Late payment calls or emails can be awkward, and they can distract from the more important aspects of your business. Avoid chasing down your clients for payments by sending a friendly reminder before the payment is even due.
A Friendly Reminder
Keeping the communication flowing between you and your customers is a great way to build and maintain a positive relationship. If you’re only waiting until a payment is past due to send a reminder, then you’re missing an opportunity to have an amicable interaction with your clients.
The reminder you send before an invoice is past due will be a polite note to notify the customer that a deadline is coming up. Choose light, friendly language. The client hasn’t done anything wrong, so you don’t want to chastise them for not paying you yet; you just want to encourage them to send payment before the deadline comes:
- This is a friendly reminder that your invoice [#] payment is due next week on Friday, June 7th.
- I’m reaching out to let you know that a payment deadline is coming up for your last invoice.
- Please let me know if you have any questions about the invoice or if there’s anything I can do for you.
Remember that your clients’ job is to run their businesses, which sometimes means they have to prioritize tasks over paying you. A quick check-in will often be all it takes to get a payment on time.
Let the Computer Do the Work
The best part of this tactic is that it doesn’t have to take time out of your schedule.
If you use an invoicing system like FG Receivables Manager, you can send an automated email. Set it to send your reminder email 7-10 days before the invoice is due.
You can also use a service like Boomerang for Gmail to schedule all your reminder emails at the beginning of the week.
Be Specific About Action
Make sure to include a “call to action” in your email. It may seem obvious to you, but be specific about what you want the client to do, as it might not be as clear to them:
- I look forward to receiving your payment this week.
- You can send a payment by check, PayPal, or credit card.
- Thank you in advance for your prompt payment.
And don’t forget! When they’re ready to send you the money, they won’t want to hunt down the details. In your reminder email, include the address where you want the check, the email address where they can send a PayPal payment, or any other details they need to complete the transaction.
Become a Priority
Most likely, yours is not the only bill your clients have to pay every month. Don’t wait until the payment is overdue to send them a reminder; make sure they know that paying you should be a priority. By reaching out ahead of time, you’re making it clear that you take your business and your cashflow seriously, and you expect them to do the same. You are engendering a relationship of mutual respect.
When your clients know you’re someone who expects to get paid promptly, you’ll be at the top of their list every time.