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Why its so hard to ask for money and how to make it easier


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"What's wrong with me?" Someone in the marketing class was complaining to us, about himself. "My bank account is near zero, and I have twenty thousand dollars in accounts receivable- and all I need to do is send out the invoices."

"Why can't I send them out? I feel out of integrity with myself."

In different businesses, it's the same story. The massage is over, and the massage therapist stutters asking for payment. The product is shipped, and you are waiting and waiting for the check- yet you don't call and ask for it.

Why is it so easy to be out of integrity with yourself by not asking for the money you are owed?

Actually, you are trying to stay in integrity by not asking.

Huh? But it feels so out of integrity to perform work and not get paid for it, and not ask for the money. How can that be in integrity?

It's true there is an integrity conflict, but it happened earlier than the time of asking for, and receiving, payment.

The integrity conflict happened at the time when your client/customer initially agreed to use your service or product.

Integrity has to do with wholeness- being complete.

When a new customer says "Yes" to your offer, whether it's a class, a year-long custom consulting arrangement, or a pair of custom-made shoes, you are forging an agreement. A sale is just that: an agreement.

In order to be functional, and feel good, agreements need to be in integrity: meaning they need to be complete. All details accounted for.

What's wrong with this agreement:

"Sure, let's go to dinner. How about this Wednesday? Yes? Great, I'll see you then."

This agreement is not in integrity. Why, what's missing? You've already spotted what's missing- what time are you going to dinner? Where are you going to dinner? Are you going to meet where you are eating, or is one of you going to pick the other up?

There is no way to keep this agreement, because it's not in integrity- it's not whole.

And, there are other, less obvious details missing as well: is it a private dinner for two, or is it okay to invite anyone else? "I hope it's okay, but I brought my brother along," is not the best thing to say if your dinner partner has shown up in an evening dress at a fancy Italian restaurant expecting a romantic dinner for two.

Integrity. Clarity.

Getting paid easily and every time, without discomfort and without waiting, means you need to get really clear on the money details before you consider your customer has truly said "Yes."

There are three details about money that you need clarity on to be in integrity. But even more importantly, how can you get comfortable asking for them, when you've been avoiding them all along?

What are those three details, and how do you find comfort?

Keys to Asking for the Money

The three details: How, how much, and when.

  1. How is payment accepted. Check? Credit card? Cash only?
  2. How much. What's the total cost of your offer?
  3. When is payment due. Half at the time of scheduling? Payment right after the massage is over? Cash on Delivery? Net 30 days? Do you send an invoice, and when?

- Sidenote on #3: You don't have to follow the conventions of your industry on when payment is due. Just because 'everybody' bills net 30, doesn't mean you can't ask for 30% 50% or even 100% up front. In most cases your customer doesn't care, they just want to know when.

If you are conscious and clear, and it's authentic from your heart, your customers will do as you ask them.

Clarity creates comfort.

It's true that before you get used to asking for the three details, it can make your heart go 'pitter-pat.' But let's look at it from the customer's perspective.

Let's say you just decided to buy something you really want. What's your next question? "How do I pay for this?" But what if it's not clear how to pay for it? There's no obvious register, no one you can find to pay.

How uncomfortable do you feel? Personally, I -want- to pay, and feel really uncomfortable when I don't how it works. That discomfort alone can get me to put down whatever I wanted to buy, and leave.

Talking about the details is a point of integrity, and because it has to do with wholeness, it's a point of comfort for your customer. And overlooking them may leave your potential customer feeling uncomfortable. Is that good customer service?

Ask for the details, and make those "Yeses" ones where you get paid. It will keep you in integrity, and your customer will feel much more comfortable.

About the Author

Mark Silver is the author of Unveiling the Heart of Your Business: How Money, Marketing and Sales can Deepen Your Heart, Heal the World, and Still Add to Your Bottom Line. He has helped hundreds of small business owners around the globe succeed in business without lousing their hearts. Get three free chapters of the book online:

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-10-01 17:24:35 in Business Articles

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