Why to ask clients for a deposit

Sean Hull writes on his blog:

A common refrain when discussing terms of a project, and reviewing statement of work – “when shall we get started?”. The answer should be, “I’m ready to get started anytime you like. Would you like to use paypal or ACH for deposit?”.

Why I ask clients for a deposit – Scalable Startups

I really wish more consultants understood this. I used to get excited after getting off of a positive “Sounds good, let’s do it” call with a prospect. In time I learned to be more measured: Nothing is real until the check comes (and clears). And sometimes it never does – despite that enthusiastic response you received to your proposal.