Get paid without busting kneecaps
Teacher: John Moody & Doug Cox
Often, after we finish a job, clients don’t want to pay us. We used to take it personally. We questioned the quality of our work. Then we saw the crap the client put out and realized they were just being cheap and lazy. And we weren’t going to let them get away with it.
The overriding rule for getting your money is this: Don’t waste time being polite. The client has already decided they’re going to screw you. How polite is that? Here are some tricks we came up with to make this unpleasant situation fun for you...and really annoying for them.
In your contract (if you bothered with a contract), put in a payment schedule. It gives your client a good laugh and it gives you a good out if you don’t want to finish the job.
Here’s another trick. Quote a ridiculously large fee, then offer to cut it in half if they pay when the work is completed. That way you still get paid and they still get to feel like they took advantage of you.
The best way to insure that you don’t leave empty-handed is to never leave empty-handed. We’re sure you know to always schedule client meetings during lunch, but do you always take home a doggie bag?
Always think of your client’s headquarters as your very own “Office Depot.” While you’re there, stock up on pens, notebooks, and office furniture. Don’t be shy about using their Xerox machine and telephone, either. And help yourself to the company t-shirts, mugs, hats, and assorted knickknacks that are laying around. They come in handy at Christmas time, Chanukah, and Mother’s Day.
Bring out the big guns
While you’re waiting to get paid, keep in touch — 10 to 12 times a day. Remember Mom? Never underestimate her power...for guilt tripping. Hey, it worked on you! Have Mom call and ask your client to send the check by the 15th because that’s when the next payment on the dialysis machine is due.
Email can be just as annoying, uh, effective. Send jpegs of you at a freeway on-ramp holding a sign that says: “Homeless. I worked for XYZ Corporation and the bastards never paid me.” Make sure he sees that you cc’d it to his competitors and the news media.
Here’s a cute one! In your best Jersey accent, call your client and tell him you’re Tony Soprano, you just bought his marker and the juice is running at five percent a week. This last technique has never failed. In fact, the last time we used it, we not only got our fee, we got the $1500 vig!
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