Don’t Say “Can I?” – Get Others To Say “Please Don’t”

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Don’t Say “Can I?” – Get Others To Say “Please Don’t”

chasing slow payers is much easier if you don't have to waste time seeking permission to do so!Several years ago we consulted to a large legal firm. 25 Partners. 60 other lawyers. 85 Fee Authors in all. They had a full time Credit Manager, Murray, on staff. He was not getting good collection results.

Overdue accounts had completely blown out. So had their overdraft. Why?

We were called in to see what was going wrong. Didn’t take long to find out. Simple maths. There’s only 5 working days in a week. 85 fee authors divided by 5 days = 17. Murray had to see 17 lawyers EVERY DAY just to get permission to follow up any clients with overdue fees that each lawyer may have! A totally impossible task.

As a result, very few reminders were sent out and even fewer phone calls made. So – poor collection results. They weren’t even asking their clients to pay.

The solution
We circulated an internal email to all fee authors advising them that the onus in future was to be on them to request (by email) that no follow up action be taken on any clients that they wanted to have taken out of the normal collection review. In other words, Murray would assume that he was able to action all accounts as soon as they became overdue unless advised to the contrary.

The result
As a direct result of this very simple policy adjustment, results improved exponentially. Within three weeks of that internal email being circulated and additional support from our company that firm of lawyers recovered over 40% of the total fees that had been outstanding.

Please note that all fee authors were free at all times to stop any collection activity at any point, but the onus was now on them to ask Murray to stop (by email), not for Murray to get permission to follow up each individual account.

By | 2017-09-20T12:57:08+00:00 June 2nd, 2010|techniques|0 Comments

About the Author:

Have you ever wondered why a client does business with you and then ignores your invoice like they had no intention of paying it in the first place or they treat you like their own personal line of credit, leaving YOU dangling, waiting months for their payment? Unfortunately this situation is all too common and can even be puzzling for the most experienced business owner. If you’ve ever had to handle outstanding accounts or you are just so over non-payers, then we can help. Real-world skills, solutions, tips & strategies to get more accounts paid on time, and, most importantly, how to maintain customer goodwill while keeping YOUR cash flow in the positive. You will find the blog posts helpful but to get real results, contact us by using any of the forms on this site, by email or by phone. I’ve been involved in the management of accounts for over 30 years, heard every excuse in the book, can spot a non-payer at 20 paces. Finance Companies in the 70s (systematic, tough), professional firms in the 80s (no systems, too gentle) and, since then, just about every other sort of business you can think of. I’ve written books on the topic, spoken all over the place about it and the blog in this website is my way of “giving back”. I hope you find it helpful.

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