Making Collection Calls in a Small Business

making collection calls

Do You Find Making Collection Calls Stressful and Demanding?

Making collection calls in a small business can be very demanding. Especially if collecting payment of overdue invoices is just part of your job, and you may not have had any specialist training.

If you have a fear of making collection calls, it is perfectly understandable.

However, getting invoices paid is key to small business health. Without payments coming in cash flow dries up and causes stress for small business owners. Xero said in 2018 that…

‘More than half of business owners worry about cash flow every month and just about all of them have unpaid invoices that could relieve the pressure.’

Making collection calls can be scary, but actually, there are a few easy admin processes and collections strategies that you can put in place to collect payment of your invoices by the due date.  Then making those scary collection calls will be a thing of the past.

You can use these proven strategies to collect any overdue invoices. Later, you can add in a few other simple strategies to get your invoices paid by the due date.  Then you can avoid making collections calls altogether.

These are tried and tested strategies that I used in my own small business to get customers to pay on time.

Put these strategies in place, and you can look forward to your customers paying by the due date. You’ll never have to make collection calls again.

Collection Call Tips – An Overview:

  • If people like you, they will pay you.
  • If you make people’s lives easier, they will like and trust you.
  • If people like you and trust you, they will pay your invoice before others.

Making Collection Calls the Easy Way

Before you start making collection calls check out a few facts.  Knowledge is power, and you want to feel confident and powerful.

  • Check that your invoice and your customer’s order match.
  • Confirm that the delivery or service is complete
  • Make sure the invoice  is correct
  • Check to see if there’s any query on the invoice
  • Does anyone in your business know why the customer hasn’t paid?

Making Collection Calls to Get Results

Even though you have already checked for any problems, treat the first contact with your customer more like an inquiry.

Your customer is not your enemy.  Sure, they owe you money but, as the old saying goes, ‘honey attracts more than vinegar.’

You want to try to build a relationship with your customer, so use customer service to get the result you want.

  • Call the person who can approve the invoice for payment.
  • Use ‘open’ questions so the customer will give you the answer you need
  • Find out if the order was fulfilled correctly.
  • Confirm that they received the invoice
  • If the customer does raise a query, resolve it as quickly as you can.
  • Customers will not pay invoices that are under query so resolve it quickly.
  • When there are no more queries, remind your customer when the invoice is due for payment.
  • Ask if you can expect payment by that date. If the invoice is overdue, try to get your payment immediately.
  • If the customer stalls, ask if there’s a ‘problem.’

Always keep your cool.  Nothing was ever resolved by losing your temper or getting frustrated.

Making Collection Calls the Right Way

The key is to get customers to pay their bills by the due date by following a proven non-confrontational process.  When they pay by the due date, you can avoid making collection calls altogether.

Take a few minutes now to put the following collections strategies in place. These strategies will save you heaps of time and frustration.  You’ll start getting invoices paid by the due date and making collection calls will be a thing of the past.

  • Customers don’t pay incorrect invoices. Ensure your invoices are 100% correct.
  • Send invoices as soon as the work is complete.
  • Ask your customer, before the invoice is due if they are happy with the order.
  • If there’s a query, resolve it quickly.
  • Over-service your customer. Good service is rare, and people LOVE it.

I hope these proven tips are useful to you. What will you change now when you’re making collection calls in your business?

To your business success!