Robert-photo-w-icon-150-4-7-10-FINAL4-150x150An order is no good unless you are paid for it. Sales folks are often compensated for the orders they book. This makes sense – without orders, there is no business. But getting the order is only part one of the transaction. Getting paid creates the profit to compensate the salesperson, and everyone else.

Proficient salespeople realize that they share responsibility for ensuring that their company gets paid for every order they book.

Follow these 3 guidelines to ensure that you’ll get paid:

1. Don’t extend credit automatically to new customers:

  • If an order will have a large impact on your bottom line, run a credit check before signing a contract.

2. Send invoices promptly & make your payment expectations clear at the beginning:

  • The sooner your invoice is in the mail, the sooner you get paid;
  • Specify payment terms in your proposal & negotiate them together with your quoted price;
  • Include your agreed payment terms and due dates in your purchase Agreement and require that your customer sign the written Agreement.

3. Make it easy for customers to pay you:

  • Keep your promise! Deliver what was promised and confirm this with the customer without mentioning payment due;
  • Consider direct deposit, early payment incentive, online or down payment/partial payments to ease customer cash flow and reduce your liability;
  • Accept partial payments – partial payment ensures that you get paid something even if the customer defaults on the rest of the invoice. With this option, specify when the final payment is due, i.e. upon delivery, no later than 30 days after installation, etc.;
  • Save your best payment arrangements for those customers who contribute the most profitability to your business and who pay promptly.

When payment is late:

  • If appropriate, seek first to preserve your relationship by working with your customer to resolve the outstanding amount due;
  • The more quickly you follow up on a missed payment, the better your chance of getting paid. Set up a system for flagging late payments and a standard procedure for contacting the customer when his or her payment is late;
  • Begin by asking your customer positively and respectfully if they realize they’re behind on their payment and when you should expect to receive it;
  • If necessary, work with the customer to develop a payment plan; coordinate any post-sale support or maintenance services with the payment schedule in this plan;
  • Increase the frequency of follow-up calls (once a week > every 3 days > every day) as the delinquency extends until you receive full payment.
  • Before contacting a collection firm, first advise the customer and specify a date after which you will be forced to refer collection to an outside organization if payment is not received.

Your customer likely expects to pay you. These 3 methods can ensure that you do get paid.

 How do you ensure that your sales personnel
retain the connection between price and payment terms?

 What terms do you use to make it easy for customers to pay you?

 

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