Here are four things to consider when dealing with customers who love to give you excuses (the check is in the mail, my customers are not paying me, I didn’t receive the invoice, late dispute, etc.).
Before anything, you should always listen. Are they making an excuse or genuinely telling the truth? Specifics, previous history, and their tone of voice all can help you make that judgment Regardless of the reason or their sincerity, the focus for the rest of the call should still be to agree on a solution.
Maintain Your Professionalism
They are still your customer and it is important to remain professional. It will do you no good to yell or threaten. Getting angry will not get you your money faster and will likely delay any resolution.
Ask for more specifics
The best way to foil someones excuse is to make them give you specifics. If they claim the check is in the mail, ask for a check number and date mailed. If they claim the person you need to speak to is out of the office, ask when they will return and try to schedule a call. If they claim their customers are not paying, ask how many, how much, and how late.
Give them a way out and agree on a solution.
This may seem like an odd thing to do, but people rarely like to admit they were lying. You are more likely to get what you need, if you give them a way to save face. This not only gives you what you want, but it allows your business relationship with your customer to remain on good terms.
Sometimes customers are giving you an excuse because they have no intent of paying. You will figure this out quicker if you listen, maintain your professionalism and agree on a solution. If they fail to follow through on their promises then their actions have given you the answer.