The Ten Commandments of Successful Credit Control

 

The Ten Commandments:

Our aim with this blog is to provide a series of easy to remember rules, within a common sense process that will enable you to successfully manage your Credit Control and ultimately improve Cash-Flow.

 

  1. Treat Every Customer as a potential Debtor

Like you, we like to think the best about people and none of us want to turn potential business away. All we are advising is, be aware of who you are dealing with, people and businesses are not always what they first seem. Remember this guy? Arnie, a nice all American college kid………then he morphed into a wolf..!

 

 

Sadly we have seen this play out many times for clients, ” He was really nice, we had a great professional relationship but then when we sought final payment he was like a different person”..

 

It’s not always obvious either, big names are often enticing as we strive to grow. Who would have predicted the fall of household names like

 

 

2. Get an Account Opening Form

The more information you have, the more you can react with if needed. Take time to ensure you have captured the individual and business names, addresses, contact and account numbers etc. That way if you find yourself in a payment dispute situation at least you will have the information needed to move forward.

 

Here is an example of an account opening form for your reference:-

  1. Do your due Diligence

Not just on your new customers but check your existing customers too on a regular basis (at least,quarterly).

Access tools to help such as:

  • Experian
  • Equifax
  • Creditsafe

Do your background checks using websites e.g:

www.companieshouse.gov.uk/beta

www.biz.gov.uk/insolvency

www.thegazette.co.uk

Example:

 

4.Check the purchase order

Always check any purchase order, to make sure they match the company you have an account for. Make sure the dates, volumes, costs etc are accurate to avoid misunderstandings and a reason to delay payment.

 

  1. Send an order acknowledgement

After receiving an order, send your own acknowledgement confirming the particulars of the sale. Again this allows clarification for all parties and avoids an reason for delayed payment.

 

  1. Invoice promptly and correctly

Invoices must be sent on time with :

  •         Today’s date,
  •         Due date,
  •         Invoice details,
  •         Amount
  •         Bank account listed.

 

7. Send a pre due email

Send a gentle reminder email a few days before the invoice is due, to identify any issues. This way if issues exist you still have time to address them ahead of the payment date.

 

8.Be prepared

The customer may ring to discuss, don’t be put off by the debtor it’s your money, ask for it !

Here are our suggestions for being P.E.R.F.E.C.T when asking for what you are owed:

  • PREPARATION
    • Have your call script to hand so to be both concise and professional.
  • ENTHUSIASM
    • Be bright and alert. Nobody wants to talk to a grump.
  • REALISM
    • Ask yourself if the debtor can meet your request or will you need to negotiate.
  • FOCUS
    • Don’t go off track. You’ve called to ask for your money so ASK FOR IT !.
  • EMPATHY
    • Although you need to be firm, you must also understand the debtor’s position.
  • CONNECT
    • Try to form a bond with the customer, they’ll be more likely to resolve your claim.
  • THE OUTCOME.
    • Always remember why you’ve rung, you need your money so make this your goal.

 

  1. Have a letter of claim

In order to chase an overdue account further, you must have sent a letter of claim that adheres to Court Pre-Action Protocol.

Your letter of claim must include :

  • Reference to contract
  • Breakdown of the account
  • Details of claim
  • Date for payment

Check out our Pre Action Protocol Blog>>>

  1. Have an exit strategy

Have a clear plan as to what to do next…how are you going to recover your monies and who is going to do it ?

 

Our Philosophy      

A Pound of Prevention  

is Worth an Ounce of any Cure.

 

If you would like to discuss your current Credit Control process with a view to understanding how you can improve it or if you should be outsourcing it please get in touch.01535 654 594 or info@corpandcomm.com

 

 

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