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5 Cut n’ Paste Scripts for Dealing with Awkward Business Situations

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5 Cut n’ Paste Scripts for Dealing with Awkward Business Situations

Have you ever found yourself wondering what to do when a client disappears mid-project or stops paying your invoices?

Self-employment can be fulfilling and lots of fun for sure, but it’s also a bit of a minefield, especially when you’re starting out.

Here are five scripts to help you navigate your way through some common awkward business situations without losing friends, money or your sanity.

1. A potential client you want to work with goes dark on you

Do you:

a)    Email to say you’re just following up and could they please let you know a.s.a.p.

b)    Email to say you’re following up on your previous follow up.

c)     Say you’re all booked up and they missed out. Too bad.

Or d) Email them and say:

Hi {potential client}

I understand you probably haven’t gotten around to thinking about our phone conversation just yet. But I wanted to check in and see if maybe you’re leaning towards a yay or a nay? No pressure either way.

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I would love to work with you and I’m really hoping we can tee up our calendars to make this happen. I believe that together, we can rock this event/launch/project. But if it doesn’t happen, I’m behind you one hundred per cent and wish you all the best.

Respectfully yours,

2. A friend, acquaintance or client has added you to their email list without your consent.

Do you:

a) Unsubscribe immediately. How dare they?

b) File them as junk. They deserve it.

c) Stay subscribed–you don’t want to offend them.

Or d) Unsubscribe (your time and your inbox is sacred), but also send them a nice note along these lines:

Hi there,

Thank you for sending me your newsletter. I loved what you wrote about {insert topic}. Unfortunately I did have to unsubscribe due to the pressure my inbox is under these days. You can rest assured it’s not a reflection of the amazing work you’re doing.

I look forward to catching with what you’re up to on {your blog/Twitter/Facebook}.

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Your friend,

3. A long-standing client is not paying your invoices on time.

Do you:

a) Threaten them with legal action. The nerve.

b) Keep following up with them. Surely they will crack and pay eventually.

c) Let them pay you on their schedule. You’re grateful for the work.

Or d) Email them and say:

Dear client,

You know I LOVE working with you guys and I want our relationship to continue.

However we do need to have a chat about our invoice situation. My contract stipulates payment within 30 days, and as you may or may not be aware, the last couple of payments took more than 90.

I know you have priorities when it comes to your cash flow and as a small business owner I can totally sympathize. But I also have a mortgage to pay and several humans to feed. And my bank manager won’t listen to my 90 day invoice story (believe me I’ve tried!).

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Do call me if we need to chat about this.

I remain your friend and colleague,

4. You have a hot lead, but he balks at paying your fee at the last minute. You really want to work with him.

Do you:

a) Offer them a one-time only discount.

b) Say your fees are negotiable.

c) Tell them your fees are set in stone and they can get over it if they don’t like ‘em.

Or d) Suggest a compromise

Dear {potential client},

You know I’d love to come on board and help with this project. I have so many great ideas and I’m chomping at the bit to get started. I understand where you’re coming from about my fees. We all have budgets. But I work hard to make sure my clients get the results they want, which is why my fees are set at that level.

So how about we reconfigure the schedule of work until we get closer to your budget? Perhaps there is some way, for example, you could have {name task} taken care of in-house?

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I’ll wait to hear from you.

Best,

5. You’ve signed up a new client. But they’ve started making unreasonable demands on your time. They’ve already phoned you five times and it’s Saturday, for heaven’s sake.

Do you:

a) Tell them to go jump in a lake and stop bothering you.

b) Ignore the calls. They can call on Monday if they really want to talk to you.

c) Agree to everything they want. The customer is always right.

Or d) appeal to their higher sensibilities and say:

I know you’re really enthusiastic about this project (me too by the way). But Saturday is the only day I get to spend with my family. So we’re going to have to pick this up again on Monday.

I know that as a family man/woman yourself, you’ll understand. Besides, my wife/husband/significant other will kill me if I don’t stop working weekends all the time!

Let me know in the comments if these templates work for you!

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