When we deal with customers, it is important to get them to pay their invoices in a timely manner. What a timely manner means is dependent on your company’s payment policy. Are these customers C.O.D or are they net 30, net 60, net 90 or longer? This payment structure is based on the length of the sales cycle.
What can we do to make sure that customers pay their invoices on time?
Develop and nurture the relationship with your customer.
Do the following:
1 When you complete the sale, put all details in writing. Agree on a method of payment with your customer.
2 Follow through with the implementation of the sale and check in with your customer to make sure they are happy with their purchase.
3 If the customer voices concerns or has an issue with your product, address it immediately.
4 Make sure that you honor the warranty and be willing to look up the invoice for the customer if they do not have this.
If you do these four things, your customers will pay 95 %percent of the time.
I did these things but the customer will not pay?
In a large organization, the accounts receivable manager will handle the customer by sending past due notices and charging penalties. However if you work for a small company as I did, this will be entirely on your shoulders.
In any case, you as the sales representative should call and/or visit the customer. When you follow-up with the customer, you should speak to the customer to try to work out a solution to the get the invoice paid. Remember before you go in with guns blazing that you want to keep this customer doing business with you. It is important to be polite and never raise your voice or swear.
Should the customer get nasty and state that they are not going to pay, you should state the following: It is my job to get the company off your back. I am the last nice guy they plan to send. Take care. After you deliver this line, head for the door. This is a tip that I learned from Jim Cathcart and it works every time! I have used this as an outside sales representative and the customer would say hold on what do you mean? I would answer well after me, my manager has to get involved and he charged fees and refers this to collection and credit agencies. If my manager has to get involved it will get ugly. You are nice people and I would hate to see that happen. So what could we do about this? Many would pay that day or within a week. In many instances, I was also able to keep customer doing business with the company. You should not be afraid to ask customers for money that you are entitled to. Your landlord and suppliers demands payment for services rendered and so should you!
As a result of my efforts implementing the strategies above, my receivables (open invoices) were the lowest in the company! This allowed me to earn more commissions, make more sales and develop great relationships with my customers.