Your business is NOT a charity. So, when a client tells you they can’t pay the full amount, although it’s very tempting to accept what’s first offered, try asking for more, blaming something else (for not being able to accept a payment proposal) and use Fear Of The Unknown.
If you do, you can often get a client to reconsider what they COULD pay if they had to. (In the case below the client didn’t know what would happen if their payment proposal DID go to the Board and was not approved.)
As a result of applying the above principles, exposure can be minimised, goodwill retained and payment received earlier. This happened earlier today ….
1: The accounting firm client (Andrew) couldn’t pay the full amount of their $4,500 fee to the Partner, John. Their email said …
Dear John, I refer to this outstanding invoice and advise that Andrew would very much appreciate it Camelots could see their way clear to extending the payment timeframe to the end of April 2013 when we expect a royalty payment to be received from South Africa. I look forward to your response in relation to this matter. Kind regards Mary Smith Bookkeeper
2: The Partner (John) asked his book-keeper,
Gwen. Can you respond to Mary and kindly suggest as an alternative:
1/3 in Feb;
1/3 in Mar and
1/3 in April.
Payment at the end of each month.
3: Gwen wrote
Thanks for your recent email asking if the firm could extend trading terms so that payment for your account could be made at the end of April.
Although not able to do so without Board Approval, may we suggest the following payment plan as an alternative.
- 1/3 to be paid end of February – $1,521.00
- 1/3 to be paid end of March – $1,521.00
- 1/3 to be paid end of April – $1,523.00
Please advise if this would be acceptable to you. If it is not, please let me know and I’ll submit it to the Board.
Gwen Iveer – Client Liason
4: The reply came back within minutes …
Thank you for your email and the suggested payment plan.
I will ensure the payments reach you as per the dates below.
Mary Smith Bookkeeper
The Board do NOT have to approve all payment arrangements, but ….