Cash flow problems are the number one reason for non-payment. It’s tough, because this can happen to your very best, most conscientious customers. They want to pay AND you need them to pay. After all, YOU have a business to run with bills to pay and clients to please, just like they do. Sometimes, you walk the same tight rope.
Being fair to yourself AND to your customer IS the Cash Flow Tight Rope you sometimes walk, and it’s not an easy act to balance.
What we’ve found at C2C Resources is this; keeping your balance works best when you demonstrate a willingness and a sincere desire to work with a customer during tough cash flow times. Your flexibility can lead to a solid, long-term and profitable relationship. And in the end, loyal customers are what make for a solid bottom line, right?
Keeping customers can be done even when collecting on past due accounts. Never underestimate the importance of listening and flexibility.
- Let your customer tell you about the problem in as much detail as he/she will offer. Listen intently. Demonstrate that you ‘get it’ by repeating the problems to them.
- Open up the doors of possibility by being flexible. Give your customer an opportunity to offer solutions and if those solutions seem reasonable and fair, put it in writing and sign it.
- Have some solutions of your own ready should your client be unable to come up with any.
Your customer may suggest a payment plan that just isn’t going to cut it. Perhaps it’s simply unfair or impractical for you. Keeping your balance on the Cash Flow Tight Rope may include further verification by getting the names of other creditors who are also not being paid so you can validate the situation. Once you’ve done that, you’ll know just how flexible you should be and if you truly want to continue doing business with this customer.