Think of every invoice as a chance for your firm to shine. Every invoice you send to your clients is an opportunity to maintain and to improve your business relationships. When your firm bills a client, you should expect that they’ll pay close attention to the invoice you send, and that they will evaluate the quality of your firm’s work based on your invoice.
That’s why you should think of every invoice as a marketing opportunity that could help your firm to retain old clients, to gain the confidence of new clients, and to reach potential clients. Invoicing is the perfect time to show them exactly what your firm values, so show them what you’re worth, and what you can do.
But a lot of firms are still sending their clients a generic, computer-generated invoice, without any description of why their work is valuable. When a services firm sends a generic invoice that isn’t tailored to who their firm is, then they completely miss an opportunity to gain their clients’ confidence, and to encourage future business.
So how can your firm use its invoices to do the kind of marketing that will impress your clients? And what parts of your invoice can you use to boost your firm’s marketing? Check out these simple rules for turning your generic invoice into something that will really impress your clients, and keep them coming back.
Simplify Your Invoice
As you know, billing and invoicing is an opportunity to explain things to your clients, and not to confuse them with complicated language and ideas. If they don’t understand the specifics of what you’re invoicing for, and if they start asking questions, then it will take even longer for your firm to get paid. An invoice isn’t the place to be over-complicated or vague.
Instead, make sure everything is clear and direct, so they understand every item on your invoice. Be certain to use plain language that gets right to the point. If you think there’s a line item that your clients could possibly misunderstand, then rewrite it as simply and as clearly as you can, so they’ll be sure to understand everything.
Keep It Simple, But Keep It Your Own
An invoice is your firm’s chance to show its worth. It’s your opportunity to show that you’re not only worth the compensation for which you’ve invoiced, but also, to show that no other firm could do work of a similar quality. This could be your only chance to distinguish your firm amongst your competitors.
So take every opportunity to illustrate the quality of the work your firm has completed, and write simple but comprehensive descriptions of what you’ve done, which should highlight the skills you’ve used to get the job done. Don’t leave your clients in the dark; make your value obvious. Use language that proves you should be compensated in full, without exception.
Use the Right Words for the Job
Your invoice must include the right words to describe the job you’ve done. This is where you include action words to outline precisely what your firm has accomplished. Be as specific as possible without confusing your clients, or misstating your accomplishments, or overlooking important details.
For example, you shouldn’t write that you’ve reviewed something (since that could mean just about anything) when you could write that you analyzed or researched something, as those verbs describe the work your firm has completed. Describe exactly what you’ve done, without depending on vague language or generic terms. Instead, always use the right words.
Show What You’ve Accomplished
You’re invoicing because you expect to be compensated, so show your clients what your firm’s work is worth, and be as particular as you can. Every invoice is your chance to show not only that you’re worth full compensation, but to also show that you’ve made progress on the goals that matter to them, so that your firm’s value is obvious.
Illustrate in simple language exactly what you’ve done to further your clients’ interests. That’s how you gain trust, not just so that you’re compensated for the work your firm has done, but also so that your firm will be a viable resource in the future. Think of your invoice as proof of the work you’ve invested, as well as an invitation to keep your client relationship going, into the future.
Recognize the Value in Email Invoices
When you start thinking of an email as a document that enhances the value of the attached invoice, and of every communication as added value, your firm can begin making the most of its marketing potential. An email with an attached invoice is your chance to highlight the great work you’ve done, to emphasize your results, and to show clients what you’ve waived from invoicing.
Any additional information you can offer will give your clients the opportunity to appreciate everything your firm has done to solve their problems. An email invoice should highlight all of your accomplishments, and prove to your clients that you deserve full compensation, giving them a good reason to keep working with your firm.
Ask for What Your Firm Needs to Grow
Don’t forget that an invoice is an opportunity to ask clients for what your firm needs. Make sure to ask your clients if you’ve met their expectations, whether you ask them to confirm in an email response, or whether you send them something more formal, like a survey, or a questionnaire. This might be your only window to ask for feedback.
Your invoice is also a chance to ask your clients for a referral, especially when your firm’s work has resulted in a good outcome for your client, and you’ve maintained a good relationship with them. With very little effort on your part, an invoice is the perfect opportunity for you to ask any client to contact your firm for additional work, or to refer you to other clients in their industry.
In other words, your invoice should not just compel a client to compensate your firm, but must also communicate your firm’s value––both now and in the future. When you do great work, you should tell your clients exactly what you’ve done to help them. After all, when you send an invoice, you never know when the work you’ve done could lead to future opportunities to grow your firm.
Is your firm ready to start sending detailed invoices customized with your firm’s logo and details? It’s easy to start marketing your firm. Request a free demo of BigTime to access everything you need to start sending professional-quality invoices, today.
About the AuthorMore Content by Matthew Corey