Key Tips To Successfully Getting Paid
Some business owners struggle to reconcile the two different relationships of selling to clients and asking to be paid - it's a dilemma that's commonplace and if you feel this way, you're not alone. It's often felt that asking to be paid and chasing your payment will cause customers to go elsewhere.
Our statistics show that companies can increase their cash collections by at least 25% in a six week period, often more. Here are some tips that will help you manage these (possibly) opposing relationships with customers, will give you a process so that you'll find it easier (and nicer) to ask for your money and get the money in your bank account.
Remember that getting paid begins with the sales process - agree payment terms as part of the sales process - NOT AFTERWARDS, and make sure you send terms and conditions before you start work. Ask your customer how their process prefers you to submit invoices, who you address them to, email or snail mail, quote a purchase order number, etc.
Make it a routine in your company to call customers and ask to be paid - not just something that happens when someone thinks of it or you've hit your overdraft limit and can't pay anyone! Better still make it one person's responsibility to do it and make sure you review progress with them weekly.
Approach credit control as a customer service activity, not an "anti-customer" activity. Calling to check that an invoice is safely received by your customer and it's all OK a week after you've sent it out increases your chances of getting paid on time by 3! And it's nicer than calling and berating them for not paying you once it's late.
Phone customers don't just email. When you telephone you're in control of the conversation - it's just too easy to get fobbed off if you only email, and it isn't efficient (you may think it is, but our statistics show it's at least 42% less efficient).
Send your invoices out promptly, don't wait until the end of the month and send gentle reminders and statements to customers fortnightly - many companies don't pay until they get a statement or a phone call - make sure your payment is prioritised.
Make sure you get the answer to the right question - the right question is "when will the money be in my bank account" - it isn't: "when are you writing the cheque", "doing the payment run", "getting the cheques signed", etc.
Is there another way you can get paid - many of our clients have seen the benefits of offering alternatives, like direct debit, credit cards and even PayPal as a payment option.
Have an escalation process for people who still don't pay their invoice.
Don't be afraid of issuing that 7 day letter and following through on it - people who don't pay you are NOT customers.
Good luck, and remember - don't lend money to people you don't know - check out your customers before you sell to them!
This article was provided courtesy of Jennifer Raines from Your Right Hand. Should you require any further information on any of the content or if you wish to arrange a 30 minute free business consultation please visit www.yourrighthand.co.uk, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.