ABCounting Ltd

Tips & Advice

Everything you need to know to build the business you want

photo of people using laptops

Asking for payment over the phone: everything you need to know

Every entrepreneur experiences payment delays at some point in their business journey. But when it comes time to pick up the phone, it’s never a pleasant conversation. To simplify phone payment inquiries, here’s everything you need to know.

When do you need to pick up the phone?

If you’ve sent enough emails and haven’t received a detailed response explaining why your payment is late or when to expect payment, it’s time to pick up the phone. In other cases, you have no response and/or tell the buyer that the collection condition can be avoided.

What to have when making the call?

Before you make the call, make sure you have whatever it takes to keep the conversation going and get it organised quickly. For example, check that the information is accurate and up-to-date so that it has already been disclosed and you have the information on hand. Issue your invoice by entering the number, the quantity, the goods/services the invoice was intended for, the payment date and due date, the number of days the invoice is due, and the time and date of publication.

What do you say? 

Money is always a touchy subject, so stay calm and courteous when you’re on the phone and when you want to be around. Be understanding and empathetic for the client; which will make it easier for both parties. 

If you don’t know what to say on the call, you can prepare ahead of time. Chances are your customer won’t have to pay for one of these 5 reasons:

  • They forgot – be understanding but ask, now that you have them on the phone, if they are in a position to make the payment now. If they’re not, make sure to agree on a date when they will pay it and note this in your system.
  • The invoice wasn’t right – ask the client to explain the problem and if there is one, update the invoice and resend it to them. If they’ve misunderstood, explain the issue and ask if there’s anything you can do to help facilitate the payment.
  • They didn’t receive it – confirm their email address and if it’s the right one, explain that X number of reminders have been sent and the days they were sent. Ask them and enquire whether they can make the payment now over the phone. If not, agree on when you can expect the payment to be made and make a note in your records.  
  • They are not at the office – ask if they can make the payment now over the phone. If not, find out when they will be back in the office and agree on when the payment will be made. 
  • They’ve already paid – apologise for the inconvenience and ask them to confirm when the payment was made and ask for any references they may have. If you don’t know whether they’ve made the payment, let them know that you’ll check this ASAP. If you know that they haven’t, ask them to please double check that the payment went through on their end.

Prevent having to have these conversations in the first place

No one wants to pick up the phone and ask if they don’t have the money, so focus on getting your credit check process straight. This saves you a lot of conversations if you can resolve it yourself.

Automating your billing and email records helps you to avoid a lot of late payments, but you still have to make a phone call or two. After all, anyone can ignore email, but ignoring someone on the phone is much harder!

Share this post

laptop technology ipad tablet

Making Tax Digital!

Tax digitization is an important part of government planning to help individuals and businesses  get taxes correctly and manage their operations  HMRC’s goal is to

Read More »