Q: Can I ask my customers to pay without upsetting them?
A: Probably Not
Apologies if you were hoping for a different answer, but before we launched Peasy.com, we conducted exhaustive research on how businesses perceive the problem of late-payments (somewhat necessary, seeing as that’s what we set out to solve).
We found a staggering 86% of businesses considered their relationship with customers to be more important than getting paid.
Effectively, what that says is as long as your customer keeps giving you business, you’ll love them forever and probably name your children after them.
Why your suppliers couldn’t care less
So why doesn’t it work both ways? How come your suppliers don’t seem to give a toss about upsetting you? Sure, they’re all smiley smiley before you place your order, but hold off paying when it’s due and watch how they turn on you. Before you know it, they’ve cut off supplies and taken you off their Christmas Card list.
Actually, your suppliers do care —they desperately want your next order but they also have a deep-rooted desire to stay in business. And if their customers don’t pay them, that’s not going to happen.
You can probably recall the friendly suppliers you used to deal with that weren’t so bothered. They only occasionally hinted that it might be nice to be paid, but they were easily distracted when you placed another order.
If only they were still around….
You’re either chasing orders or chasing payment
We found most businesses tend to be either good at selling, or good at collections — but rarely great at both. Quite often, the businesses with the best sales have poor cashflow. The businesses with cash rarely have dramatic growth.
A successful business has both —and that’s a balancing act that requires a good product — and just as important, clever cash collection.
Of course, sometimes you don’t even need a good product. Just see what happens when you hold back payment from those good people working for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. After waiting patiently for about 3 minutes they’re scurrying around for a brown envelope to stuff it full of Penalty Notices, Interest Demands and threats of making you homeless.
Call me a cynic, but I don’t think they’re worried about upsetting you.
But where’s the middle ground? How can you keep a good relationship with your customers, whilst asking for money?
Whilst it’s tough to avoid shamelessly promoting our solution (Peasy is the solution!), the way to get payment without upsetting customers is to make them feel loved — even in times of prising money out of them. Tell them you need to oil the cogs of your own business and that in order to sustain the fantastic service and quality product you offer you need to be paid on time. You’d hate to increase prices to account for additional costs of interest etc.
Try to avoid mentioning your high-rate deposit account needs topping up or the Rolex you had your eye on is now available.
Co-Founder & CEO
Getting Customers to Pay Quicker — and Love you for it