Waiting for payment on an overdue invoice ─ I have been in this situation; I think all of us have been at some point, especially if you are a freelancer.
You are observing the deadlines, and you are doing everything that you can do to finish the project on time ─ but still ─ no payment.
Being graceful at this time is the last thing on your mind, as you are not a charity. Trust me, I know, as I work as a freelancer for the money that I need to pay my bills, too.
However, we can`t act like savages, not in today’s business world.
It`s essential in situations where clients do not pay to act calm and to be graceful ─ and to always approach the situation diplomatically.
What can we do in a situation like this to not to sound angry (even though we are) and to collect our payment?
Here are several suggestions to help:
1. Offer More Work
I know that you probably think that I`m crazy at this point. However, this will totally confuse your client who hasn`t paid you.
Offer them to do more work, opposite of yelling at them, for not paying you.
By offering a new approach, new ideas, or a different solution, your client will see that he needs more from you and will start paying you.
Crazy, but it might just work.
2. Blaming Someone Else
My dog has eaten my homework ─ the oldest excuse in the world ─ but it still works.
Blame your client for not paying your invoice, not yourself.
Pride works in extraordinary ways on humans, as we all act out when someone attacks our pride. In fact, kings declare wars in the name of pride, but you don`t need to declare war, as blaming your client may work, as well.
Actually, not blaming them directly is key ─ blaming their accountant or a person who is handling their billing sector is more suitable in this situation.
This idea removes the blame from any one person. Your client will then be more willing to work with you. They won’t be embarrassed that it was, in fact, their fault. You’ll both just casually blame accounting.
Darn that accounting department (ha).
3. Offer a Solution
Let`s say that you prefer PayPal, but your client prefers to pay you by check. What to do now?
In situations like this, offer your client many payment options. With invoicing tools, such as Sighted, they can pay you by credit card, and you will receive money in your PayPal account.
Again, it’s a win-win situation, and you will get your money quickly.
4. A Bribe in the Form of a Discount
I place an agreement where I explicitly say, that for every invoice that is overdue, I charge a late fee.
The more time that I’m forced to wait for my payment, the more that the percentage goes up.
However, people love gifts more than punishment.
So, I have changed my approach. I started to offer discounts for early payments, and you will never guess it, but my overdue invoices went down.
I have had only one invoice that is overdue in the last couple of months, because people love getting something for nothing.
It`s hard to work and not receive payments. It`s even harder to collect that debt and stay friendly and professional at the same time.
However, although staying on top of the situation is hard, getting angry and yelling takes away from your chances of getting paid.
So, it`s up to you how you will approach this task, and we hope that these tips will help!