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Collecting late payments from clients is easier said than done

| May 6, 2020 | Firm News

There is nothing worse than a client that doesn’t feel the need to pay for your services on time. Despite the fact that you provide them with everything they need to make timely payments, they’re continually late.

And in the most serious of cases, there are clients that disappear for long periods of time.

Here are some steps you can take to collect late payments from clients:

  • Send a reminder via snail mail or email: Start with a friendly reminder, letting your client know how much they owe and the terms and conditions of your agreement. You hope that this is enough to push them into making immediate payment.
  • Make a call: If you don’t get anywhere with mail or email, it’s time to pick up the phone. Call your contact, explain your situation and ask them what can be done to remedy it as soon as possible. Sometimes, personal contact is all it takes to get the ball rolling.
  • Jump over your point of contact: If your primary point of contact is no help, contact the billing or accounting department to discuss your situation. Not only can they provide a realistic update, but they can also coordinate communication between you and your contact.
  • Don’t keep working for the client: When payments become a problem, it’s time to stop working for the client. Let them know that you don’t plan on doing any more work until they catch up on past due payments. Should they need the services you provide badly enough, this could force their hand.
  • Hire an attorney or collection agency: If you don’t have any luck in-house, it’s time to bring in a professional. Yes, it will cost you some money, but it greatly increases the chance of collecting. Not to mention the fact that it also saves you from having to act as your own collection department.

By taking these steps, you’ll find yourself in better position to collect late payments from clients. Even though there will be days when you feel like giving up, continue on your quest to obtain the compensation you deserve for the services rendered.