oh no! they’re going to phone

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oh no! they’re going to phone

genuine debtors will pay or contact you rather than being phoned by a creditorWhen chasing slow debtors, put the words “We will phone you next week to see if we can be of any assistance” in your second or third reminder letter or email and more clients will pay or contact you! That’s simply because debtors who genuinely intend to pay don’t want to called on the phone.


To explain: If a debtor has just two invoices to pay – same amount and roughly the same date – and both creditors send a second reminder letter but one of them includes those words, the debtor is far more likely to react to the one that tells him if you don’t pay we’ll phone you. Try it, just once. Notice the reaction.



Another neat little trick is to use this wording in a letter.

I am writing this letter, as I was unable to
speak to you on the phone earlier this week
when I tried to call. We are most concerned
that some customers have not yet paid
their accounts and request that all balances
be fully up to date by {specify day and date}.



This works well for two reasons.
1: It tells the customer that you’ve already tried to talk to them (whether you really have or have not is not important!)
2: It specifies a “pay by” date.
People normally do not want to talk about an overdue account. They want to save face.

By | 2017-09-20T13:00:57+00:00 March 23rd, 2009|wording|2 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.


  1. Rob March 24, 2009 at 1:23 am - Reply

    Some good business advice here. I liked the save face story too.

  2. Anonymous October 22, 2012 at 2:01 am - Reply

    Yes, good advice. But I don’t bill customers they are pay as you go on bookkeeping daily or weekly. If they don’t pay I stop doing their bookkeeping till they do. Tax preparation, no completed returns unless paid at time they pick them up. Saves face no money now work. So far 99% pick up tax returns promptly and pay. Bookkeeping no non payers yet.

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