Collecting payments is a tricky balancing act of respecting your customers’ situations while also managing your own operations. Add the holiday season to the mix and it’s likely your struggles will only multiply.
But there are ways to navigate holiday schedules and payments while not looking like a Grinch. Roofing Contractor Group Publisher Jill Bloom speaks with Thea Dudley, CEO of Pocket Protectors, aka “The Credit Overlord,” on the issue of delayed payments during the final months of the year.
“Every single Thanksgiving, when that turkey hits that table, it’s merry-late-payment-season and it goes clear through the second week of January,” said Dudley. “The holiday schedule messes up payments. So everyone wants you to be super-thoughtful with it.”
By “super-thoughtful,” Dudley means they want you to accept excuses like “It was a short week,” and “We're short staffed, you’ll have to be understanding.” Those may be true, but at the end of the day, Dudley says you need to maintain your own cash flow to take care of your own people.
“I still have people that would like to get their holiday bonuses and things, so we need to keep that money rolling,” she said.
To counteract the holiday lull, Dudley presents four ways to get payments from those wayward clients, including relying on email versus snail mail, using payment portals, reexamining the terms of an agreement, and leveraging late fees or interest. She also suggests phrases salespeople can use when met with the aforementioned excuses.