You provide a service, you receive money for this service. If you know a thing or two about invoicing, you’re probably aware that this only sounds easy. In reality, it never is. Not getting your payment on time is annoying. Furthermore, it can affect your business growth. However, some effective strategies will help you get your customers to pay on time. Educating yourself on this topic is paramount, so read on and get all enlightened.
1. Make Paying Fast & Easy for Your Clients
Offer a variety of payment options to your customers to make the process smooth and effortless. The easier the payment process is, the less likely you will have to frantically chase a late payment. Here’s how you can achieve the needed results:
- offer multiple payment options: whether your client wants to pay by check, credit card, or via an online payment system, make sure you accept their preferred payment choices;
- automate invoice processing: because sending invoices in the mail is time-consuming, use automated invoice processing software that speeds up the payment process on the side of your customers;
- use cloud-based invoicing programs: with these programs, you will enjoy creating, editing, and custom-tailored sending invoices on the go, irrespective of where you are at the moment;
- if you use a reliable payment gateway, your customers will arrive faster: this one is pretty self-explanatory. Check maxpay.com to know all you need
2. Bill Like a Pro & Always Be Polite
Responsiveness, polite language, and top-notch customer service can contribute to stimulating your customers to pay you on time. Follow these tips if you want to bill like a pro:
- if you and your client are about to enter a long-term project together, a retainer agreement will help your customer approach their budget wisely, thus enabling them to pay you faster;
- be as quick as you can when it comes to invoicing your clients and take all the needed steps to cut down your waiting time;
- build up to a regular payment schedule and bill your clients on the dates they expect to be billed: that way, you will be as clear as you can about when payments are due;
- be polite when invoicing your clients: you’ll be surprised how much of a difference phrases like these can make: ‘We highly appreciate your interest in our company,’ ‘We value your timely payments greatly,’ ‘Thank you for choosing us,’ etc. Be nice, and your clients may want to return the favor by making their much-appreciated-by-you timely payment;
- develop strong attention to detail: there’s a treasure trove of small factors that enhance the speed at which you get paid. Both the styling of your invoices and the actual language matter a lot. Make sure your invoice is clear, concise, and visually appealing.
- Avoiding mistakes speeds up the whole process tremendously, so make sure you double-check everything before hitting the ‘Send’ button.
3. Follow Up and Stay in Touch With Your Customers
Haven’t received payment after sending an invoice to your client? Be consistent in your communication with them, follow up to let them understand that you’re keeping tabs on the situation. Staying in touch with your clients and always being polite to them ensures you’ve done everything in your power to get paid on time.
Here are a few smart strategies to boost your communication with clients for the purpose of speeding up the payments:
- develop and maintain a positive rapport with your clients: if you invest time and effort in this, the result usually prevents a variety of payment-related issues from ever happening in the first place;
- go through your invoice system on a weekly basis: determining which customers have and have not paid is paramount, so make sure you never get distracted from this important task;
- send gentle payment reminders at regular intervals: that way, you will remind your clients of the deadline that’s approaching or has already passed;
- offer charming small incentives for quick payment: even a 3% discount on early payment may stimulate your customers to send payment as soon as possible.
4. Cleverly Deal With Unpaid Invoices
When invoices are past due, taking smart action can aid you in speedily getting the money you’re owed. Here’s how you should manage late payments whenever they take place:
- be firm on payment dates: sadly, if you become flexible in terms of your payment terms, this will only increase the number of past-due transactions;
- follow up on a regular basis: you’ve offered a service/product, and the fact that you want to get paid is more than natural. In case you haven’t received payment after your gentle follow-up email, call your customer to make sure they’ve received your reminder and are aware of the situation;
- add a percentage fee for past-due payments: this will definitely motivate most of your clients to pay on time;
- finalize your work only when you get paid in full: that way, you will demonstrate that a positive business relationship is when work and payment are inseparable;
- renegotiate payment dates in separate cases: losing a client over invoice terms is unwise, especially if they have a history of making timely payments; in these cases, you can consider discussing alternative payment terms with them;
- don’t forget to reward your customers and express gratitude: send them handwritten ‘Thank You’ notes or small but meaningful gifts to celebrate your mutually beneficial business relationship.
Conclusion: Analyze & Plan Ahead
Always bear in mind that not every aforestated tip will suit each unique situation. Therefore, practice using different strategies to ultimately start recognizing the most effective patterns. Don’t forget that with the right invoicing software, you’ll get to create custom invoices in the blink of an eye and eliminate the need to chase down late payments like crazy.
Last but not least, the best way to get paid is to sign a contract and create a professional invoice outlining each and every detail of the upcoming cooperation. So, what are your thoughts on the topic? How do you stimulate your clients to pay faster? Leave a reply in the comment section below to get the discussion going.