Asking Your Clients for Payments Doesn’t Need to be Scary
Asking for payment be a tricky thing to get right and very often, we fear it might scare off or offend a customer.
There are ways to ensure you get paid, while keeping the customer happy too.
Scott Partners accountants, Melbourne, have devised some expert tips to give you the confidence to chase payment in a tactful way which will help you achieve your goal and get paid.
1. Always Be Polite
Business is all about relationships, so it’s advisable to always try to maintain a polite and friendly manner. Abrupt or frustrated communication will not yield the best results, and it’s important to remember that your communication style represents you and your business and is something you want to be remembered – for the right reasons. It goes without saying however, don’t be a pushover or this will simply devalue the work that you do.
2. Be Clear
When it comes to getting paid, there can be no ambiguity. Have a conversation with the person who engaged your services and discuss your concerns over the delay in receiving payment. This is the time when any confusion or miscommunication should be ironed out to prevent further delays.
3. Keep a Record
This may seem obvious, but records are everything when it comes to a difficult customer who doesn’t like to pay on time, or sometimes at all. If you have records of what was ordered or services engaged then there is very little room for disagreement from the other party. If you don’t, then it could end up as a – ‘he said/she said’!
4. Invoice Promptly
In order to keep financial paperwork up to date for both parties, it’s a good idea to invoice promptly. If you don’t you could be kept waiting for payment as you could be out of sight, out of mind for the person responsible for paying the bills.
5. Suggesting a Payment Plan
If you are concerned that you have been waiting for payment a little too long, then it might be worth contacting the customer to suggest a payment plan. Very often this will be met with relief and a willingness to make it work. Nobody likes to leave bills unpaid, so if a customer is experiencing cash flow difficulties, then this could be just the way to get your invoice paid.