Pursuing Unpaid Invoices from Clients.
We all want our invoices remitted immediately or at least within the agreed time with the client. The sad part is; that does not always happen. The real story is; we chase unpaid invoices and can most times start to feel like a full time job especially for small business owners and freelance service providers
Use the following tips on how to chase late invoices issued to clients:
1) Don’t be afraid to raise the issue
If you are not careful, you will fall into a tormenting pattern of always having to remind your client to pay for goods or services delivered. Make sure not to show your frustration during the meeting or phone call. Keep it simple, brief and professional. It is possible that your client has not paid you due process or familiarity reasons and will not feel offended when you bring up the matter. In fact, it makes your client expedite action on your payment.
2) Set up Reminders
I know the agony sometimes some people have to go through because they personally have to remind a client of unpaid invoices. There is a way out!
Depersonalize the pattern of chasing unpaid invoices by setting up periodic reminders to your clients such as emails that states the current issue and invoices overdue. This will keep your client on their toes and accelerate your payment.
3) Employ Third Party Agents
Third party agents are best used to intervene in the process of collecting payment of overdue invoices. Small businesses especially do not want to upset their high net-worth clients or threaten the relationships they have with them but also want to be paid.
So as unpaid invoices are piling up, get a third party debt collector can step in.
4) Be Polite and Persistent
In order to receive payment of unpaid invoices, remain polite in your communications with your client. It is not wrong to contact your client over the issue of unpaid invoices as long as you are polite and persistent about it. The persistence part will definitely do the trick and you will get your payment in no time.
Save yourself the stress and use these tips you can put in place to reduce your number of unpaid invoices:
- State clearly your payment POLICIES
At the point of any business approval, state clearly your estimated price for the work to be done and your payment policies. Make sure your client agrees to it on your contract bid or even in an email, (depending on the nature of the business).
- Accept all forms of payment
Take all forms of payment, even as far as credit cards. By doing this, you are sure to get your payments on the spot even if the client does not have the funds presently.
- Demand deposit in advance
It is ideal to demand for upfront payment once a business deal has been approved. 30% to 40% deposit payment by the client is fair and the balance to be paid after the business has been concluded. You can choose not to demand a deposit if the client is trusted and has a history of prompt payment.
- Always allow the customer to make payments when they offer.
One of the silliest things any business owner can do is by not accepting a payment when it’s offered. If your client asks, “Do you need payment now?” please do not say, “No, that’s fine, I’ll get it later. Don’t ever do this! If the customer is comfortable to pay up front, please let him!