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Are Your Collection Practices Reality Or Illusion?

Posted Monday, January 19, 2015 by Andrea Schlack.

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From PPI Partner Printing Industry Credit Bureau’s (PICB) Monthly Digest of Sound Credit And Collections Practices

Volume 12, Jan. 2015

The fabled Man from LaMancha, Don Quixote, lost his mind believing chivalry died. In his delusional imagination he saw only giants and demons who stole bounty from the people he loved and only wished to protect, while his trusted friend knew reality—Don Quixote was chasing windmills.

alt textSound familiar? How many times have you done ’good’ by a customer who later laid blame on your company for supposed ills suffered only so he could refuse payment for the services rendered? Do you go insane because of these imaginary obstacles to your profits or do you behave like Panzo and attack the windmill for what it is?

When you need to topple windmills, PICB is your Pancho Sanchez who will help you avoid imaginary giants:

Maintain a good paper trail of all events because that which is in writing will always supersede that which is supposedly remembered.

When a customer makes a promise acknowledge it in writing via email or fax and make sure to specify who you spoke with, what was discussed and agreed upon, and state clearly when you expect to receive the promised payment.

Never make a demand using negative terms such as ’when will you pay’? or Why have you not paid?” Both of these leave you unresolved because the customer could conceivably answer this with ’never’ or ’because’.

Make your demand positive by staying focused upon the issue at hand and asking questions that limit the answer to a positive result, such as ’How many days do you need to get this paid?” By limiting the answer to a specific time frame you maintain control over your unpaid receivable.

Follow up is key. If an expected payment is not received do not wait to follow up with your customer and again ask the question in a positive fashion, such as “I have not received your payment yet, when was it mailed?’

Never make a statement that you will not follow thru upon. If you repeatedly threaten to hire your outside agency, eventually the customer will just perceive your call as ’noise’ and they will ignore your requests or demands…make your words count!

Be prepared to take necessary steps to protect your profits. Non-paying customers cost money and resources and unlike fine wine they do not improve with age…the longer you wait to take corrective steps the more likely you will suffer a bad-debt write off.

Call us any time at (847) 265-0400

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