Nobody wants to be the guy kicking down the metaphorical door to collect, but when you’ve got past due receivables, you’ve got to get the return on your investment somehow. The question becomes how you can do so without generating enmity from the person or company you have to collect from.
Gaebler.com has an interesting list of suggestions to do just that. We’ll take a quick look at all four in the hopes that they’ll be helpful to your business:
- Don’t hold off. Chances are good, Gaebler notes, that the check is not going to be in the mail until you start reminding companies of their obligations. Don’t want until they are 30 or 60 or even 90 days past due to get in touch. You can do this respectfully, certainly, but whether they’ve forgotten or they’re simply ducking you, reminders are critical.
- Get a schedule going. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the first one. Know when you’re going to mail out reminders and how frequently you’re going to politely pester those who owe you. Is it every week? Every two weeks? Every month? Have that set in stone unless extenuating circumstances arise.
- Be understanding. Try not to be a pushover, though. You want to walk the fine line between working with a customer going through difficulties—everyone gets there sooner or later—while not pushing back deadlines constantly. Once you’ve developed a flexible schedule with them, hold them to it.
- Know when to fold ’em. Even if you follow this advice and wheedle constantly, you’re simply not going to get every customer to pay short of using measures that are decidedly outside of the legal realm. At that point, Graeble suggests turning the account over to a collection agency, which has the time and skill necessary to crack down on your most delinquent customers. It’ll save you time, money and a lot of Advil in the end.
Are these tips helpful to you? Feel free to share more in the comments.
Photo credit to raja4u at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1156284