When to Pitch a Support Contract

The last several articles have covered support contracts, why you should sell them, and which of your clients to target for them.

One support contract could easily increase your revenue by 25% but there is a bigger benefit: they generate recurring revenue.

A support contract is a check you know you’ll get every year (or month or quarter) instead of worrying when that flaky client will pay you.

Support Contracts are one of the seven solutions in my book, the 7 Recurring Revenue Recipes for Freelancers.

With that said, let’s look at a reader’s suggestion on when to pitch a support contract.

Set up a drip campaign, stuff all finished clients into it and send them a follow up with the upsells after X days?

This is an excellent suggestion! The only thing I’d change though is to make X a negative number :)

Pitch a Support Contract First

Has a client ever complained something went wrong several days after delivery? You look at the issue and find it takes a couple of minutes to fix so you help them out free of charge.

The first free tweaks and fixes are fine but after several you start considering ways to get paid.

Another way to handle this is to offer support in your initial statement of work.

It can just be an extra line item of what is being delivered. For example:

We agree to deliver the web app on December 1, 2015. As part of this agreement we will offer one month of support to ensure that the app works properly.

The goal here is two-fold:

  1. Building support in the contract shows you acknowledge the transition period for your work and that you’re willing to help during the process.
  2. It demonstrates that offering support is part of your services. If they’d like support in the long term they know to reach out to you. They don’t even have to consider hiring or finding another company to handle managing their application.

In the next article we’re going to take a look on how to write a support contract.

Have you enjoyed this article series so far? Any thoughts or questions on support contracts that I have not covered yet?