Making your clients pay their bills and invoices on time can be a real hassle. It might be easier for you to do your job and relax, hoping that your clients will make the payment. But until you get a message of the transaction, nothing is sure. If your clients fail to make the payment on time, it will be detrimental for your business, especially if you were expecting the money within a certain timeframe. Thankfully, there are ways you can get your clients to pay their bills and invoices to the SME Accounts Receivables on time:
1. Inform them about payment expectations and send gentle reminders
Before the project or service begins, you must know the payment schedule and the total cost to your clients. There shouldn’t be any confusion or else they might give an excuse for timely payments. Be clear about how much they have to pay and when they have to pay. By setting the expectations early on, you will be able to avoid surprises. If the project involves recurring payments, you can send them a gentle reminder about the upcoming payment so that they can get it ready in time. It is not uncommon for a business to forget about the payment date, especially if they signed the contract long ago. You can put together an email that lets them know the exact amount they owe and when they should make the payment.
Poor communication will set the wrong standard with the clients. If you are setting the standard where they can get your services without making timely payments, changing this precedent will become very difficult. You have to be straightforward and consistent from the start to ensure timely payments, as it will help you with better debtor management.
2. Don’t forget to follow up
After you have sent the invoice, you should send a follow-up message regarding the same. It is possible that your clients got busy and overlooked a payment. If they don’t make the payments within a few days, you should send them a friendly message reminding them of the same. As long as you act professionally, they won’t mind receiving a gentle follow-up. You can also work on streamlining the process for them as it can help them make the payment easily. If it takes less time to make the payment, you will get paid faster and won’t have to deal with a lot of hassles. It might seem like an unnecessary investment at first, but by setting the right systems up, you will be able to get results faster.
If possible, you should opt for upfront payments. This way, there won’t be an issue of delayed payments.
3. Offer your clients an incentive for making a quick payment
If you offer some incentives to your clients for making quick b2b payments, you will not only speed up the whole process but also build customer loyalty. Your clients know that if not now, then later, they will have to make the payment. However, if they know that making the payment soon will get them some additional benefits, they will be more inclined to do so. This can be an offer around your services or products. You can offer a week of service for free, give access to a feature, or just send out some gifts. If they know that they are rewarded for making timely payments, it will give them a reason to do the same.
4. Add a link to make the payment in the invoice
More often than not, your clients might have to open up another program, sign in to their accounts, and then make the transaction. So, even if they want to pay immediately, they might not have the time to do this. They might have to get away from their system and have the session timed out. They might not want to go through all the steps again and will leave it for later. What you can do is integrate payment links directly into the invoice through your invoicing system. This way, your clients will be able to make the payments with a few clicks. It will help avoid any distractions that might be delaying the payment. Try to make this process as easy as possible. You can use AR Automation software for this.
If this was a perfect world, your invoices would have gotten paid as soon as you provided the service to your client. However, the truth is that if you want your cash flow to be strong, you might need some help. Incorporating these strategies will help you reduce your financial stress and maintain your relationship with your clients.