Principle #2 – Always Be The Good Guy

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Principle #2 – Always Be The Good Guy

always be the Good Guy when chasing slow payers

Chasing Slow Payers has three simple and fundamental rules. We’ve already discussed the first rule – Start early and tell everyone what you’re doing.
The second rule is Always Be The Good Guy:
So, to the second rule : Always Be The Good Guy.
If you did the work, you shouldn’t be the first person to chase for payment. By having someone else initially following up any overdue accounts you can remain the Good Guy and be paid more quickly at the same time!
Many business owners feel that they should phone their own customers – “in case they have any queries about the account or with the work done“. But, why not just assume that all’s “A OK” until you’re told otherwise?
Forewarned is forearmed
Some of your customers at some time must have
* queried the product or service or
* feel that they were charged too much.
But, if that customer is phoned by the person that did that work the discussion can easily turn from a very friendly “When do you feel you’ll be able to pay your account?” phone call into a defensive
* “This is why it took so long to do the work” call or
* “This is why the charges are higher than you expected” call.
Why? Because before the business owner phoned his customer he had absolutely no idea why his account hadn’t been paid. He was unarmed, unprepared for what was coming. He naturally starts defending his bill because he’s probably proud of the work done, may have already discounted the account to some extent already and is quite happy that all was “A” OK.
The danger here is that calling unprepared like this, the all-important Customer-Owner relationship is at serious risk. The goodwill.
Ignorance (of the work done) is power
However, if someone else phones then, if there is a dispute
1: They can note down the details and any queries.
2: They can empathise (when relevant), and
3: They won’t go into defensive mode because …. they didn’t do the work!
They’re best, quite simply, because they’re not emotionally involved with the work done. So, if the customer gets excited or the language becomes “colourful” this person won’t get too upset. After all, it wasn’t their work that was being criticised and they’ll still get paid for what they do anyway.
They’re simply being information gatherers, performing a simple administrative function. Merely curious why the account hasn’t been settled …. yet.
OK, so the messenger gets shot twice
After this person (let’s call him “The Messenger”) has made the call, the next thing for them to do is to tell the person that did do the work what the customer had to say. And …. Whammo. The owner will react. It’s only natural.
* What a load of rubbish.
* We had to do a lot of extra work ….. He must’ve forgotten about that.
* I can’t believe he said that about me after all the effort I put in.
Does the Messenger really care what the disputing customer said about the owner and the standard of the work done? Maybe. But nowhere nearly as much as the owner.
After the heat’s died down, then the owner can then address the situation calmly. From a position of knowledge, not emotion.
Well thought out.


By | 2017-07-13T08:51:42+00:00 May 25th, 2010|miscellaneous|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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