The cheque’s in the post

This excuse may be outdated but, no matter the reason given for delaying payment, remember a sale is not a sale until you get paid. 

As the pandemic hits businesses from all sectors this has never been truer.

Keeping close to your customer and understanding their business is vital now more than ever.

Ask yourself how the pandemic might have affected them; does this make them a higher risk? Did they receive a Bounce Back or CBILS loan and if so, where is that cash now?

Trust your instincts and if you smell a rat, don’t sell or consider demanding cash up front.

Frequent contact by your credit controller is the key to spotting changes in your customers’ behaviour as early as possible.  

Don’t be afraid of being a pest

Keep in touch with your customer following delivery, not just once payment falls due to avoid spurious complaints, especially those raised only once payment is due. 

Identify customers who are taking extended credit terms, and don’t be afraid of being a pest. It's the amiable that are placed last in the queue.

If your credit control fails, then having a relationship with a good debt collector can be the next step, but they can only help if you are proactive in identifying debts to refer. Consider an approach of ‘why not’ as soon as a debt is overdue. 

There is no embarrassment because your customer is the one who has broken the rules.  

With winding up suspended to December, you could wait a long time if you don’t up the game and shout the loudest.

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