Do you have a full time professional handling yourcollections activities? Probably not, most SMB’s don’t.In most small companies, a bookkeeper, salesperson, orthe business owner is given this job- taking him or heraway from other important duties Here are some tips on how to make effective collections calls while maintaining a positive relationship with customers
6 Tips To Help You Get PaidFaster: 1. Preparation 2. Initial Call 3. Call Notes 4. Voice Mail 5. Demand Calls 6. Ask for the money
Have relevant supporting information readily available, including: • The invoice(s) you are calling about & supporting documentation (proof of delivery, purchase order, etc.) • Notes from prior contacts regarding this invoice • Customer account status and past payment history. • Customer contactSet an objective regarding the call. Are youlooking for specific info? or for a specific PREPARATIONfollow-up action to be performed by theclient?
You will have already sent the invoice & possibly a past-due reminder. Theobjective of this call is to determine the status of the payment and identifyany issues that may be delaying that payment. In your own words introduceyourself and cover the following points:•I’m calling from <Company> regarding ourinvoice number <x> for $x that was due on<date>. Have you sent payment for this yet? Yes? ask for check number and sent date No? confirm they have the invoice and ask when payment is scheduled.•If there are issues which are delayingpayment, get as much info as possible for INITIAL CALLappropriate follow-up•Get the name and title of the person you spokewith.
Record notes of the key points of the call including the time & date as wellas any promises made by the customer. (Mark your calendar to follow upthese promises)Since most accounting systems havelimited capabilities for entering notes oractivities you might consider usingcollection management software suchas Anytime Collect for this purpose sothat this information can be sharedamong all individuals within yourcompany that need to know what’shappening with a customer. CALL NOTES
When you call a company and get a person’s voice mail, be sure to leave a briefmessage such as the example below. ”I’m calling from <company> regarding our invoice number <#> for $X that was due on <date>. Could you please call me back and let me know when this is scheduled for payment?”•Be sure to clearly state your name andphone number and repeat if needed.•If you have an email address for theperson or department you carecalling, send a note to tell them you left amessage & restate the above points; VOICE MAILattach a copy of the invoice as well.•Make a note of this call & email; markyour calendar to follow up in 2-3 days.
It’s time to get more forceful & ask for payment if your messages & emails are ignored or yourcustomer’s promises are not kept. Be firm, yet courteous. This is a three-step process:1. Ask why you havenot been paid. Show 3. Propose a specific andunderstanding & realistic payment actionsympathize with the on their part. Do not askcustomer. This may catch them how much they canthem off guard and is pay & when — that givesparticularly effective up control & opens it up forwhen the customer is unrealistic or unreasonableexperiencing financial suggestions. If you havestress. the ability to accept credit card or e-checks over the2. Remind them they phone you should presenthave an obligation topay you. Reiterateprice and past due that option. DEMAND CALLSdate. Remind them ofany prior promises topay that they made.
One final thought – in collections ifyou don’t ask for the money, youdon’t get the money. Professionaland timely follow-up on yourinvoicing is an essential part of theprocess of getting paid for the workyou do. ASK FOR THERemember – you’re a business, nota bank! MONEY
Using the right toolsKeeping your collections activities organized and upto date can be a challenge, especially if you haveother duties at the office- The right software can makecollections activities less of a hassle.Anytime Collect Accounts Receivable CollectionsManagement Software helps companies streamlineand better manage Accounts Receivable Credit& Collections activities. Watch A Demo contact us today for more information.