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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys, one thing is for sure. sales are hard to come by but i have to tell you,asking for that final payment is always awkward. i guess there is a certian sense that we must walk on egg shells or else the home owner is going to tell you they are not going to pay for whatever reason. any of you vets have any ways or low stress ways of getting that final payment?
i am sure some of you are going to say" can i have my final payment"LOL...i have never been stiffed but its always an awkward situation.the homeowner see's the job is completed,likes the job but does'nt mention the fact that he owes some money and they leave it up to us to bring it up.
 

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I cannot count the amount of times there is no one home when it comes time to pay then I have to go back. I always try and get back the same day. There is ZERO to feel awkward about. They called you to do work you agreed on a price. So there should be no suprise.
 

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hey guys, one thing is for sure. sales are hard to come by but i have to tell you,asking for that final payment is always awkward. i guess there is a certian sense that we must walk on egg shells or else the home owner is going to tell you they are not going to pay for whatever reason. any of you vets have any ways or low stress ways of getting that final payment?
i am sure some of you are going to say" can i have my final payment"LOL...i have never been stiffed but its always an awkward situation.the homeowner see's the job is completed,likes the job but does'nt mention the fact that he owes some money and they leave it up to us to bring it up.
What so hard about it? They had no problem asking you to do the work why should asking for the check be any different? Unless the house looks worse than it did before you started
 

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Set the stage when you make the sale...

You've probably bought groceries before. When do you expect to pay for the groceries? Why do you expect to pay at the checkout?

It's all about setting the expectations. When you make the sale, tell the customer how much they are to pay down and when they are to pay it. Then tell them your final balance is due on completion with a check on the final day. Also tell them they can leave a check in an envelope in case they won't be home by the time you are finished.

Then, when you get to the job, provide the invoice and an envelope, tell them, "as we discussed, here's the final invoice... I should be done on Thursday around 3:00. Here's an envelope in case you won't be home by 3:00, where do you want to leave the envelope?"

I'm simply suggesting you can make it easy for everyone by defining the terms under which you do business. There's no shame in telling them you expect to be paid when you have provided the service.
 

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hey guys, one thing is for sure. sales are hard to come by but i have to tell you,asking for that final payment is always awkward. i guess there is a certian sense that we must walk on egg shells or else the home owner is going to tell you they are not going to pay for whatever reason. any of you vets have any ways or low stress ways of getting that final payment?
i am sure some of you are going to say" can i have my final payment"LOL...i have never been stiffed but its always an awkward situation.the homeowner see's the job is completed,likes the job but does'nt mention the fact that he owes some money and they leave it up to us to bring it up.

My contract states final payment upon completion,
Not I will mail or leave a bill for final payment.
If someone is home,I ask for the payment,if not,I'll call back to see if everything looks good ans ask when I can stop by for final check.
 

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,I'll call back to see if everything looks good ans ask when I can stop by for final check.
I used to do that. Now I TELL THEM when I can stop by for a check. last time I left it open ended on a Weds the HO goes "Oh Monday morning would be perfect"
 

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Whenever you finish up, if they're home, just inform them that you're finished, and then do a walk-through with them just to review what you've done ... to keep everyone on the same page. Tell them you hope they're happy with it, and if you've done good, they'll praise you a little or just say they're happy ... then that's when you tell them something like, "OK, great, the total was $xxxxxx.xx. I'll go out to the truck and get your copy of the receipt while you're getting the payment ready". Simple as that ... and even that may be too much. Just tell them you're finished, ask them if they have any questions, and then tell them to get your money! lol
 

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There is nothing hard about it. When I am confident that I have done the best job possible I am happy to let them know I am finished and settle the account. If they are not home I call right away, tell them to check it out and either meet me or leave the check.
 

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bathroom guru
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I don't even have to ask most of my customers for payment - it is clearly defined when I sell the job. However, it doesn't always work that way.
Case in point, the last small job we did the customer owed me $3K.
They go on Holidays while I do their bathroom and when they get home they say, oh, I gotta transfer some $$ - it'll take a few days. 3 days later I get 1/2 the $$ - should have the rest on Monday.
Well, Its Tuesday and I have not seen any more....
 

