If you’re jumping in mid-stream, Part 1 (with the complete list) can be found here.
8) Get Up-front Deposits
This is the ultimate in getting paid faster. Attorneys have been doing it for years with retainers. Custom manufacturers that have to buy raw materials for their customers’ jobs also do it. So can you.
The key to getting clients and customers to pay in advance is having a good story. By “story” I don’t mean something made-up, but a convincing reason why you need to by paid in advance – one that the customer can easily understand and agree with.
“We have to buy a large amount of raw material for your order and we aren’t able to float that for you.”
“Our schedule is tight and we’re scheduling out weeks in advance. We can only afford to put customers into the schedule who are serious about paying their bills.”
“Our CFO says that new customers have to put down a deposit in advance. After we develop a relationship we can discuss terms with you.”
There are many more you can think up.
9) Develop a Relationship With Your Client’s A/P Person
In spite of all our technological tools and innovations, business is still about people relating to other people.
And, in spite of any rules and procedures in place, employees use a lot of discretion in how they go about doing their jobs. Antagonize your client’s A/P person and you can find yourself with “lost” invoices, incorrect payments due to “typos” and checks that get “lost in the mail.”
Conversely, become friendly with the A/P person and you can jump to the front of the line.
This doesn’t have to mean holiday cards and tins of popcorn. Learning their name, being pleasant on the phone, and not being a pain in the neck will go a long way.
10) Call In a Couple of Days To See That They Got Your Invoice
Or, alternatively, if you’re sending invoices by email, ask for a delivery confirmation.
There aren’t many things more disheartening than expecting to be paid on a big invoice, waiting until 30 days are up before calling, then finding out your invoice never made it into the system. A five minute phone call can head off problems before they become serious.
11) Call In Advance of the Due Date
This goes hand-in-hand with #10. A few days before your scheduled payment date, give the A/P person a call just to make sure your payment is going to be on time.
A lot of companies will delay payments to vendors just to test out how far they can push things. By calling in advance, you send the message that you expect to be paid on time.