The power of a ‘soft’ threat

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The power of a ‘soft’ threat

 The client wasn’t paying.
* Messages left by the junior accounts person were being ignored.
* What to do?
* Important client.
* Client for many years.
* Don’t want to get too “heavy”.

At 1.58pm we sent an email (on top of previous ‘follow up’ emails) …
At 2.07pm, 9 minutes later, we received a banks remittance advice for the full amount!

1: because it HAD to. The client also values the long-term relationship.
2: the ‘threat’ was a very soft one … ‘we’re going to send you a nasty letter next week‘. 😐
3: it gave a very specific contact-me-by date and time.
4: it was sent by a more senior person in the firm (the debt’s been ‘escalated’).
4: it mentions the firms Credit Policy – an unknown factor for the debtor.

This is what the email said …

Dear Mary,

Please contact me by 2.00pm on Tuesday, 09 December as I’m obliged to send you a formal Letter of Demand by the end of that week according to the firms Credit Policy.

If I do not hear from you by then, I will be left with no alternative.


[name of Accounts Manager]


By | 2017-07-17T08:52:11+00:00 December 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|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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