At what POINT do you get the signature on the order form-- at the
show? after you've produced design concept sketches? when you've
agreed to a prototype's production run? As the designer, do I ask
for a percent of payment up front as I currently do with custom
customers? (I do 50% up front, 25% when final design is agreed to,
25% before shipment of final product) And how about that final
payment -- I assume that as a good businessperson I should receive
it prior to shipping them the order, correct?
There are no hard and fast rules for this. The circumstances will
govern your up front requirements. Just don't sell yourself short.
Generally, if I am asked to design in a certain direction, and I
don't know, or more importantly don't have a payment history
established with the client, I will require a minimum order and get
at least half down, with an agreement for half on delivery before I
get started. Whew - run on sentence!
We require credit references and check them thoroughly. I highly
recommend having some credit applications handy.
Once a client is established, the minimum order and payment
requirements are usually well understood. We quite often charge
credit cards before we ship.
A note of caution. Clients who constantly attempt to renegotiate
lower prices and lower up front costs for themselves are trouble. When
you see this pattern emerging, find a way to make a polite exit. Your
time is better spent elsewhere.
Recently, a fairly new client wanted a large order. He wanted it made
quickly, and wanted some fairly radical modifications of some
existing designs (mine, of course). We agreed to up front payment in
full. It worked out fine.
I talk much faster than I write, and can cover more ground that way.
If you would like to chat with me about some of your other questions,
please call me at the workshop -(505)881-3367. I can usually be
reached Mon - Fri, 8-5 Mountain.
I will close with a shameless plug.
We are still accepting resumes for a full time salaried sales rep
Email resumes directly to me at email@example.com. Please don't
attempt to forward resumes though Orchid. We prefer PDF files. Send
references - a minimum of five. We WILL call them, so make sure all
telephone numbers are current.