Notes From a Hired Pen

The “Where’s My Money Bat”

I’m guest posting over at the Renegade Writer today, talking about my “Where’s My Money Bat.” 

Yes, it’s a real thing – my high school softball bat. Of course I’ve never used it on a person, but it’s a reminder to be strong when going after late checks. It got this name because a bunch of us joked around about having “cousins” who could visit publishers about late payments.

In the post, I offer steps on how to approach a client about late payment. What I didn’t talk about is how to handle perpetually late payers. I used to tell myself to keep writing for them even if they paid late because they paid.

Then, last year, I fired perpetually late, excuse-making payers.

I haven’t missed the checks – or the struggle to get said checks. Because let’s be honest: if a client is continually late with your money and does not make every effort possible to right the situation, they don’t respect you. They don’t care about you. They know you’ll take the money whenever they send it, so why should they change?

One more tip that I left out: stick to the facts. When I ask about late payment on the second notice, I re-attach the invoice and, in the email, list the invoice date, the terms of payment in the contract, and how many days they are late. I don’t put anything person in my email i.e. I need to pay my mortgage or no one else is paying me right now and I really need the money. Sob stories don’t work. Facts do.

And so do letters from attorneys.

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One Response to “The “Where’s My Money Bat””

  1. Martha says:

    Another reason to fire late payers: They often become non-payers. If the problem is that they’re struggling with cash flow, it could be a sign that the business is failing. That can happen even if you’ve been working for them for years.

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