Every business at some point will experience clients or customers who will not pay on the specified deadline, refuse to pay wholly, or not having the means to pay for the total amount of services the business has rendered. Getting into that situation can be really frustrating, thus, it is crucial that a business can respond and handle it in an appropriate manner.
The manner how your business responds to this situation will affect your chances of collecting the debt. Also, it may reflect on your business’ image. What your business needs is an efficient strategy for business debt collection.
Understanding Business Debt Collection
If your clients are unable to pay debts on time, then your business may have severe problems involving business cash flow. A good strategy in collecting business debt helps you formulate how to manage late collections, establish a stable inflow of cash, and influence on-time payments.
Some clients refuse to pay their debts for a variety of excuses. Most of the time, clients who pay late fall under one or two of the following categories:
- Client/s intend to pay but cannot due to financial problems
- Client/s who intentionally pay late to manage their money
- Client/s are avoiding to pay debts altogether
A business will most likely collect debts from the first two categories of late-paying clients. There is still chance you can reclaim a partial or full payment. The third category will likely not pay in most cases. Remember those three types of late-payers when formulating a strategy for business debt collection.
7 Key Tips On How To Collect Business Debts Efficiently
Dealing with a client who will not pay for the products or services your provided is a frustrating experience. Although you may want to come over to their office or house, it is still wise to take a legal and professional approach.
Dealing with late-paying clients is part of managing a business. If you are dealing with a difficult late-paying customer, there are certain steps you can do to handle the issue on debt collection.
1. Put your policy on business collection in writing
Most of the time, the directions you provide go in one ear and out to the other when you give them verbally. That is part of human nature as people are not designed to remember all details of one’s day-to-day conversations. Put your policy on debt collection in writing and give it to the client for a reference. Also, include payment terms in the invoice and other documents for your clients. Also, save copies of all documents of your clients’ records, especially payment contracts.
2. Effective Communication
A good strategy on debt collection involves effective communication with customers. When you communicate clearly on payment expectations, it becomes easier for clients to pay as well. Never leave them guessing about any part of the collection process.
Likewise, establish a payment policy before accomplishing a sale. You must guarantee that the client understands, agrees, and consents to the terms, including late payments.
Never forget that you are sending a message, whether via the phone, mail, or personal approach. Therefore, the way you present your message reflects on your business and how fast they will pay you back. Moreover, be polite, clear and professional to encourage loyal clients.
3. Right Timing
Do not delay on contacting your clients when payments cash flow starts to slow down. The key to getting paid for your services and products is speed and timing. Provide an invoice to a client immediately after a sale.
If the due date has passed, rebill the client or customer right away. Periodically provide reminders inclusive of all information which your customer needs to pay.
4. Show compassion
Managing a small business also entails getting to know your clients. You may listen to their situation, discuss the issue and renegotiate the payment terms. You may formulate unique solutions for your clients instead of giving them a final demand.
Try to be creative, but putting extra effort will pay off in the end. Do your best to formulate a payment plan and other arrangements with your client who failed to pay their bills.
Also, know and understand what pressing the issue caused the client to pay late. These include injury, illness, unemployment and other factors. In some cases, a client may misplace their bill. Give them options to maintain customer satisfaction and create loyal clients.
5. Short and Professional Efforts
Showing compassion and concern to your clients is essential, but do not get too close or personal when collecting debts. Maintain professionalism and keep it short when negotiating late-paying clients.
Inform them that you are willing to work with their situation, but never dive into personal details why they failed to pay you back. You must not sound as if you are personally attacking or threatening the client with your questions.
Moreover, harassing your clients can be a violation to debt collection laws. Your client may file a lawsuit against you, which will then ruin your business’ reputation. Likewise, avoid contacting the client excessively, or calling them at late hours. Give specific reasons why you are calling the client, but maintain professionalism.
6. Hire a collection agency
Your goal is getting your client pay their debts with least amount of cost and effort. At some point, you may choose to hire a collection agency.
Acquire references, choose a reputable agency and send them unpaid accounts. Expect to pay fees for their services, which is dependent on the amount collected or how much time and effort they spent on collecting debts.
7. Know when to stop
Collecting business debts utilizes a lot of energy and time. There are some payments that are not worth the trouble collecting. If you are just wasting a lot of resources and time on collecting a specific account, then consider cutting your losses. Quit it, and just take note of the situation and the client for future reference.
If you’re in need of someone who can help your business collect some unpaid debts from other businesses, you may click here to research more on your legal options.