Here is my second blog post about how to get your customer to pay. Again, I owe thanks to Inc. Magazine as I draw from their article, “How to Collect from Anyone (Even Enron)”.
Way to get paid #2: Always Bring Backup Documentation. When you do go to visit a customer make sure that you bring backup documentation of how much the customer owes you. In last week’s blog, I joked about going to collect money from a customer comparing the experience to Rambo going on a combat mission. Well, you don’t have to be Rambo to collect the bill but you do need to be prepared for any dispute over the amount owed to you and you do need to be “armed” with documentation if a dispute arises. You don’t want to arrive empty-handed only to hear customers say that they never received the bill, the bill got lost, or that the dog ate it. By all means, bring a copy of the bill with you. But also bring copies of any backup documentation that supports the bill. Bring evidence of what they owe you like time sheets signed by the customer’s managers, a copy of the purchase order that the customer issued you, or a copy of the estimate or quote that you gave them and they agreed to. If you bring backup documentation, you bring the necessary “ammunition” to support your position.
“The General who is skillful in battle is one whose opponent does not know how to defend against the attack”. — from The Art of War by Sun Tzu.