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Past Due Accounts, Who’s to Blame?

October 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog

What causes customers to pay? Why do some pay late every month? The answers can be found in your own billing and collections process. Too many business owners reject the notion that their process for billing and collections could be a problem. So often ego gets in the way of success and it’s business as usual. Excuses and blame do nothing to fix the problem and they stifle opportunity for real growth. When we criticize the client or succumb to the idea that it’s the way things work in “my” industry. They stop working on methods to improve the very process that dictates how fast and how often they get paid.

 I have even written a book on this very subject called The Top 10 Billing Secrets.

 How can business owners know if there is room for improvement? Just like you would go to a good contractor to fix your house, you go to billing consultants to find out what’s wrong with your billing and collections process. It’s that simple but so many great business owners miss it. If you are dealing with challenges that cause you to wait for payment, you can bet others have found a way through those people who play games and make you wait for payment.

 Let’s use a simple example such as return envelopes. Some companies still forgo sending return envelopes with the bill or invoice. That’s why you will get paid last. Customers tend to be lackadaisical and don’t want to get their own envelope, fill it out and hope they have the correct address; the fewer the steps the better. They want to place a stamp, insert a check and mail it. You may already use return envelopes, but there are several methods for getting paid that you may not be utilizing. I find it remarkable that some companies who expect timely payments are still not using many of the proven strategies that must be incorporated. Is your invoice set up to promote timely payment? I have seen some bizarre looking invoices that make customers dodge paying. Some clients need just a small reason to not pay.

Another fact that you may already know is the longer a bill goes unpaid, the least likely you are of getting paid. When bills go 30, 60, 90 days past due, your chances of getting paid are greatly reduced. What about businesses that only accept cash? You are losing money. Even when they know they are losing money they don’t seem to want to listen or change and again, it’s business as usual. Are you kidding?

How about the person making collection calls? Is it the right person? Maybe it’s you and you are not the right person for that job. How do you contact customers; phone, mail or text? Some methods are more effective than others.

Why do so many business owners who are great at what they do have a hard time getting paid? They keep doing the same things expecting different results. Is it “business as usual” for you or will you work to improve your process for greater revenue and less frustration for non-paying customers?  CJM Billing Solutions, Inc.

 

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