All businesses dread the day that they’ve handed over a product or provided a service, sent off the invoice using their preferred invoice app (what seems like years ago), and now the clock continues to tick by with no sign of payment.
It can be a frustrating and scary time for businesses, and who knows whether the payee has run off to nowhere.
As a responsible business, it’s your job to chase up your invoices to make sure they’re paid, but even though the payee is late, you still need to act professional and give the customer a positive experience where you’re not rude, and every party involved comes out a winner.
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To help with this, sometimes sensitive process, today we’re going to explore the progress of how to respectfully request a payment from pending clients. We’ll even chuck in a sample script to get you started!
Invoicing before the due date
For the sake of this article, let’s say your client is due to pay their invoice by the 1st of January.
Before this due date, you need to make sure everything is set up within your business for your customer to have an easy experience.
This means issuing the invoice as soon as it’s required, giving the customer more than enough time to pay.
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Make sure the date is clearly described to them, and you detail your terms and conditions as to what happens if the customer pays late.
Send invoices directly after due date
Once the payment due date has come and gone, give it a couple of days before sending a gentle reminder to your customer.
In most cases, if a customer has forgotten about your invoice, this is the only reminder they’ll need to pay.
“With this reminder email, be sure to detail how the customer can get in contact easily with you in order to organize a payment date and attach a copy of the invoice to remind them of their purchase.
You may send several reminders during the space of a month averaging once per week,” shares Mark Evans, a freelance writer at Paper Fellows.
When it gets to a month or more without payment, this is where you’ll need to start pushing for payment.
Here, you’ll need to remind your customers that leaving a payment this long is not acceptable and that you are now starting to consider legal action.
Again, make sure you detail how the customer can get in touch with you easily, and address the urgency of the matter. If the customer still doesn’t pay, it’s nowtime to seek legal action.
Perfecting your email script
Before you continue, it’s worth noting that you should maintain professionalism with a payee, even if the customer is mucking you around.
In order to maintain this image, you need to keep all your emails written to the highest quality.
Confirm invoice payment
When the customer pays during any stage of the process, it’s important to make sure you send them a receipt and acknowledge the payment you’ve received.
This creates a positive relationship with your customers and is a polite and respectful way to close that individual sale.
A sample script
This sample script will need to be edited by you when it comes to the different stages of the payment process, and depending on how late the payment is.
However, the top tips to remember here are to keep it clean and tidy with little room for misinterpretation.
[Your Business Name] Invoice: [Reference or sale number]
Hey [Client name]
Thank you for your recent purchase from us.
Your invoice for this purchase is now due to the amount of [amount] and is expected to be received by [due date].
We would highly appreciate it if you can confirm this payment. Feel free to get in contact with us using the contact methods below if you require anything.
[Your name here]
While requesting payment is not the most pleasant or interesting email you’ll ever write, it’s necessary for the success of your business.
Don’t make such a big deal of it and be polite and kind. Hopefully, these tips and the template will help you write a great payment request.
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