It Isnt A Sale Until Youre Paid
Back in the days when I sold for CTV and CBC Television I had a manager that once said " It isn't a sale until you're paid." Most salespeople absolutely HATE calling their customers to ask for payment as they feel like the GOOD GUY and BAD GUY rolled into one!
Hey - we have all been there. We avoid paying some bills because cash flow is tight. The problem is that it does FEEL AWFUL for both the customer and the salesperson who sold them the service/product. So here are some DIVA TIPS to make you BOTH feel better!
1) Be Proactive. When you are first working with your customer - outline your terms and ask them if this will work within their payment schedules. Find out when invoices have to be submitted to their accounting departments so you don't miss a billing period.
2) Get A DEPOSIT. Never go into partnership (customer/sales relationship) where one party has less to lose than the other. If you are providing services/products then you also deserve a commitment from the customer.
3) Is Something Wrong? Is there something you need to help your customer with? Did they receive the product and service in due time? Are they happy? Are they in a cash crunch and perhaps need to work out a payment system to you? Meet or call your customer and ask if there is anything you can do to help with the process.
4) Don't Be Afraid To Ask Your Customer For The Payment. Remember Tom Cruise as Jerry McGuire " Shoooooooooooowww Me The Money?" You aren't the bad guy by asking for payment promptly or for a set date when you can receive payment. Sales is an equal exchange of goods and services. No shame in that!
5) Avoiding The Issue Doesn't Work. We all hate being cash cramped - and yes - it does happen to EVERYONE no matter how large or small the company. Face your fears and sit down with your customer. You'll discover that most people will be so thankful you spoke to them and were willing to work with them.
6) Learn From The Past. History has a tendency to repeat itself. Offer different terms for clients that have a history of being slow-payers. Ask for cash upfront until a payment history has been established. Charge to credit cards. But still find an option that is respectful to your customer and also to your company.
Working with a customer is just like having any other relationship. Sometimes there are ups and downs but those who are respectful, listen, show value and be pro-active tend to have long relationships with each other!