There’s simply nothing worse than dealing with a client that owes you money and refuses to pay. This being said, anyone who has been in business for a fair amount of time knows that this is more common than most people would like to admit. Clients have a fair amount of reasons for avoiding making payments, and each one can make sense on occasion. For example, some clients fall under financial hardships, and simply need a bit more time to make a payment. When this occurs regularly, however, it’s fair to assume you’re being taken for a ride. Fortunately, there are a variety of things that you can do to ensure that you finally get paid from your overdue clients, each of which will help to keep your business on the right track.
Send Payment Reminders
The first thing you should do when a client is overdue on their payments is to send them a simple payment reminder. There are a variety of ways to go about doing so. For example, you could send a short, polite email reminding the client that he or she is overdue with their payment, and that prompt payment would be truly appreciated. Some invoicing software even includes an option to send a reminder to the client, which is perfect for those who would rather avoid making the situation personal. Once the client has avoided two reminders, it’s time to actually have a conversation with them.
Have The Conversation
One of the most uncomfortable things about trying to get your money from a client that refuses to pay is actually having the conversation with them. Clients that are overdue on their payments are often holding out for a reason, and you may not want to hear what it is. Still, you’re not going to be getting anywhere by avoiding the inevitable, and simply having the phone call is one of the best ways to set things into action. Call your client on a Friday afternoon, if possible, as he or she will likely be in a fairly decent mood in comparison to if you were to call on a Monday. Be sure to explain the hardships that are being caused as a result of the client’s unwillingness to pay, and reiterate your terms of service. The majority of the time, your client will feel an urge to make payment under these pretenses.
Hire a Debt Collection Agency
If all else fails and you simply cannot get the money that is owed to you via traditional methods, you may want to consider hiring a debt collection agency such as Cavalry Portfolio Services. Debt collection agencies take all of the dirty work out of your hands for a small fee, which means you won’t have to worry about having any uncomfortable conversations with your clients. You might want to consider these clients to be “deadbeats” at this point, however.
Getting paid from overdue clients can be difficult, but with the right steps taken, it can be done.