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Non appearance fee

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As we all know December and January are quite busy months, therefore sometimes every minute counts and nobody wants time wasted. This month I had few late meetings, including weekends, with clients who decided not to turn up and not even to send a message to cancel appointment. Might be wrong but I have decided to charge non appearance fee. Basically – you pay £20 upfront and if you don’t turn up you lose it (you can move appointment only once), if you turn up, you get this money back.  Is anybody of you doing something like that?

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By Matrix
11th Dec 2019 14:21

It would have to be higher, it is not worth raising an invoice for that. Or say it is taken off the first monthly fee if they sign up.

I suggest that you have more robust vetting procedures and only set up meetings at times and locations convenient to you, if they are serious then they will accommodate you.

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By Wanderer
11th Dec 2019 14:23

Don't have evening & weekend meetings - problem solved.

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By JDBENJAMIN
11th Dec 2019 16:59

That also means you will lose certain clients. They may well be worth evening and weekend work. It makes no difference to me what time of day clients come round.

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Replying to JDBENJAMIN:
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By Wanderer
11th Dec 2019 17:09

Maybe, but I value my non working-day time much more. Possibly easier to accommodate if you work from home which maybe you do? But then some clients will turn up at 9.00 a.m. on a Sunday unannounced or during a family event and expect you to see them.
Also experience has told me that if you bend once and accommodate a client outside normal working hours then you'll be doing the same for them for ever more.

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By Rgab1947
18th Dec 2019 10:04

Last point made - true

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Replying to Wanderer:
RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Dec 2019 17:05

I don't mind evening and weekend meetings.

I have days off to make up.

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By sammerchant
18th Dec 2019 12:10

I agree. My USP is that I am always available for telephone calls and emails. I can be available for meetings outside office hours but by prior arrangement. It has helped me and my clients enormously.

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By krix_wm
11th Dec 2019 14:38

It all makes sense of not having evening and weekend meetings but sometimes you have to accommodate client. Don’t get me wrong, I am not moaning. I am just annoyed that I could have use this time slot for other client.

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By Matrix
11th Dec 2019 14:49

Sorry I was assuming they were prospects, if they are clients then definitely add it to their bill.

I get annoyed when clients email to say they are running 10 mins late for a meeting, but then I am pretty intolerant.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Dec 2019 14:40

Crazy idea.

I'd just bill them for my time and be happy to mention it on the bill to discourage a repeat performance.

New clients ? Well, I don't have any now but I used to give a free, no obligation hour. I guess they just wasted it.

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By JDBENJAMIN
11th Dec 2019 16:57

That's petty and a waste of your own time. It's much better to simply track what time a client wastes, and factor it into their fee quotes for future years.

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By SXGuy
12th Dec 2019 10:10

Ive struggled with the idea of charging a non appearance fee in the past, and I still struggle with it now.

I can imagine there will be situations where you lose the client over it, and the small fee charged wouldn't cover the actual loss.

Thankfully, theres only a handful of clients over the years who have been a no show with no intention of letting me know they wish to cancel,most of the time its either they forgot, or have some lame drawn out excuse.

I find it easier, to just increase their fee the following year and compensate that way.

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della hudson
By Della Hudson
12th Dec 2019 12:13

I stopped offering evening and weekend meetings because of the higher incidence of no-shows. If they did turn up they were only the tiny fees but proved to be the most hassle. I’m also a proponent of work-life balance.

Stop taking these out of hours appointments; because you deserve better

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Replying to HudsonCo:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
17th Dec 2019 11:15

The catch with P/T practice alongside an employment is evenings and weekends are not "out of hours"

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By enanen
17th Dec 2019 10:54

I like when people do not come in as I can progress other work and get my PA to reschedule them. People forget.

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By Charlie Carne
17th Dec 2019 11:47

krix_wm wrote:

Basically – you pay £20 upfront and if you don’t turn up you lose it


All this will achieve is to value your time at £20 per meeting (i.e. perhaps £20 ph). Do you really want to value your time that low in the client's eyes?

If you have an office, why does it matter if the client turns up late or cancels? You can just continue working at your desk. And, if you don't have an office, pick a location where you can work on your laptop or tablet.

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By [email protected]
17th Dec 2019 14:19

I think it depends on the circumstances

If they're coming to you - no big deal just carry on with other work, and when they arrive make them wait 10 minutes. Tell them that As they didn't show up on time you're now having to fit them in...

If you're going to them, then charge for the time wasted BUT put a clause in your contract telling them so.

As for working weekends: protect your "you time". Nobody looks back on their career and says "I wish I spent more time at work!"
Of course your weekend doesn't have to be Saturday, Sunday. just make sure that you have that protected time. and if you are working late or at the weekend, the client doesn't need to know.

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7om
By Tom 7000
17th Dec 2019 14:50

You'll lose your clients.

If in the office, just answer emails, and call em after 15 mins and rebook.
Iif you have to go to london and its £35 on the train and you get there and they are not there.... Thats annoying... so always call before you leave.

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Logo
By marks
17th Dec 2019 23:19

I use Acuity Scheduling which sends an email and text reminder 3 days and 1 day before the meeting to the client/prospect.

Now have very little no shows.

Value your time. It is your business and your rules so if you want to set meetings to just normal business hours you can. If you want to have a free for all and let clients/prospects book meetings at any time of the day/night then you can as it is your business. There isnt a right and wrong. What works for one person wont work for another.

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By Barry Adams
31st Dec 2019 11:41

I now text clients on the morning of the meeting and do not get any no shows as a result.

A few apologise and say that they can no longer make

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