A lot has been written about proven methods to deal with plumbers–from selecting the right one to prudent ways of fee negotiation.
From such write-ups, it appears the plumber community is to be blamed for all the hassles clients encounter.
It is not wholly wrong. You will find that many plumbers play tricks to cheat their clients in addition to incompetence. The impact falls on the clients, entailing wastage of money and time.
That is one side of the coin–but what about the other side of the coin?
Does that mean the client community is perfect and treats plumbers professionally? Unfortunately, the answer is–no.
The fact remains: many clients pose problems for plumbers, from rude behaviour to not paying the fees on time.
Out of the problems posed by clients, untimely fees payment pinches plumbers very hard. So, you should guard against such clients if you are a plumber.
Needless to say, clients who do not pay on time are worrisome for plumbers. But, you can put all worries at rest as there are effective ways to deal with such clients. So, you can serve the clients and, at the same time, get your fees immediately after completion of your work.
Given the effectiveness, you can deal with such clients with the following methods:
Although you need to ask for jobs from your prospective clients, you should not push as that can irritate your client. Consequently, the irritation can render a negative experience for the client that might lead him not to pay you on time.
Therefore, you should not avoid pushing for the job. And make sure to negotiate the fees before starting the work. For example, a plumber Toronto can say about the advantages of hiring him rather than pushing for the job.
Avoid Penny Pinchers
Examine whether your client is more concerned about your fees than the work. If your client is of such type, you should be careful when dealing with him. Usually, these clients tend to postpone their payments after the work gets over.
You can negotiate a price that works well for you and the client. In addition, it can help you to avoid the tricky situations that can arise later.
Moreover, a prior negotiation can help you to avoid striking a deal with clients who try to push for lower and lower fees.
Be aware that these types of customers bear a higher probability of backing out after the work is done. So, avoid working with such clients.
Enter into a Contract
Another good way of avoiding the hassles arising from non-payment by clients is to enter into a contract with the client. It is a good way of ensuring getting paid after the job.
If you find the prospective client wary of signing a contract with you before starting the work, it can indicate a possible backing out after the work gets done. So, avoid the client.
But, you should adopt prudent tactics while structuring the contract. Avoid constructing a contract with multiple pages for your work. It is a good idea to build a one-page contract. But, do not fail to include all the relevant agreements and terms and conditions.
In the contract, you should not fail to make the fees more prominent. It will ensure that your client will get no opportunity to dispute your fees after completing the work.
Collect Upfront Payment
You should not hesitate to ask for upfront fees if you offer reliable plumbing services. However, you can structure your fee payment in different ways. For example, you can charge one-third of your fees upfront, one-third at halfway, and the rest after completing the job.
Ensure that you do not start the work before receiving the upfront fee.
Avoid the Untrustworthy Clients
Examine the trustworthiness of your prospective client. If you see any signs of unworthiness, you should avoid working with such a client.
Remember that non-paying customers play different tricks to postpone their payments. Look for clients posing as trustworthy persons. Such persons usually can screw you up later on.
Therefore, you should not fail to assess the trustworthiness of your prospective clients. Besides, dependability also helps in maintaining long-term relationships.
But, you cannot rule out the possibility of trustworthy clients showing surprising behaviour during the fee payment stage.
It can so happen that such a client unexpectedly encountered a mishap, restricting him from making your payment on time.
Again, you should emphasize clear communication. It helps elicit expectations from both parties and enables you to get paid on time.
Look for the Common Signs of Non-Paying Clients
After getting a client, you should assess whether he will be able to pay you. You may complete the work, and after that, the client comes up with various excuses for not being able to pay your fees on time.
Things could become ugly if you did high-value work. You will likely lose a considerable amount of money in such a case.
However, there are effective ways of guarding yourself against such eventuality. One of such ways is to look for the typical red flags of non-paying customers.
Therefore, you should research your prospective clients, even if it is a corporate house. The common red flags to observe are whether your prospective client is:
- In the process of selling the company
- Laying off employees
- Looking for ways to avoid you
- Make excuses
Therefore, you should try to locate the red flag before starting work. If you spot any red flags, do not work for the client.
Avoid Faulty Invoices
Pay attention to your invoice. Is it incomplete or incorrect? If so, you should correct those immediately. Such anomalies can be a cause of a delay in getting your fees, even from honest clients.
Such an invoice can allow dishonest clients to delay the payment. For example, such clients can leverage the presence of a missing VAT number or type in your invoice as an excuse to keep your payment on hold.
Therefore, you should ensure that your invoice should be correct in all respects. So, make sure that the invoice has:
- The correct name and address of your client
- The work description
- The purchase order number
- VAT details, such as the tax date and registration number
- The applicable terms and conditions
- Fee due date
- Your contact details
Remind Your Client of Payment
If you see your client delaying your payment, you should call the client, reminding him of the payment.
Also, figure out the reason for the delay in your payment. There can be various reasons, such as forgetting, having encountered some financial difficulties, or trying to delay the payment deliberately.
Therefore, you should not fail to remind the client about your payment. And, if you do not do so, you might lose your fees.
But, be friendly in your conversation. A rude behaviour might make things work for your client. In such a case, you will lose your fees.
The Final Say
Plumbers should carefully deal with their clients to guard themselves against payment delays or backing ups. Unfortunately, many clients try to hold back the plumber fees, showing various excuses. Therefore, plumbers should think of ways to prevent encountering non-payment eventuality instead of chasing clients who will never pay.