Encountering frustrating clients is an inevitable experience for business owners. And nothing is more frustrating than encountering a customer who doesn’t pay.
There are plenty of things you can do when a client hasn’t paid the remainder of their invoice, but here are three ways, in order from nice to “b*tch better have my money,” to help you collect funds you owe.
1. Have Empathy, Courtesy, and a Degree of Flexibility
Most of the time, clients forget to send in payments because they’ve been busy.
Other times, they might have fallen behind on some other obligations, or they’re waiting on a payment themselves.
While their financial woes are not your problem, demonstrating a professional attitude and remaining flexible can help you. When you’re patient, courteous, and respectful, people tend to suck up their bullshit excuses and find a way to pay you – if they know what’s good for them.
If not, then you can move on to the next level of collection: daily contact.
2. Contact them Daily
It’s your money. Get it when you need it – and that’s right freakin’ now.
If you’ve signed a contract, they’ve signed the same contract, and there’s a lack of adherence to the contract, then you’ve got every right to contact them every single day until you know what’s up with your money.
Yes, it is annoying. No, you should not have to go that route in the first place. But it is what it is, and every day you let pass waiting meekly for them to pay you decreases your chances of getting paid in the first place.
Now, if contacting someone on a daily basis leads to them ignoring you further, blocking you out, or simply becoming more adamant in not paying you, by all means, take it a step further, and start taking the nice girl gloves off.
3. Contact Your Attorney
This is where having an amazing network of Boss Babes comes in.
Sending the client a notice from your attorney – complete with that official legal letterhead – usually snaps a deadbeat client back into reality. At the end of the day, some people won’t take you serious until you have that letter drafted and kicked out by your own personal Johnnie Cochran.
Depending on the relationship you have with your lawyer, this might be included as part of your monthly retainer, or it can be paid for a la carte.
Regardless, have that letter drafted, signed, sealed, and delivered as soon as legally possible. Having this reference will make for a strong case of evidence in court – should it (ever) come to that.