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Golden Rules of Credit Control

Golden Rules of Credit Control

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Published by Ray Murray
golden rules of credit control
golden rules of credit control

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Published by: Ray Murray on Jun 05, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Golden Rules of Credit Control
We see a lot of businesses who complain that their customers don’t pay on time.Whilst there are times and occasions when things go wrong and we don’t get paidmore often than not there is much that we can do to either reduce the risk, get morewarning or simply get the cash in faster.These 11 rules are not a credit control process but something much more valuable,they are a set of underlying principles that your credit control should be based on.If you have problems with getting your cash in then start by looking at your ownsystems and the principles that underpin them.
Rule One -
Credit control starts before you make the sale
Do you really know who the customer is?
Get full details
Legal status (company, sole trader etc)
Check who owns it
Who is your contract with?
Who is responsible for paying you and who is signing it off?
Record all this
Agree terms in writing
When will it be delivered?
When will it be invoiced?
When will it be paid for?
How will it be paid for?
Record all this
Start with no credit
We make an automatic assumption that we have to give 30 days – why?
If we are starting with that mental picture then 45 or 60 days does notseem so much of a stretch!
If we start on a pro-forma basis we have time to get a tradingrelationship going as well as a history
Outlaw 30 days from month end!
That is really up to 60 days
Work on terms from the date of invoice
Rule two
– Know your customer’s systems
Where will the invoice have to be sent?
What information do they want on the invoice and with the invoice? Provideit!
What person should the invoice be sent to? Send it to them!
Exactly what process does your invoice go through to get paid – know thesystem and stick to it
If they want you to jump through hoops then do it!
Rule three
- Raise it on time
There isnoexcuse for late invoices, raise them the same day as the deliveryat the latest the next day
Do not invoice at the end of the month – you could have given them 30 dayscredit before they even see the invoice
Post it out as well!
Clear up queries quickly and efficiently
Rule four
- Follow the invoice with a phone call
What is wrong with a friendly customer service call a few days later?‘Hi it’s Sara from XYZ Ltd here just calling to check that the goods we sent/servicewe gave you were received OK? Was everything OK with them? Fantastic, have youreceived our invoice? Was all OK with that? –if the answer is yes, then you canmention that they payment terms are 30 days and therefore it is due on…
(don’t forget to up sell at this point – you have a satisfied customer here ‘Isthere anything else we can do for you’)
Write down what was said and by who
If there was a problem with the goods, service or invoice then they will tellyou. You now have the opportunity to put that right now. Firstly, that’s goodcustomer service and secondly, you have cleared the query well before theinvoice is due for payment.
Rule five
- Call again just before the invoice is due for payment‘Hi it’s Bob from XYZ Ltd Sara spoke to ……. On …… regarding the ……. And hesaid everything was OK. Just calling to check on the payment - the invoice is due for  payment on ….. when can we expect to receive your payment?The key here is to get an answer, to get a commitment – even if that commitment is tocall you back….
Write down the commitment
Hold them to it
Rule six
– Record, record, record
Write it all down. Have a simple card system for each customer write downwhat is said by who on what date – customers are always surprised when youcan quote what they said last time you called, they won’t remember andneither would you without the notes.
You can do it electronically if you want…just do it
It is invaluable as a aide memoir and also as evidence if things should getnasty
Rule seven
– Get a commitment
If you make a call don’t accept ‘I’ll have look for you’, ‘I’ll sort somethingout’ or other wishy washy statements
Use open questions – ‘when will you call me back? by Friday?’

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