Resist the temptation to put up a bunch of signs
I know you feel hurt when someone doesn't pay you, heck you're more than upset, you're pissed off. But in that moment of anger and pain, resist the temptation to create some new zero tolerance all violators will be prosecuted fee policy for all of your future and existing great customers. To understand just check out what Derek Sivers has to say about it, it's pretty awesome:
Take a breath and think about how you would want to be treated
We created InvoiceSherpa to offer a better way out of this terrible cycle of Internet advice about invoices that basically falls somewhere between make them pay before you deliver to charge them a fee if they're late. Frankly we think none of these policies make sense, why? Because it isn't how we would want to be treated and it says very clearly I don't trust you Mr. or Mrs. Customer, so I want to lock you down and treat you like you've already done something wrong. And who wants to do business with someone who doesn't trust them? I think businesses that follow this type of advice quickly find the answer, no one.
So what to do?
Do what we do, create an awesome follow up plan full of more gratitude than threats, thank customers who pay you, tell customers when their invoices are ready, no just past due. And give them a friendly reminder before the invoice goes past due. Follow this plan to the letter and be consistent. We bet this solves 80% of the problem, because almost everyone is a good person and isn't trying to cheat you.
Yeah but what about those other 20%?
Well before we say those other 20% are a bunch of thieving liars, remember they may have just gotten a little busy or maybe they're like us and super forgetful. So lets follow up with them to, but before you call in the collections agency or or worse the small claims attorney, why not give your customer a friendly phone call to see about that invoice.
If you follow all of this advice is we bet you can solve almost all of your collections hassles. We of course would say automating this process is the best way to get you paid on time, but then again we would say that since that's what we do, but we really believe it. We have thousands of lines of codes and lots of late nights to prove it.
So next time you think it's time to pull out the big guns and starting charging late fees, remember to take a breath and ask how you would want to be treated were the situation reversed. And when you're ready come see us, we help automate all of this terribly un-fun stuff and get you back to doing what you love to do best.
Posted on January 3, 2014
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