Unfortunately, it happens all too often; you’ve taken all the steps outlined in ‘How to Make Sure You Get Paid,’ and still, your client has not compensated you on time. Below are a few ways to recover your funds.
Keep It Positive
This may be the most difficult to execute; stay positive and give the client the benefit of the doubt. You don’t have to believe it, but you do need to convey it in the words you choose. Remaining positive helps to keep open communication, prevents your client from getting defensive and shutting you out.
There is also a layer of psychology; if you set expectations that allow someone to grow into being a better person, they want to do it. Meaning, if you say something like,’ You seem like the sort of person who is on top of things, so I wanted to flag my overdue invoice in case it was an oversight,’ your client is more likely going to want to be that person, aka your invoice gets processed faster.
It’s a SMALL world and an even smaller industry. If you burn a bridge, you don’t know what other bridges you are taking down at the same time; this could affect your network or future jobs with other clients. All that to say, keeping it positive can go a long way.
Get In Touch With The Right People
Are you speaking to the person that holds the purse strings? Get in direct touch with the finance department about your invoice or whomever ‘writes the cheque.’ Confirm they have all the information they need to process your payment and when they plan to pay.
Share Your Payment Terms
Kindly state your payment terms and how it impacts your client. If you have a late penalty, let them know when it will kick in and how it is calculated.
Offering a ‘mercy date’ can help expedite the process. If the client pays by X date, you will waive the interest. If you have not received payment by this day, share an updated invoice with the new final sum.
Follow Up With Outstanding Balances
Email the client with a record of their outstanding balances, including the current amount, invoice number, and due date. State in a friendly manner, you are looking forward to their payment, if you do not receive payment by X date, you will follow up with their updated total including incurred fees.
End The Relationship
If ending the relationship is the best course of action, once your client has cleared their debt, let them know due to cash flow reasons you can no longer continue working with them, and wish them the best in the future. Make it clear, concise, and kind.
Anything I have missed? What are your go-to methods for getting paid promptly? Leave a comment below.
Photo Credit: Pepi Stojanovski
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