Here are five signs you’re well positioned to succeed at the art of collecting your receivables.
1. Remember: you’re in the people business.
Lots of admin folk get caught up in their admin duties and forget that they’re in the people business. Make that call and ensure you connect to the individual person responsible for paying your invoices.
2. Focus on the results, not the effort.
The collection game is about getting results. Admin people often spend time kidding themselves about doing busy work and don’t make contact with customers who are overdue.
Your success in receivables management is about getting results and that means getting a promise to pay. A great administrator knows how to get the customer’s attention and request payment in a way that causes the customer to send you their check on the due date. Don’t confuse results with efforts. The outcome of a successful call to a customer who owes you money is a promise to pay. You don’t try to get a promise to pay: you either get it or you don’t.
3. Do the uncomfortable thing.
The best collectors are willing to throw themselves into harm’s way. So convinced of their right to get paid, they are willing to get in front of the tough customers, ask the hard questions and go for the money that is rightfully due to their company.
Always call your toughest clients first and keep calling on them long after everyone else has given up. Once a month, make a list of your company’s most difficult customers and create an attack plan on how to get those account paid. You can’t bring the big cash flow home without getting into the deep waters where the big fish swim.
4. Wow the customer.
Great admin people look for ways to inspire a customer’s emotional involvement and create the urgency to make payment. When you wow a customer you make a difference and cause them to want to settle their outstanding invoices.
5. Ask for the promise to pay.
This may seem very simple, but most collectors never ask for the exact date and amount that the customer will commit to paying. Hard to believe, but true. If you don’t ask, you will only get paid by those who are going to pay regardless.
Keep track of every time you ask a customer to pay. This keeps you focused and increases your collections.