I have always had a different mindset because of how much dishonesty I have seen in my life mostly as a police officer. I figured I was better off accepting less business by charging 100% before I did any work. I accepted 50/50 payments occasionally when I started but now I never accept anything except full payment prior to me doing anything. If someone asks why, I tell them because that's because people trust me and I trust other people. I tell them everyone always pays me upfront and that is the only way I do business.
What I can't tell is if I have ever lost good business because of this? People that are trustworthy tend to not have a problem paying upfront. Usually it is the same people that are so paranoid about getting burned that they end up being the same ones that do not pay their own share. Their guilty conscience comes off even via email through their demands to not pay all upfront. However, this has been about 1% of the total and worked out well in that I most likely scared off the people who would have not paid.
My question is do you charge 100% upfront? If not, why not and how do you do it? If so, what experience have you had with explaining to people why you charge 100% upfront?