Editor’s note: Pss…we have FREE call scripts to help you on your collection calls HERE
In a perfect world, all of your clients would send you timely payments for each billing cycle. You could send out invoices, and the payments would start pouring in, even before their due dates.
In the real world, though, friendly reminders can make all the difference for getting you paid on time.
Outline Your Goals
As with all billing phone calls, you need to make sure to have a set of goals before you dial. Your time is valuable, and so is your client’s. Outline what you hope to accomplish to ensure no one’s time is wasted.
The goals of this reminder call will be dictated by your relationship with the client. With a more formal relationship, the call will go much differently than it would with a client you know well. Either way, though, spelling out your goals ahead of time is essential.
- Ensure she got the invoice earlier this month.
- Let her know that we are now accepting PayPal, in case that’s easier than sending a check.
- Ask if she has any questions or feedback.
The list does not need to be complicated, and a friendly phone call can be less scripted than the follow-up phone calls you might have to make after someone is late with a payment.
Customer Service Opportunity
Think of the first past-due collection phone call as another customer service opportunity: you are checking in to make sure the customer was happy with the goods or services you provided.
We imagine that if clients have a complaint, they will bring it to us, but often they need the nudge of a phone call to share this feedback. By reaching out proactively, you’re able to take care of any problem, which also erases any excuse for them to avoid payment.
Leave space in your script for friendly discussion. How is your son? Did you enjoy your sister’s wedding a few weeks ago? A phone call gives you a unique opportunity to connect with your customer that an email does not, so don’t write these friendly chats out of your script!
Your customers have a lot of bills to pay, and unless you provide them with food, safety, or shelter, you might not be on the top of their list.
If you reach out to a customer before their payment is even due, it will do more than just help your relationship; it will also show that you are serious about getting paid on time. And that little bump may push you up the list and get you paid faster.
Picking Up the Phone
Sometimes, sending a friendly reminder letter prior to a due date is sufficient. If you have known your client for a long time and know that he usually pays you, or if you touch base with him frequently, you might not need to make a phone call. A simple email letting him know that the due date is coming up will get the payment in your door.
But with newer clients, or with the ones you know to be regularly delinquent, getting on the phone with them can be the extra impetus they need to pay on time.
Be prepared for your call with our many free call scripts. We break them down by tone and give you a guide for how to resolve conflicts (key take away: suck on a mint to prevent yourself from getting too angry!).