For me, it was the one with my credit card processor. I never knew what ridiculous add-on charge they would decide to ding me with that month. The last +40% surprise finally spurred me to action.
Now you can argue that credit card processing is a commodity and it’s nothing at all like your services. But in fact, I didn’t run to the lowest price, I went for the best combination of price, service and simplicity. Knowing what my bill would be—and feeling like I could trust their process—was more important than shaving off a few bucks here and there.
Which brings me to you. How easy—or hard—is it for your client to anticipate your charges? Does your billing build or destroy trust?
For more on this, read this post by Charles Green, America’s trust guru.
Be sure you catch his example of the ultimate contract by a solo consultant/coach:
“At the beginning of every month, you will send me a check for $5000. For the rest of that month, I will answer the phone all the time whenever you call. Should I ever not receive my check by the fifth day of the month, I will know that you’ve become unsatisfied with my services, and we shall both expect further conversations to cease.”
No nickeling, no diming. Just straight-forward pricing.
Not every business model lends itself to retainer work, but there isn’t a service business that can’t price simply if you trust your clients and your people.
Think about it. Isn’t the desire to add a gazillion qualifiers inversely proportional to the trust and faith we have in our clients and in ourselves?
Don’t make your client dread your invoice.
Trust over weasel words. Every. Single. Time.