Does wondering how to ask for payment politely strike fear in your heart? You’re not alone.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when you’re wondering how to request payment from a customer. A lot of people feel shy and even too embarrassed to ask. But don’t worry…
There’s an easy way to ask for payment of your invoices without upsetting your customer. All you need are good customer service skills.
Does that sound like a fairy story? It’s not!
Before I sold my small business, I always followed the simple collections strategy I’m about to share with you now. Almost every one of our customers paid our invoices by the due date.
…AND our customers liked and trusted us too! So I grew the business with lots of repeat orders and referrals from existing customers.
How to ask for payment politely – the key
I’ve listed here my easy collections strategy in 4 simple steps. Once you’ve put this strategy in place you won’t have to worry again about how to ask for payment politely.
This strategy is tried and tested. Once you start to use these strategies it will be really clear what you need to say and do to get your invoices paid.
It’s also a great strategy to use before invoices become overdue. It’s one of the most effective collection strategies to get your invoices paid on time!
Are your invoices overdue now?
Sending a letter asking for payment will delay payment even more. A much faster way is to use this strategy. Read on…
How to ask for payment politely – in 4 easy steps
This simple little collections strategy is designed to get invoices paid AND build strong business relationships at the same time! It’s a very polite way to request payment.
Step #1 Be prepared. Knowledge is power!
Check with your team to ensure the order was fulfilled exactly as requested and you’ve checked your invoice over. There are three areas on invoices which often contain mistakes and cause them to go into the “invoices to be checked later” pile.
Step #2 Resolve problems super-fast and look like a star!
- Ask your customer if there are any issues with your fulfillment of the order, or if there are any problems with the invoice. If there are – sort it out quickly.
- Keep your customer informed while resolving the query.
Step #3 Use customer service skills for best results
There’s a big difference between calling and asking for payment and making a customer service call. I recommend using the customer service approach every time.
In our Get Paid! eCourse I share the exact approach to take, so you don’t sound like you’re hassling for payment, or even worse – you don’t sound “desperate”.
The key is in the type of questions you ask, the order you ask them in, and who you need to be speaking to.
Step #4 How to ask for payment politely to get results
Throughout the conversation, to get the answers you want, use dialogue starting with ‘who?’, ‘what?’, ‘when?’, ‘where?’ or ‘how? These are called ‘open questions’.
If you ask ‘open’ questions you should get the answer you are looking for.
Think of the process as ‘customer service’ rather than a ‘collections call’ and your fear should disappear.
Use this gentle and persuasive way to ask for payment of all your due and overdue invoices. Soon, you will never have to think again about how to request payment politely. Your customers will get to like you and your great service. And when people like you, they pay you!
To your business success!
13 thoughts on “Overdue Invoices? How To Ask For Payment Politely – In 4 Easy Steps”
Thank You Jan, a very timely post for me. I love that you say ask politely, it is much better than being aggressive.
It’s just about customer service really Sue – and getting people to like you. If they like you, they’ll pay you 🙂
Jan great tips that business owners can action right away!
Pleased you like it Linda and yes, it’s not nearly as scary as people think!
Great tips Jan. Asking for payment is such a hurdle for so many business owners.
Yes I know Lisa – and it really can be done with just good customer service.
Nice process you have outlined
Pleased you like it David
Excellent advice Jan; step by step procedures to arrive at a result.
Thanks Clive. Yes, step-by-step we get there!
So nice to have actionable steps. Thanks Jan.
So pleased it’s useful for you Jo!
Great tips Jan, very helpful indeed, will keep this article handy. Thanks
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