Are obstacles standing in the way of payments?
Everything in business hinges on moving money through it. So, it only makes sense for you to do all you can to remove the obstacles that can slow the flow of money.
Bottom line is, you don’t want to make collection calls. You don’t want to have to send reminder notices, make even one more follow up call than you already do or turn an account over to collections.
At C2C Resources, we like to be practical and offer solutions that are doable and proven effective. If you can remove the following 6 obstacles right now, you’ll likely be seeing a better flow of money down the road.
Obstacle 1: The potential problem customer
Half the battle is won before the fight has begun. In other words, remove the problem customer before they become one!
You received important information from your prospective customer from the credit application you asked her to fill out. Before you do anything else, verify everything you’ve been told on that form. It’s one way to spot potential problems early that can save you from getting too far down the road with a bad apple.
Obstacle 2: Unclear Information
Create clear credit terms that work for you and your business. Communicate those terms up front with new customers. Go over it verbally and in writing.
For convenience and clarity, print your credit terms clearly and prominently on your invoices and statements.
Obstacle 3: Customer Complacency
You don’t want your customer to treat you or your invoices as ‘just another bother’ in their busy business world. Give them a reason to want to pay you … fast, on time and in full.
As an incentive to pre-pay, you might consider offering a discount or maybe a small discount for payment immediately upon receipt.
Keep in mind; you must be strict with your rewards. Don’t extend them to customers as a favor or to win them over if they don’t qualify. It’s not a true incentive if it’s really just a freebie in disguise. And that can communicate that your incentives don’t mean much to you … leading to more complacency on their part.
Obstacle 4: Being One of the Forgotten
You don’t want your invoices or your relationship to find its way under a stack of other ‘more important’ bills or more valuable relationships. You must become one of the important ones to your customer.
Stay front-and-center by building a relationship of trust and respect.
- Call your customer after a delivery of goods to see how your product arrived and if they are satisfied.
- Ask about their experience throughout the process from order to delivery.
- Express your genuine concern for their welfare concerning your product or services.
You’re invoices will more likely end up at the TOP of the pile if you’ve created a solid connection.
Obstacle 5: Complicated Payment Methods
Your invoices should be easy to read with plenty of white space. Your terms should be crystal clear leaving no questions. And for goodness sake, paying you should be EASY.
Your online paying method (and you really need to have one) should be as simple as a click or two. Do you accept credit cards? Debit cards? Offer every option you can offer so that your customer can literally pay you in the time it takes to pour a cup of coffee.
Obstacle 6: Distrust
Every single invoice and every single statement must be free of errors. Even a slight mistake can send some customers into a state of distrust. They may conclude you’re careless or worse, that you’re trying to dupe them. Neither of which will expedite payment.
Double check your figures before you send a document. When customers consistently see that your numbers are accurate, they’re more likely to pay you quickly.
You can keep money flowing by removing all the obstacles that might keep your customer from paying!