How to get paid and influence people
27th May 2010
... Comments

Whilst there are some bandits out there most non or slow payers did not intend to be when they ordered, but they can become bad payers because of the way we manage them!

Here are some thoughts and ideas

  • Payment Timings - When the Client expects to pay and when you expect the client to pay- Are they the same?
    Make sure at the beginning that you understand when the client expects to pay. Some bigger organisations in particular have strange ideas. And 30 days can be the end of the month following receipt of invoice which could be 60 days, so waiting until the end of the month to send out your invoices may not be wise. If you are looking to enforce your contract terms they need to be agreed prior to the first transaction- terms on the back of an invoice may not count!
    A good idea is to actually check that the invoice has arrived and ask when it will be paid.
  • Queries/short delivery etc- Some bought ledger controllers believe they are doing their job by just not issuing payments but equally many of these people might just be protecting their employers interests so make sure that they have all the information/ documentation they require. If there are queries agree on payment for the undisputed parts at least!

This brings me to a favourite hobby horse of mine – Do not leave quality or client satisfaction until the end! If you are providing  goods or service over a period of time make sure that the client is happy at each stage – think of the restaurant waiter who asks if everything is alright as you take your first bite – once you have said yes it is very difficult for you to complain subsequently. –  it is the same  for you, the client will find it harder to not pay if you have spoken to him or her regularly throughout

  • Shout loudest –It is a hard truth but often it is the one who shouts loudest who gets paid.
    • Another consideration is whether we need them or not in the near future, hence accountants and solicitors often struggle to collect payment!
    • There is also the human failing that begrudges paying an old invoice- it is almost as if we feel that because we have not paid it for 3 months we have got away with it.
    • So make sure your collections are conducted in a timely fashion and when you send a final demand make it a final demand , not the first of several final demands.
    • You can always do a deal with a client who talks to you – but how many non paying customers do you want to keep and it is unlikely that you are the only one not being paid, so if someone else is shouting louder they may well get the money that should have been paid to you

  • Cheque or electronic – we are all familiar with “ I am just waiting for a signature” or “the next cheque run is Friday week – as long as it snows and there is a bank holiday in the month”, but finding out if you would be better off getting a BACS payment may be worthwhile.

Of course none of this will help if someone is hell bent on not paying but managing the rest could help your cash flow and frankly who needs non paying customers, a sale is only a sale once it is paid for, until then it is a gift!

For more information contact Chris Olchawski direct on 01550 739016  Tutsan Associates

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