Client Payment Problems? Try These 3 Simple Tips

by Kendall SummerHawk

Signing up new clients is a joy…unless their payment bounces.

If that happens to you, you’re first emotional reaction is to perhaps feel guilty and to ask yourself what you did wrong. To make matters worse, a client whose payment bounces is likely to avoid contacting you, leaving you unclear as to what to do next.

If this happens to you, the first thing to realize is it’s NOT PERSONAL. Don’t even start down the road of "I didn’t do enough", "I’m not good enough" or "I don’t deserve to be paid" because that is all not true!

As the Feminine CEO of your business, it’s crucial that you learn how to handle sticky situations like these with grace, compassion and leadership.

The good news is that when handled correctly, most client payment situations can be quickly resolved and — this may sound weird, but it’s true — can even help you deepen your relationship with your client.

Let me give you my 3 best practices tips for resolving client payment situations and eliminating ANY feelings of guilt, discomfort or self-blame in the process.

Tip #1 Don’t Let Your Emotions Keep You From Standing In Your Power

Seeing that “sorry – payment declined” message appear in your inbox can trigger a whole host of feelings: from anger and righteousness to guilt or self-blame.

Before you let these feelings hijack you from standing in your power, take a deep breathe… and another. This is not something that was done “to” you. It’s just something that happens when you’re in business.

What will help?Think about your client for a moment. Are they likely feeling embarrassed, guilty or even humiliated? Probably. And if they are, they’ll typically avoid wanting to talk with you. Instead of letting them shut you out, simply email or better yet, call.

Here is a great script you can use — keeping a confident and compassionate tone of voice, say:

    “I see that your payment didn’t go through and I’d like to talk with you about how we can get this taken care of.”

If you sound relaxed and confident they’ll feel reassured and you’re much more likely to create a positive outcome of YOU getting paid!

client payment problems? try these 3 simple tips

Tip #2 Know In Advance What Your Limits Are

When you discuss the situation with your client you’ll want to know in advance how far you’re willing to flex and for how long you’re willing to wait.

At the beginning of your conversation, clearly indicate that you HAVE limits.

For example, start your conversation by asking them what happened and what their plan is for correcting the situation. Suggest that they make a payment today, with you on the phone, even if it’s for a fraction of what they owe. At this point, intention and consistency is more important than the actual dollar amount.

If your client is feeling like a victim of circumstances and isn’t able to make a commitment, then it’s time to let them know that while you understand they are in a tough spot, asking you to wait compromises your relationship and ability to create the results they want. Stand firm and ask them to creatively brainstorm ways they can create some ready cash.

Trust me, if their LIFE depended on it, they would find the money!

Tip #3 Stand Strong — Your Client Is Looking To YOU As The Leader In This Situation

Always assume that this situation is temporary and that your client has every intention of paying. Usually this is the truth, and they just need a little support, a few extra days or some creative ways to get back on track.

If you are there as their advocate, collaborating together, their embarrassment will turn into relief and they’ll thank and appreciate you for your help and support.

Just remember, THEIR payment dilemma is not YOURS to take on. By you standing in your power as a leader, you’ll help your client stand in their power too, even when they initially didn’t feel they could.

While Client Payment Issues Aren’t Personal, They ARE An Opportunity For Personal Growth…

Experiencing the occasional client payment issue is a fact of doing business. But what if these situations happen more often? That’s a signal that it’s time to take an honest look at where you may be allowing boundary leaks early in your client relationship, that are contributing to this issue showing up more often now.

Whether payment problems happen to you rarely or more frequently, each time is an opportunity for you to stand in your power — with compassion — and gracefully negotiate an outcome that serves YOU!

Would you like to learn simple ways you can brand, package and price your services, quickly move away from 'dollars-for-hours work' and create more money, time, and freedom in you business? Check out my web site,, for free articles, resources and to sign up for my free webinar "How to Make More Money in One Day (as much as $3,000 - $10,000) Than You Currently Do All Month Even If You Don't Have a Big List.

Award-winning, million dollar marketing coach Kendall SummerHawk is the leading expert in women entrepreneurs and money.

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