1. Neglecting the telephone. The phone is the single greatest asset you have. One phone call is more powerful than multiple reminders and demand letters. Always hit redial if they don’t answer the first time, and follow up with a text message asking them to “call you back urgently within the hour”.
2. Not personalising written demands. Generic reminders get deleted. Personalise yours using their first name at least 3 times in the body of the email. Explain that if payment is not made today, it may be out of your hands and enforcement action taken.
3. Relying on the customer to pay. They are unreliable. The mere fact you are having to chase them is proof of this. You need to make paying you the single easiest thing they will do that day. Give them your bank account details, in an SMS, email, call, follow them up constantly until they pay.
4. Being too nice. Now isn’t the time for fluffy statements or positive comments about how much you value their business. All this does is reinforce negative behaviour. Put your foot down and say enough is enough- I am not a bank and I refuse to be treated like one.
5. Not confirming promises in writing. If they promise to pay, you promise to document it. This is so incredibly important. We confirm every single payment promise in an email or SMS, the moment we receive it. Regardless of the amount. A small admin job that takes 30 seconds is often the difference between getting your money and not.
Please note that these should be used only if your invoice is way overdue. There is a profound difference between “slightly overdue” and “way overdue”. Cheers