Deposit anxiety. It’s real. I get it.
You’ve made up your mind – deposits are right for you. But when push comes to shove, you’re scared. You’re afraid that if you ask, you might lose the booking. Losing bookings means losing money, and who can afford to lose money?
How can you confidently ask for deposits and have clients agree without blinking an eye? Here are my top tips.
We live in the age of information. As a professional escort, you must be your own PR agent. When a client Googles your name, you want them to see you as a reliable, intelligent professional that they feel comfortable handing over money to.
You need to offer payment options that clients can’t object to. Depending on your clients’ needs, these may be services that provide anonymity (e.g., e-gift cards from department stores or cash deposit via an ATM). Research deposit options and figure out what best suits you and your clients.
You want to learn how to feel confident when asking for deposits. Well, unless you start asking clients for deposits, you’ll never get there. Construct a short, simple, sweet message that explains what you are asking for and why. Now here’s the key: don’t ask, tell.
How to ask for a deposit: Template
“Hi [Client’s name],
[Date, time, duration] suits me perfectly! I’m so looking forward to meeting you. To lock in our date I do require a [price] deposit to secure our time together. You can pay the deposit via [methods]. Let me know which method suits you best, and I’ll send through the details.
[Your name] x”
Rather than implying the deposit is a choice (e.g., “Would you be okay to pay a deposit?”), you are insinuating that it is non-negotiable. It is critical that you are firm and clear, while also being polite.
Once your client has specified their preferred method, send a message to let them know how they should make payment. The instructions must be clear and easy to follow. If making a deposit is difficult, or your instructions are unclear, you risk losing your client at this point. Walk your client through the process and let them know when you will next be in touch (e.g., when you receive the deposit? On the day of the date? Will you confirm the week before?) You want the client to feel comfortable and reassured.
It’s also important to outline your Deposit Policy at this point. You and your client should be crystal clear on what the terms of the deposit are – what happens if he cancels? What happens if you cancel? You need to make your terms clear before the client makes the deposit.
It’s frustrating; I get it. Take a deep breath and politely ask the client why.
Is the client concerned about you stealing the deposit? Take a moment to gently point the client to your professional presence – your advertising, your social media, your reviews. Whatever shows that you are an upstanding professional who isn’t looking to swindle a few dollars in an internet scam. Explain to the client how long you’ve been working and that the deposit is to secure your time together so you can ensure that they have the best experience possible.
Is the client concerned about their privacy? Take a minute to gently explain a discreet deposit method that suits their needs.
While it’s frustrating, taking time to explain the why and how of deposits has been a game-changer for me. As sex workers, we have a myriad of forces working against us. Stigma weaves its way in and tells people we are not to be trusted.
“This seems like a lot of effort just for a deposit,” you say.
Yeah, look, I get what you’re saying. If taking the above steps seems like too much effort, maybe deposits aren’t right for you at the moment, and that’s okay. Don’t get swept up in the deposit-demanding wind just because other workers are doing it. Make the best decisions for your business and what you want to achieve.
Once you’ve taken the above steps and honed your craft, you will feel confident and comfortable asking clients for deposits. It will come naturally to you.