How to get paid by customers, avoiding delays or not receiving payment at all? Here are 9 tips to do it through better invoice management.
f you too belong to that category of professionals and entrepreneurs who periodically have to remind their customers to pay an invoice, fear not: by following these 9 simple but practical tips, you will be able to get paid more punctually.
You will thus avoid unpleasant delays or, in the worst cases, missed payments, which can cause liquidity problems.
Verify Customer Trustworthiness
Even before closing the deal with the customer, investigate his account. Is it a reliable partner? Do you have outstanding debts behind you? You can find the answers by analyzing company financial statements, searching for a possible presence in the Computer Register of Protests, or, again, with a more in-depth assessment conducted by specialized companies .
Determine Clear And Precise Payment Terms
To do this you must, first of all, consider the standard methods of the sector in which you operate: how do your competitors behave? In addition to complying with the others, always make sure that the customer you are addressing understands and accepts all the clauses of the agreement at the beginning of the relationship so that he cannot find excuses for paying late.
Then, if you want accuracy from every point of view and have nothing to reproach yourself for, report the expiry date of the various payments on the individual invoices, so as to provide the debtor with a timely reminder that allows him to respect the agreements.
Include Various Payment Details In The Invoice
First rule: never give anyone the excuse to pay you late! In order for your income to arrive with the utmost punctuality, you must put the customer in the ideal condition of having all the tools necessary to pay off his debt within the established terms. How to do?
Always include on the invoice :
details of works performed – goods supplied;
the due date of the balance;
the different payment options provided;
all the information necessary for payment.
Furthermore, given that each company or customer may have additional needs, explicitly ask the contact person what other information he needs to make the billing and payment process as punctual as possible: in this way you will have done everything necessary to satisfy his needs.
Expect Fractional Pay For The Most Demanding Jobs
When you find yourself managing rather long-demanding jobs, offer the customer (in advance) the possibility of receiving split payments that allow both parties to be absolutely calm. A good method could be to request an initial sum of 30% before the start of the interventions, 50% upon delivery of the draft, and 20% once the project is completed: in this way the professional has the dual advantage of covering the costs and to obtain his own remuneration, while the client is sure of the effective execution of the work.
If Possible, Request An Initial Deposit
This is especially useful when you have very large orders or projects in your hands, such as the creation of a website for an international company, the delivery-assembly of furniture for the new headquarters of an entire company, etc. In order for you to be able to cover initial expenses without paying any money out of your own pocket.
It is always better to start such collaborations with a deposit which, among other things, allows you to bind yourself more closely to the customer, encouraging him to pay what he is owed even in the event that the intervention requires a long time: if out of 10,000 euros of total expenditure he pays 3,000 at the beginning, it is more difficult than he chooses to abandon the collaboration during the work because, for sure, he would completely lose what has already been paid without having anything in his pocket .
Make Different Payment Methods Available To The Customer
Whenever you start collaborations with different realities, always ask the contacts which payment methods they prefer to make the economic transaction simple, precise, and punctual.
Cash, cheques, wire transfers, SEPA direct debit, or credit card? The more options you provide to the customer, the more chances you have that he will pay within the established terms. All this translates into less waste of time and greater serenity, especially on your part.
Offer A Discount For Those Who Choose To Pay You Upfront
One of the ways modern marketing uses to incentivize customers to settle a bill quickly is to offer an early payment discount. It’s not a question of offering astronomical discounts, but of offering appreciable savings that remain confined to convenience for the company, often even just 2% is enough to make a difference.
Send The Invoice As Soon As Possible
Depending on the individual agreements with the company you work for, always be punctual in sending invoices. How did you decide to proceed? Invoice sent at the beginning of the month with payment at the end of the month, payment at 30-60-90, etc. days after receipt of invoice or payment after invoice? Whatever the method agreed upon, always remember that, if you want to receive the money due by the due date, you must be the first to be punctual with the issue of invoices.
Furthermore, it is always better to contact the person in charge of economic matters directly: if, for example, you have been hired by the company’s marketing manager, certainly (except in special cases) you will not have to speak to him to receive your compensation, because, even if he chooses to act as an intermediary between you and the administrative area, the processing times for individual invoices would be unnecessarily extended.
Communicate With The Customer
Communication is the basis of a good relationship with the customer. The reasons for a delay or non-payment can be many and must all be taken on a case-by-case basis. Communicating with the customer can be the key to a strong and lasting working relationship. Sometimes a visit or a call can often be more decisive than many emails or letters. Of course, even in communicating there is a limit, at some point, someone has to pay!
Now that we have explained to you in detail how to get paid, you can put our valid advice into practice with all managed customers: customers sometimes to be “educated”, with whom, in order for everything to proceed in the correct way, it is always good to put things clear from the start, even before the invoice is issued.