If there’s one thing, business owners can’t stand, it’s reminding clients about late payments. Whether it’s for a bill or an invoice, there’s nothing more awkward and uncomfortable than reaching out to clients for money they owe you. What if they get offended? or I’m too assertive? or what if they won’t come back? Yes, there are plenty of things that go into your head when you’re about to ask clients to pay you. It is even harder to ask for payment without the conflict of delaying work submissions or adding late charges.
We get it – asking for money is hard. But you deserve that money. It’s your right to ask for it, especially if you’ve rendered the necessary services or sent the ordered product. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Here are ten effective tips that will help get your clients to pay their bills earlier to avoid conflict between you and your valued clients.
Tip #1: Ask for a Deposit or Upfront Payment
This tip is more suitable for larger operations or projects. An agreement to pay half of the total bill at the onset and the remaining amount after completion is a sign of trust and honesty. It’s also an indication that you’ll get pay ad the end of every job. Not only will this strategy help improve overall cash flow, but it will also get your clients to pay before the work is complete.
Tip #2: Invoice Your Client ASAP
As soon as you finish the project, you should send your invoice right away. An invoice links the completed work and payment in a single document. In addition to that, sending an invoice right after completing is found to get contractors paid 98 percent of the time.
Tip #3: Offer a Retainer
If you’re going to work long-term with a client, make sure you provide them with a retainer. Doing so will inform the client and make them aware of how much they should pay you and when. It also helps the client manage his or her budget more effectively and get you paid faster.
Tip #4: Establish and Stick to a Regular Payment Schedule
If you told your clients that you regularly send invoices on the 1st and 15th of the month, you must stick to those dates. Keep in mind that your clients will be expecting an invoice from you on those schedules. So, make sure you deliver. Having a consistent invoice schedule will make sure that you get paid on time.
Tip #5: Make Clear Negotiations on Your Payment Terms Upfront
When it comes to negotiating payment terms, it’s always essential to have a written agreement between you and the client. This agreement should outline the terms, deadlines, corresponding fees, and other important details regarding payment. This document will also serve as proof that you and the client have agreed on the content that it contains.
To make sure, you can emphasize or reiterate these payment terms on every invoice you send by adding short, one-liners. Some good examples would include “Due upon receipt” or “Total invoice amount due within 14 business days.”
Tip #6: Incorporate Kind Invoice Language
While it may seem unimportant, adding lines like “Thank you” or “We appreciate your timely payment” will improve your relationship with your client. Always be friendly when communicating with your clients. Use polite tones and words to make you more welcoming. By doing so, your clients will return the kindness by paying on time.
Tip #7: Offer a Discount for Early Payment
No one would say no to a discount. So, make sure you take advantage of this mentality by offering small compensations for clients who pay early. It can either be a percentage of the total invoice amount, which adds up for clients as a cost advantage. A 3% discount for every early payment may seem small. But clients will look at it as an opportunity to save money, which is something they will likely not pass up.
Tip #8: Penalize Late Payment
One way to get clients to pay earlier or on time is to incorporate a penalty for late payments. You can add a percentage fee for late payments (e.g., 3% penalty fee to invoices not paid within the 15-day grace period). The additional cost will late payments will have a significant impact on your client’s bottom line. In turn, it will motivate them to settle their accounts the moment they receive your invoice.
Tip #9: Automate Your Invoice
If you’ve been sending your invoices via mail, you’re probably away just how long it takes to reach your clients. In addition, you also run the risk of your invoices getting lost, which will add to the expense of billing your clients. So not only are you getting delayed payments, but you’re also losing clients in the process.
By automating your invoicing system, you can streamline everything and make the entire process convenient for you and your clients. Automating the entire invoicing process through exceptional solutions like ReliaBills will quickly get your invoice in your clients’ hands. An automated, digital system will get rid of any paperwork or mailing expenses. At the same time, it also keeps your bills at the top of your clients’ minds.
Tip #10: Offer Flexible Payment Methods
Finally, your clients are always looking for convenience, including how they pay you. Some clients prefer paying by check, while some prefer credit cards. Some want to pay through an online system, while some prefer direct deposits. With this in mind, having flexible payment methods will ensure that you get paid in multiple directions. In addition, it will also help encourage early payments.
There are a lot of ways you can do to make sure you get paid faster. With these tips in mind, you can start improving client relationships that will get you paid on time or earlier. Don’t forget to rely on automated systems like ReliaBills. Automation will make your invoicing procedure much faster and easier for your clients.