How Do I Tell A Client No When He Wants To Use Funds Paid For Something, For Something Else?

I have a client who paid for several hours of consulting time a while back. I gave him a discounted hourly rate. There was no expiration time for those hours, but those hours were clearly for consulting. Today–about a year later–he wants to use the amount paid for the consulting hours, for something completely different which would require a brand new contract, for something totally unrelated to consulting. (Product rights.) How do I diplomatically decline? I’m not a bank. He was given a discount based on the type of usage of the hours he paid for… not as a slush fund for whatever. While I don’t want to alienate the client, I think there must be a more convincing way to describe why the new transaction requires its own funding. Many thanks…

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One Response to “How Do I Tell A Client No When He Wants To Use Funds Paid For Something, For Something Else?”

  1. dragonfl says:

    In this case, honesty is the best policy. If he insists on you returning the funds you really have no choice but to rework your contract. He may change his mind when he sees his bottom line. Let him know that you value his business and would like nothing more than to continue working with him. But also let him know that your time is valuable too and you expect to get paid fairly for what you do. Maybe you could also let him know what he would be charged by a competitor.

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