Do you know that there can be three pitfalls to selling? Did you also know that if you fall victim to these, you stand to violate up to three of the “Five C’s” of borrowing?
First: What if there is a product problem and then the customer won’t pay? The result: Your cash flow is impacted and your business may be viewed as not being in control of whom you are selling to or what you are selling!
Second: What if a customer wants to be “cute” and won’t pay or maybe used a mechanism to defraud you? Minimally, cash flow is impacted but there are other affects as well.
Third: What if a customer can’t pay? Again, cash flow is affected first. However, then the question arises: Are you in control of whom you are selling to?
So, let’s peel back the onion on these quickly and easily. Also, please let us know your feedback; we’d love to hear from you!
Product problem and the customer won’t pay: Fix it…now! When this happens your reputation is on the line and people would rather tell others how you screwed up instead of what you did right. Of note: Once you fix it, be very sure that you follow up – even several times. Why? This serves as a positive reminder to the buyer that builds rapport. You can’t put a price tag on showing your customer that they are important, but you can reap great rewards when you do!
Let’s talk about the “cute” customer that plays games. First off, try to find out if they are taking advantage of you or if they are actually in a bind with their cash flow (you know who to send them to right?). If they truly are in a bind, work with them BUT if they are being “cute,” we hope that you are protected.
The second greatest point of fraud, of course, is the bounced check. Use a service for this. Many services do online capture of the funds right then and there, thus avoiding any games down the road.
Credit checking on customers or potential clients is invaluable as is having a binding sales agreement. Both can be a little time consuming and even threatening to potential customers, but it says that you have no tolerance for games.
Let’s talk about intent such as one that muddies the waters in my business almost daily: How can a customer defraud you? If you accept credit cards and the customer goes home, calls their credit card company and says that you didn’t fulfill your obligation selling to them then you’ll probably find your bank account short tomorrow morning. “They can’t do that,” you say? Don’t count on it…they more often than not can.
If you complete transactions via credit cards, we suggest that the receipt your customers sign clearly states that any malarkey on their end will be greeted with legal actions and that they will pay for and/or will return their goods in perfect form with no baloney! Protect yourself always!
What if the customer can’t pay? When you find this out, you have one of several actions: Create a payment plan, collect your goods or take legal action.
Better yet: Have some sort of credit checking process in place. Once that customer has your goods, you’ve got trouble and often times the laws can twist things around in their favor whereby you can sometimes be found at fault if you don’t follow perfected procedures!
Keep constant contact with your customer…and be sensitive but assertive. If you need legal action, take it and remember: If this is happening to you, rest assured that it is happening to others.
Let us know your thoughts and experiences…it may help someone else!