One of the top stressors of Americans is their financial well-being. Take into account owning your own consulting business, starting a software company or freelance career, and that stress is exponential. It's one thing to lack personal financial literacy but when your business and livelihood are also at stake, the anxiety can leave you paralyzed.
Now imagine that you have to contact a customer that's behind on payments. 😲
Before you pick up the phone or send that email, take a moment to review these tips for keeping your cool when they owe you money.
You may be saying, "aren't I breathing already?" but you might not be. In fact, anxiety can trigger panic attacks, where your fight or flight response is triggered. During these attacks of panic or anxiety, you may be breathing very shallowly or actually holding your breath. With the simple act of focusing on your breath, you're telling your body that you're fully present and aware.
Check Your Thoughts
Now that you've checked into your body, check into your thoughts. You may be panicked because you're assuming that your customer will be angry at you or blow off your needs. Remember that you've followed through on your side of the deal and they should too. It may be helpful to review your business contract and/or any correspondence that you've had with the customer. Reviewing these items will boost your confidence before you reach out to them once again.
Practice What You'll Say
If you're nervous about how to ask for money, look over these examples of why your customer may not have paid. Be prepared to make alternate payment arrangements if necessary. Have a script prepared for any possible pushback from your customer as to why payment is late or delayed. Once you've practiced what you'll say, you're ready to make contact.
Know that You're Not Alone
At the very least, remember that following up with customer late payments helps ensure that they get paid. Keep all correspondence, including your contract and any friendly reminders that you've sent along the way. If you're still unable to convince your customer to pay or they're unreachable, you do have options. Enterprise Recovery, a third-party debt collections agency, is available to help. Simply set up an account and upload the customer information and your correspondence to our online portal. We'll get to work immediately and keep you in the loop along the way. You don't owe us a thing unless we can collect for you so it doesn't cost anything to try.
Let us know if we can save the day for you. We're here to get you paid and protect your brand.