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Are You Making a Mistake That Could Be Ticking Off Your Clients?

“Nate,” a freelancer I hired to write an e-book for me, e-mailed the first draft of the manuscript today as an attached Word file. Also attached: his invoice.

Why did you do that, Nate?

I just got your FIRST draft. I haven’t even opened the file, much less reviewed it. And I certainly haven’t given you my comments so you can make the necessary revisions.

Sending an invoice along with the work you did is bad form. It leaves a bad taste in the client’s mouth. He feels the only thing you care about is getting paid, not whether the work is good. But sending an invoice with a first draft – when the project is not yet completed – can really piss off the client, as it did me in this case.

By the way, my agreement with Nate calls for payment upon completion. To me, completion means an acceptable final product. Most publishers and business clients feel that way.

If the term “completion” is too vague for you, apply this rule of thumb: Any ambiguity in the agreement is the fault of the vendor, not the customer.

If Nate expected a check upon submission of a first draft, he should have specified that in writing and had me sign it.

He did not.

[Ed. Note: Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter and the author of more than 70 books. To subscribe to his free e-zine, The Direct Response Letter, and claim your free gift worth $116, click here now.]