Being paid by a stubborn client (from the wallet)
We all have a funny friend, who is kind and a champion at ham chocolate grilled sandwiches and whose only weakness though a disastrous one, is being stingy. Making him reach for his wallet is like shaving off his heart, to such an extent that one ends up being extremely resourceful to make the latter take part to pool in money for a fruit basket (including for his wife’s birthday).
Making a client pay his invoice is even trickier, as the amounts involved are usually more than 30 dollars. A default of payment on his behalf can seriously shake up your company’s cash flow. So before sending a Russian friend to get back the money one owes you, here are a few steps you need to follow to win your case, without taking a hit.
You shall protect yourself
In a company, there are two kinds of bad payers. Purely bad faith whose goal is to swindle you and those who keep postponing their payment due to laziness, strategic interest or pure negligence. Luckily, the second type is more common than the first one.
To make a client pay his bill on time, the best is of course to lay the groundwork in advance: indicate a timeline on the quote and on the bill, while explicitly mentioning the penalties, in case of a delay. This is an excellent guardrail but also an incontestable legal element, in case of a dispute.
Identify the internal procedures of payment but also the decision makers, as it maximizes the chances of making the payment chain function well.
As for new clients, make sure you have checked all the necessary elements which have been provided for the transaction (one quickly forgets about bank details) and this can make you save a lot of time.
Last but not least, a simple call in advance to the accounting department from your company to your client, in order to make sure there is no obstacle in terms of the payment at the date which had been planned, doesn’t cost anything objectively, but can lead to a lot.
Gentle Method vs. the Harsh Method
Despite all the precautions you took, the payment of your invoice is taking long to come along, you should know that a phone call is always more efficient than sending a reminder. It’s better to accompany this call with a mail, this way you have a written proof of this “friendly” reminder (so avoid insulting the client in the message body.
In the case where your interlocutors continues turning a deaf ear, take out the big guns: threat. First of all, send a firm warning with acknowledgement of receipt: a non-payment shall lead to freezing of delivery goods or further services.
Simultaneously, give your client a last chance to react by forewarning your client about your intention of launching a libelous campaign on social networks. Tell the latter, that you’re going to post a message on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, by explicitly naming the person and exhibiting the facts. Of course, you won’t be doing so…
Don’t hesitate singling out other collaborators of the concerned company, by sending private messages on LinkedIn. At times, a simple change in scale can lead to miracles.
As a last resort, an urgent application is a devilishly efficient method, which should make your bad payer react unwillingly before the trial. The good news is that a signed contract, a purchase and/or delivery order but also an invoice is enough to win the trial.
But before actually carrying out a trial, make sure that your client hasn’t just gone to the Bahamas to get a good tan. You’ll look dainty while receiving his postcard.
More informations here 50 unique ways of rewarding your collaborators and making them happy