Handling debt collection
Holding the keys to successfully handling debt collection is essential to any consultant and advisor. As a consultant one of the major issues when dealing with business, particually small business is debt collection. An incorrectly handled collection can be detremental to your relationship with a client. The bottom line is that it is a delicate and sometimes very personal process, in this post, learn how to handle these situations professionally and ethically.
The key to debt collection is communication;
- it’s important to know your customer and their business
- arrange a face-to-face meeting
- discuss your concerns and understand the business cashflow
- get a clear understanding of the position of the business, don’ t assume that the customer has a problem
- Don’t forget slow paying may be a sign of customer dissatisfaction with your product or service
Before a meeting;
- prepare a copy of all outstanding invoices so you have the facts at hand
- have a position figured out if you feel the client may default
- the purpose of the meeting is to come away with a cheque for all or part of what is owed
Arrange COD or cash with order if further stock, product or service is required by your customer so you do not risk incurring bigger debts.
Ask for a payment and be prepared to wait for a cheque. If you have EFTPOS – credit card facilities take payment transfer the debt to your customer’s credit provider.
Business Advisor Network
Adapted from The Australian, Entrepreneur May 28, 2010.