6 Ways to Get Your Clients to Pay Coaching Fees on Time

coaching fees
By
October 31, 2022
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To have a successful coaching business up and running is no small feat, especially considering how many new businesses fail even before they properly begin. So, if you have managed to create a business, sustain it, and have a steady influx of clients and revenue, it is truly commendable.  

But obstacles and problems are not limited to just the beginning stages of building a business. At each stage of the business, the nature and level of difficulty an entrepreneur has to face keeps changing. And a common problem that coaches are looking for answers to is how to get clients to pay the coaching fees on time. Late payments from clients are a much-dreaded problem for coaches and end up consuming a lot of precious time and energy that they’d rather spend elsewhere.  

If you’re looking for answers on how to get clients to pay on time, we’ve got a few handy tips that will, hopefully, make running your coaching business a little bit easier.  

1. Establish clear terms & expectations 

Before the official commencement of any coaching engagement, set the terms and expectations in an absolutely clear manner and put it all down in a contract. Now a contract can contain several things in it, but when it comes to payments, take care to mention all the details to the very T. From the time you enter into a contract with a client, it should be crystal clear what you have agreed the payment should be and when you expect the payment to be made. Lay this out explicitly in a conversation before you send out the official contract and insist that they review everything properly & get their doubts clarified before beginning the actual sessions. Setting the tone right at the beginning will go a long way in making the business run smoothly. 

2. Put a late fees clause in the agreement 

To discourage clients from paying their coaching fees much later than the due date, consider introducing a late-payment clause to your contract – and strictly enforce it when it’s not met! Nobody likes having to pay more than they are expected to and having this clause added into the contract binds people legally to make payments in due time.  

Those who don’t abide by this can be charged a penalty and would be legally obligated to pay that. 

3. Offer incentives 

While you can set up clauses and contracts that discourage clients from delaying their payment to you, you can also consider rewarding those who make payments earlier than the expected date. Positive reinforcement is a beautiful way to encourage clients to continue their streak of timely payments. Offering a small discount or bonus may not make much of a difference to you – especially when it comes to saving you tonnes of trouble having to follow up with your clients on payments & penalties. 

If clients know that paying you their coaching fees on time can give them an additional benefit, they are much more likely to (happily) stick to the timelines. 

4. Make it easy to make payments 

Establishing different payment plans and billing cycles helps alleviate some of the pressure for clients when the time comes for them to make payments, and allows them the flexibility to pay the coaching fees in ways that are comfortable to them. Every individual handles money differently and it is crucial that you provide multiple options that will encourage them to make payments on time.  

While some of these options can be kept standard across all clients, you can even speak to each client to understand what method or cycle of payment would be most convenient for them to stick to. This will increase the likelihood of the client paying you on time for your services. 

5. Ask for a portion of payment upfront 

This is not a mandatory step, but can work for some businesses in reducing the number of no-shows and non-payments. This kind of model may not work for all kinds of businesses and may not work with every client, but it’s definitely worth a try if you face the issue of late client payments or non-payments. You’d actually be surprised at how many people are okay with paying a portion of the coaching fee upfront! 

6. Set up a series of reminder emails 

A reminder email is nothing but a simple email sent to remind clients to take action regarding payment. Reminder emails are especially useful to let clients know when their invoice due date is coming up, if you collect coaching fees online.  

You can decide to send this reminder email a week or day in advance when a payment is due – or you can do both! The emails can be super simple and effective, without needing to be wordy or over-explanatory. An example of a series of payment reminder emails can go like this: 

Early payment reminder: To be sent a week or few days before payment due date

Subject: Payment reminder for [invoice number] – Due on [date] 
Hi [client name], 
This is a friendly reminder that you have a payment of [amount] on [invoice number] that’s due for payment on [date]. 
You can view this invoice and make your payment here: [invoice link]
If you have any questions regarding the payments, feel free to send me an email at [your email address] 
[Signoff] 

Same day payment reminder: To be sent on the payment due date

Hello [client name], 
I am sending you this email to remind you that you have a [amount] payment on [invoice number] that’s due for payment today. 
You can access the invoice link and make the payment here: [invoice link]
If you have any questions regarding this payment, feel free to reply to this email. 
[Signoff] 

Late payment reminder: To be sent if & when the client has failed to make payment by due date 

Hello [client name], 
Hope you are doing well! 
I am reaching out to you as I have not yet received a payment for [invoice number] for [invoice amount], which was due on [invoice date]. 
You can access the invoice link and make the payment here: [invoice link] 
In case you missed it, here are the different payment options available to you: [payment options] 
I wish to remind you that this payment needs to be cleared before we have our next session together. 
In case you’re having any technical difficulties or have any questions regarding this invoice, feel free to reach out to me. 
[Signoff] 

By having a series of automated reminder emails like this, you can drastically increase the chances of your clients paying their coaching fees on time. In the hustle bustle of everyday life, it may often slip your clients’ mind to pay you on time – the reminder emails act as a gentle nudge and help them process payments in due time. 

We hope this list gave you some ideas as to how to get your clients to pay on time! We would love to hear from you if you found this useful or have any additional tips to share that we haven’t covered. 

Sources:

Paperbell, Indeed, Inc, Attorneys ARM, Due 

FAQs 

1. How to collect money from clients who won’t pay? 

Collecting coaching fees from clients who fail to make payments on time can be a tricky affair. While no process guarantees timely payment, there a few ways to help push your clients to stick to the payment deadlines, such as offering incentives (discounts & bonuses) on early payments, charging a penalty on late payment, offering different payment plans to make it easy for clients to pay, setting up a series of payment reminder emails, offering bonus & discount for paying the full amount upfront, and so much more. 

About Simply.Coach

Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.  

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