After a month of passive aggressive hinting to a new client, I finally had to lay down the law.
Every Monday for the last month, I have been sending my invoice to my client. Every Monday. No major notes. Just a nice Monday morning reminder. I'm trying to be fair. He is a new client. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he didn't read the terms of the invoice and notice that he has only a week to pay me. But I send the invoice every Monday hoping that on one of those days he'll say "You know what, I'm going to just send this payment off today. Get this bad boy paid off!" He didn't. He said he did, said he would...but he didn't.
So, I have to resort to the email. The threat email.The email that says, if you don't pay, I'm shutting you down buddy! I kindly let them know that if I don't receive payment by ** date, that I will shut down their virtual tour and/or website. Personally I think the threat is a half ass threat. They already have all the photos and virtual tour. I'm just threatening to take the tour offline. They still have the photos! Thank god they don't think to much about it and the threat actually works though. So far, this threat has worked every time. The thought of being offline usually lights a nice fire under their butt. Probably because their clients check the tours all the time. I'm sure the thought of having to explain their client that the reason the tour isn't working is because they forgot to pay the photographer.
I do have a next step in my collection process just in case. Luckily I haven't had to use it. Next, the embarrassing threat email goes out. If you don't pay me stat, I will send an invoice to your client for payment. Try to explain to your client why you didn't pay your bill and they now have to pay for your marketing. Bad news.
So today, threat email went out. Only one problem...I swear I checked the email. I double checked, because I remember thinking "Don't send it to the wrong Todd, you'll look like a dumbass and then he'll see that your clients don't pay on time". Sure as shit, I sent it to my old boss, Todd, instead of my client.
Boss "Did you mean to send this to me?"
Me "Yes, you're busted. I'm sure you owe me from an old shoot from 7 years ago. Yeah sorry, I sent this email to the wrong Todd. However, you can pay the invoice if you feel so inclined. I don't care who pays the invoice as long as the payee is named Todd. Hope all is well. Have a great weekend!"
Boss "Thanks, you too...by the way, you are way to nice on your collections. You need to be meaner."
Great. He's still bossing me around 7 years after I quit. Actually Mario had said the exact same thing two minutes before. So, I feel like a dumbass and a doofus. I know I'm too nice, but the threat email works. I feel like I have to be a sugary sweet asshole while threatening them...cause I want them to hire me again. Right? I'll just make sure to have him pay before I give him the photos. After 5 years doing this, I'm still learning how to be a business owner...and to read who the hell I'm emailing!