Me: Alright, I’ve looked over your business proposal. I agree that there is some editing to be done so that it appears more professional. Here is an outline of the work I’ll do, a timeline estimate, and a cost estimate.
Client: Go ahead and do the work you outlined. The timeline estimation works for me as well.
Me: How about the price? Do we officially agree on that number?
The client doesn’t reply to the email. I resend. Again, no reply.
Me: I’d like to have a full agreement in place before I get started, since we’re doing this all through e-mail.
Client: Do the work, and then we’ll discuss the price.
Me: Would you like a two-page sample to give you an idea of my work before we confirm the price?
Client: Just do the work, get it back to me, I’ll review it, and if it’s what I want, then we can talk price.
Me: I think we might be having a bit of a communication problem, so let’s be clear. You want me to do the work, send the edited copy back to you, and then we’ll discuss and agree on the price?
Client: Yes, that’s how it works.
Me: I’m a little uncomfortable with that. I don’t mind if you pay me in installments, or half now-half when complete, but it’s a little too much to ask for me to finish the project before I have any guarantee that I’ll be paid the amount I’m asking, or any amount at all.
Client: Well, you won’t be paid if I don’t like what you’ve done.
Me: All I’d be doing is editing for technical issues such as typos, grammar, sentence clarity, and suggesting any structural changes. It’s a straight-forward edit, which is why I’d like to set a fixed price.
Client: I want to see the finished work before we discuss payment.
Me: I want to discuss payment before I start the project.