In today’s business world there is competition in any direction you turn. Almost any product or service you have another company offers as well. That puts many business people, including CEOs, presidents and business owners, in a state of fear when having to inquire about an overdue payment due to slow payers accounts.
Unfortunately, it’s important that you are constantly aware of the amounts of credit you’ve extended to companies and any company that is overdue on terms of payment. Companies that were financially strong yesterday may not be strong today due to the highly competitive business marketplace.
Any company you do business with, do the best you can to follow them in the newspapers or even Google them to see if there are any negative stories about the company. Companies on the brink of going out of business will do everything they can to hold on – including being slow payers. That indicates a customer may be using your company as a bank.
Once a weak company is overextended, your chances of collecting money are bleak. If you are not getting answers on when you will be paid from the accounting department, call the CEO, president or business owner and talk with them directly. Sometimes, the payment matter can be easily resolved with just a phone call. But it should be a phone call rather than an email or a letter, at least initially. Person to person, human to human, contact is best. Handle money situations in the most professional way possible. With some customers or clients you may have to do what business people did years ago: COD – cash on demand or delivery.
Be careful of any new customers or clients that seem too easy to sell. They may be buying from you because a previous vendor cut them off because they didn’t pay their bill. It’s much better to lose a customer or client than to lose your business. Don’t be afraid to say “no”. Then look to your sales department to replace the customer you just lost.
It would be smart to have your sales department in a constant prospecting mode; always looking for new customers.
Remember: Never stop prospecting for new business.
Customers are important. Customers should rule or be boss at your company. And yes, your company should provide the best customer service possible. And yes, as the CEO, president or business owner, you should do everything possible to retain customers.
There can sometimes be a fine line between actually doing profitable business and not doing business at all with a customer.
It’s just a fact of being in business: You are in business to make a profit.
No matter how kind and generous you may personally be, know where to draw the line with any customers or accounts that become, or have the appearance, of being slow payers. Have terms clearly stated on invoices and contracts.
A good customer is one that pays on time or makes arrangements to pay you on a timely and reasonable basis with the intent of wanting to keep the business relationship in good standing.
Don’t let slow payers prevent your business from moving forward towards MORE success and MORE profit.
To your success!
Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States across a wide range of industries to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Business problems? Business issues? Get MORE from your business! Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.