We’ve all had clients that don’t pay on time. We streamline our billing process, automate payments, & add late fees, yet there will always be stragglers. Late payments hurt our bottom lines, increase our admin tasks, and create tension in our customer relationships.
"I’m going to let this client go."
"I know they can afford it, they’re both doctors!”
We get it… it’s frustrating.
I’ll offer up a compassionate and business-minded solution.
Begin with empathy.
I’ve experienced not having money to pay for my children’s activities. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I certainly didn’t want to admit my situation. I’d rather seem too busy, having not gotten around to paying. Can you remember feeling this way? Pride is a powerful emotion.
If payment is late, make a phone call.
"Hey there, it’s Eric… I see that you haven’t set up your payment information yet. I want to make sure everything’s okay. If there’s a money issue, please let me know. I value you, I enjoy teaching your family, and trust me… I’ve been there before."
Compassionate action. Here’s what you’ll find.
94% of clients will apologize profusely, insist there isn’t an issue, and enter payment right away. You won’t have this issue again.(because you’re on autopay! If you’re not, get Fons)
3% will open up to you about a hardship, and you will offer to work with them.(you charge a high enough rate that you can afford this, if you don’t, let’s chat)
2% of the time your client will apologize profusely, insist there isn’t an issue, and your intuition will tell you there is... Offer to make it easier for them if you know they are struggling. You’ll sleep better.
1% it’s time to move on. Your client would be best suited by moving to another provider.
Care about your clients, treat them with kindness,(even if you feel disrespect) and I assure you that late payments will go away.
Have ideas you’d like to share? Please let us know!
Eric Branner is CEO/Co-Founder of Fons. He's also a music teacher, father, guitarist, and mama's boy. He lives in Seattle with his wife Alyson, two awesome children Edie & Huck, & his dog Happy.
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