Rock, Scissors, Contract
November 16, 2011
The Voice of the Money
November 16, 2011

Screen-Shot-2011-11-15-at-10.12.48-PMLeave “salesthink” in the Sales office!

One of the main confusions in the small and medium-sized business sector is the result of “salesthink” applied to the task of getting paid.  Salesthink occurs when a business is operated solely on the basis of sales ideology – to the exclusion of other ways of thinking.  And that’s the wrong prism for looking at payment problems.

Getting paid is a hardnosed proposition when voluntary payment is what’s not happening in your business.  Time-honoured scraps of selling doctrine like “the customer is always right” or “don’t aggravate the customer” are unhelpful and misguided when applied to receivables.  Let’s explode the first fallacy right now.  The customer is definitely not “always right”.  In fact, customers are often totally and spectacularly wrong.  Some misunderstand the contracts they’ve signed or the nature of the supply or service they’ve secured; they need patient education.  But others are just downright dishonest and dissembling in their bobbing and weaving over payment.  As a result, “aggravating the customer” is sometimes an inevitable and a necessary consequence of following-up vigorously on pastdue issues.

After all, who’s really aggravating whom in the non-payment scenario?  If a supplier is experiencing needless and unwarranted payment aggro, then turnabout’s only fair-play.  If non-paying customers create a situation where they feel “aggravated” by a supplier’s efforts to get paid, whose fault is that?

Feeling guilty for chasing your own money?  Don’t.  Ever.

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