Just got this email from a past client and thought I’d post my answers to her great questions about client billing and how to handle client reschedules and cancellations.
“Michelle – I have been reviewing my CAGR course materials as a refresher, and realize just how AWESOME that stuff is! I thought I “got” it the first time around, but realize it takes time to really integrate the ideas into my mind & biz. (For ex., just realizing that I’ve been losing my compass re: what to publish in my ezine & blog b/c I hadn’t clearly articulated my How. Now that I have taken time to do that, I’m on track again. whoo-hoo!)
Can you help me with a few admin questions?”
QUESTION: How do I get clients on a monthly schedule? (right now I bill them after their 3- or 4-session cycles & I’d like to bill all at once, on same day so I can predict my monthly income)
ANSWER: I recommend you do all of your billing on the first of the month for that month’s coaching. When you start with a client in the middle of the month, pro-rate the fee for that month based on the number of sessions they are getting and then begin the monthly billing on the first.
I use my shopping cart system and have all of my clients on recurring billing. Once you get it up and running it is a very easy and efficient way to handle client billing.
QUESTION: How can I handle reschedules and cancellations so I don’t lose money?
ANSWER: Another great question. It sounds like you are coaching your clients 3-4 times per month. This is part of the problem. It can be a challenge to consistently schedule 4 sessions/month. Especially if you or the client does a lot of travel. Fix it by changing your coaching packages and offering 2 or 3 x/month packages. And this doesn’t mean you have to reduce your fees either! Often having more time off between sessions makes clients more hungry and ready for your coaching.
Also, make sure you clearly explain your cancellation/reschedule policy both in writing and verbally at the start of the coaching relationship. A big part is your professionalism. Here’s the language I use. This is from my Policies & Procedures document that all clients get at the start of the coaching engagement.
I request that you make our scheduled coaching calls a priority. On the rare occasion when you need to reschedule please let me know at least 48 hours in advance. Except in the case of an emergency, you will be charged for last minute cancellations or missed calls.
Hope this helps and if you have ideas or thoughts on these topics please leave a comment!