advice on this from my perspective and this is just what I would do is stick your guns on this Now. If it's a brand that is going to completely up-level your business, then find a way. Talk to them, see if they can split the difference, see if there is a way they can do it, or see if their due dates on the project and the deliverables are negotiable, because they might not actually need it for 60 days and they're working ahead. So if that's a possibility, you can still get that deposit. You can still do the project and it's a possibility. You could even have it done within a couple of days of receiving the deposit and still meet an earlier date. So talk to them.

Treasa Edmond:

This is one of those situations where I think communicating with the client is absolutely vital, because you can say this is what I do, these are my business guidelines, this is how I run my business, or this is how my business is ran. Then they can say well, this is what our accounting department says we have to do and, quite honestly, sometimes they have no control over that. If you're working with a content manager, that's just the way it is. So figure out middle ground where you can meet them and just tell them I really want to work on this project with you, but this is a non-negotiable thing. Where can we make changes in our deliverables or our due date so that we can make this happen? Now, from the big perspective because I know you work with Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies how does this work out if you need a deposit on a larger project?

Eagranie Yuh:

It's really tricky, teresa, because there's basically like the client and accounts payable are completely separate behemoth things. And so, like I have one client that is net 45, which I was like, oh, that's interesting, okay. And in those cases I invoice for the deposit and typically with those clients, lead times are so long that basically what you have described, that deposit comes in, often not like right away, but it'll come in within one or two weeks of us starting to work together. So there is a leap of faith on my part to begin right away, but it'll come in within one or two weeks of us starting to work together. So there is a leap of faith on my part to begin that work. But they are willing to do the deposit.

Eagranie Yuh:

Right, like the marketing lead has basically said yes, we can do a deposit. It's just that it's going to take you 30 to 45 days for that deposit to come through, and so at that point it's a little bit of a trust thing. This particular client I've worked with for almost a decade, so I know they're going to pay me right, and so that's kind of part of it is that trust piece. The other thing is having those conversations face-to-face, not via email, right, right, right.

Eagranie Yuh:

This is not a conversation you have over email. This is a conversation where you basically explain the situation. It's not confrontational, right, like you don't have it as two people battling it out, but just like hey, we have a, we have an issue here. We're on different pages. These are my guidelines, these are your guidelines. How do we work together to make this work? And I think sometimes, depending on the client, even just explaining why you take a deposit. Listen, I take a deposit because that allows me to carve out the time for your dedicated project.

Eagranie Yuh:

It really serves both of us right. So it's not just me wanting money. This is me setting aside time in my schedule so that I can serve you the best way that I can. And I think sometimes having those conversations depending on the size of the company a smaller company is going to have a lot more flexibility, a bigger company will probably not. But, as you say, putting that stake in the ground and saying this is how I operate and I do need a deposit.

Treasa Edmond:

Yeah, and I think that this is one of those situations where it is all about your business, it's not about you. So you want to work with the client, you want to serve them, you want to carve out that time for them, but in order to do that, you need verification that the project is actually going to go ahead, and that's what the deposit is. And I don't think that people should ever hesitate to ask for a deposit With a smaller client. Sometimes you just have to stand firm and say this is my deposit policy. I cannot move forward with the project and put the time on my schedule until I receive that and make it about your schedule. Don't make it about you have to reserve my time, because anytime you start equating time and money, they think they're paying you hourly and that's an issue. But if you are reserving space in your schedule, they get that. Another thing I've done on this for net 30 clients is especially if it's regular work. So for a new client, I'm never going to start work without a deposit.

Treasa Edmond:

I just I've learned you get burnt, you can do a lot of work you don't get anything, and so I've learned that I also do not turn over the final deliverable until I receive final payment. And the way I have my accounting system set up is they get an invoice for that final payment and when it's paid it releases the deliverable. So that works on a lot of them For the net 30 clients. It can be a bit more tricky With them if they are a repeat client. I offer a retainer and I know retainers are a hotly contested topic. Some people love them and some hate them. I love them because I can bill them before and then the money that they owe me for that month comes in at the beginning of the month, so we don't have to ever worry about money. And then I immediately bill them for the next month and we keep going until they let me know that the retainer is over or until I change my fees and price myself out of their level. That makes a huge difference.

Treasa Edmond:

I love retainers also because I set them up. I don't discount for retainers. For me it is a priority VIP concierge level however you want to look at it service. They are getting priority access to my schedule. They are getting dedicated time spent on their projects while I'm not working on anyone else's projects, so they get my full attention. And then they also get to send me their projects before anyone else at the beginning of the month. That allows me to really work my schedule around them so that I give them that extra level of service. So for me, retainers almost always solve this problem. For books, I never start until the deposit comes in, and those are just my rules, and I've learned from experience that I have to follow them. But there are a thousand ways to do this, just like with every other freelancing thing, the brand name thing though that might be.

Treasa Edmond:

I'm saying have a conversation with them, say I understand that you have no control over accounts payable. I get that. I really do want to work with your organization. What can we do to make this happen? Can we extend the due date so that the deposit comes in before I give you the deliverable, or something like that? Just see what works, because I guarantee you this is not the first time they have had this situation. Yeah, absolutely. All right, come back tomorrow as we learn all about Eagranie and what she does, how she got started and why she is so amazing. See you tomorrow.

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