There are always some companies that have past due invoices and can’t seem to get them paid. They might be quietly waiting to get paid not wanting to contact the client for fear of appearing “desperate”. Sometimes a big part of the problem is no response, it is bad enough when you are not getting paid, but when orders keep coming in and you are not getting any acknowledgement to your collection efforts, and you just can’t keep processing orders.
There are steps you can take to get paid on those past due invoices and keep new invoices current.
Step #1 Gather together all the past due invoices, and stamp them PAST DUE.
Step #2 If you have an email address or phone number with a contact name for your client, email them or call them and give them the information on the past due invoices and let them know their account is on hold.
Step #3 Mail the invoices to your client with return receipt requested or send them in a flat rate Priority Mail envelope with delivery confirmation.
Step #4 Send a letter with these invoices stating the age, invoice numbers, their PO#, your account #, total amount due, and any other pertinent information.
Step #5 Tell them their account is on hold and you will not be shipping any more products or providing any services to them until these invoices are paid. You can include a self addressed envelope and state that you have enclosed an envelope for them to send their check. Give them a date, to have this paid to you.
Once they have received the package, email or call them. Ask them what they are doing with the invoices. Ask them questions such as:
Do they have to be approved by someone else?
If they have to be approved, who has to approve them and when will they give them to that person? Get that person’s direct number if possible. Find out if that person signs the checks.
Are there any discrepancies with the invoices?
When will the check be cut? When can you call back for the check number?
Once all the past due balances are cleared up, you need to think about future invoices. Do you want to extend credit again or do you want to have pre-payment or payment at the time of the order. Whatever you decide put it in writing. If you can both sign the agreement, that is even better. Remember, having a credit policy in place tells people you mean business.