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This should be outlined in any agreement when you close the sale. I would have my installers or myself tell the homeowner that we are getting close to the end of the job and we need to see if they need anything before we leave. We have to collect final payment when finished as agreed.
 

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Much of this boils down to attitude and the manner in which you've pre-framed your client from the beginning of the project. It's really no different than basic salesmanship. Spell out the terms clearly ahead of time and, as was said, act with an attitude of expectancy as you fulfill your end of the agreement.

I always send a final invoice by email prior to our wrap up of a project, along with a list and time line of the last few things to wrap up.

9x out of 10 the final check is waiting on that last day.
 

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The Deck Guy
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I email the night before and say, "We'll be done tomorrow, so if you could have the final payment of $x for me, I would appreciate it."

I never have to chase.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Most of my clients will offer the check before I am ready for it. On occasion I need to come back to get the check. Can't really remember having any trouble collecting the final payment.
 

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Full Service Renovations
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I have always sent the clients an email the day before completion letting them know that I will be finished the next day and attach a statement of adjustments outlining the original contract amount, all payments made, all change orders and the final balance due upon completion. In this email I let them know that I will be available for a final walk-through at that time and will collect a cheque for the balance due at that time.
 

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I let them know when I am finsihed and then if they didnt get the hint.
I usually pop off with a lil joke about being like Pastor Bob of the Open door mission. When they ask hows that ..... I give em the ole

I like Germans, and I like Poles, but most of all I like Checks.

In Omaha we had a homeless Mission Director who used to say that when he was asking for $$

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
we do have a "final payment is due upon completion" clause. the home owners are always happy . i just feel they should offer the final payment rather than having us ask. it actually gets me a bit pissed because they know damn well they have a final payment due and they say nothing.
 

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we do have a "final payment is due upon completion" clause. the home owners are always happy . i just feel they should offer the final payment rather than having us ask. it actually gets me a bit pissed because they know damn well they have a final payment due and they say nothing.
That's the "Get something for nothing" mentality.

I'd suggest having the installers doing a final walk-around with the homeowner and getting the final check. That way the homeowner can address any concerns they might have about the job with someone who can actually do something about it, they've already been on the job a day or so chatting with the homeowner, and they are already there.
 

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Lots of good advice

Thanks guys - good thread.

Lots of good advice.

I trying to work out this.

Client 3 weeks late with my cheque. Called to follow up - "Checks in the mail"

That was 2 weeks ago - no cheque.

I hate this game. What about the lost time spent driving around, calling around to get paid for work I did in the summer.
 

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Thanks guys - good thread.

Lots of good advice.

I trying to work out this.

Client 3 weeks late with my cheque. Called to follow up - "Checks in the mail"

That was 2 weeks ago - no cheque.

I hate this game. What about the lost time spent driving around, calling around to get paid for work I did in the summer.

John, first get to the customers house tomorrow and ask for the check.
If they give you static, find out if everything is ok, then ask for the check again.

I have had to go to customers houses 3 or 4 days in a row, eventually they get the idea, I want my money!

That is not to say I haven't been burned, I have, once for a very large amount of money

Persistance is the key, imho!:thumbsup:
 

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Dave from Macatawa
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Playing banker on projects is not what we signed up for. :furious:

My experience is on jobs less than 15 - 20K they pay what was quoted.

Jobs 20K and over, about half the customers want a little discount or something for the "cause". Learned this lesson in FL many years ago on remodels over 100K. Even when everything went just right, they wanted 2K or so as a good will discount. Ended up that I would build this discount into every proposal and have a target listed on the final settling of accounts on the larger jobs. It is a real dance sometimes. But in the end the customer ends up happy and the referral is there. They especially like that they negotiated a better deal at the end not knowing that I maintained my margin.
 
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