3 Keys to Collections

Mastering the Art of Collections

In an ideal world, all of your clients would pay their invoices on-time, with a smile. In reality, as a business owner at some point you will encounter a client who will not pay their dues. There are three common reasons why people do not pay: financial issues, feeling unsatisfied with the work, and being delinquent payers who sought services with no intention of paying.

Before reacting to your situation, it is important to understand where the debtor you are dealing with fits in; your reaction will be crucial in ensuring you are successful in receiving payment. You should be stern, but not forceful.

Here are three key strategies you can use to help you collect:

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Listen: It is important to understand why the client is not paying. Rather than approaching the situation as hostile, seek to understand their reasoning rather than assuming they are at fault.

You should maintain a respectful demeanor and approach the situation with an open mind. If you do not have the answers to the client’s enquiries, investigate and get back to them in a timely fashion.


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Be flexible: When determining what course of action should be taken, be flexible. There are numerous options available to you, so it is important to avoid a bias when beginning the conversation.

Some of the available options include: a payment plan, correcting a misunderstanding, following up on broken promises, or taking legal action.


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Seek assistance: If the debtor is being difficult or unreasonable, do not hesitate to seek help from a third party such as a lawyer or collection agency.

These people have the ability to affect the credit rating of your default client, often making them more successful.

Once you agree to a plan of action, be sure to adhere to it. Failure to do so could cost you the respect of the debtor, making them less inclined to take you seriously the next time you call.