Cheeky Bastard

in hive-148441 •  2 years ago 

Maybe a different approach is needed and can just wear this on days I am chasing payments.

I have had one of those stressful week where I have had to do a balancing act with my biggest customer who I have known for over 10 years personally.They short paid their account last month by a fair amount and still expected stock to be delivered. My business partner and myself decided to play good cop bad cop as we didn't want to upset them but also needed to be paid in full.

The first week went past with some subtle hints discussing certain clients short paying and how it screws up cash flow. That tactic didn't work and I had to move to another tactic hitting their accountant head on. After 15 phone calls and literally hours of back and forth he agreed it was a mess from their side and some confusion regarding the short payments. He had not known that certain products didn't carry no settlement discount and had taken much more than he should have off the end total.

Now that was settled I thought it was all sorted and we could get things fixed and back on track. Another two days passed and still no payment was received yet they are now bitching where is their stock. They thought we were playing games with them as there was some underlying reason why we wouldn't suddenly supply them.

Today my mate/client phoned again moaning like hell and I just told him straight. I said that how can he honestly expect stock if he hasn't paid his account. I went on to say it wasn't being unreasonable and it was only fair they pay up especially in these difficult times. I explained where the short payment came from and why they messed up and why they can't have stock.

What he said next blew me away as he said you are holding my stock to ransom. What went through my head was "oh shit" there goes another client but quite the opposite. He said they are having to play the same game to get payments out of their customers. Luckily we have sent lawyers letters to other clients and they have paid. It should never come to this though. He was now fine with this and it is being sorted out and will be paid on Monday.

The subject changed and we chatted about something else afterwards. It just goes to show that sometimes beating around the bush doesn't work and just blurting something out is far better. I think the figure was only a few percent, but when you are dealing with 7 figures it adds up quickly. I must admit I hate chasing people for money especially if I know them as I feel awkward. If I don't know them that well I don't give a toss and is more business like down the middle.

Having good relationships with customers is paramount to growing more business, but can also leave you more vulnerable. I swore at my mate today as we have all been trying to play nice and communication without insulting each other led us to this point. Normally i would visit their offices and discuss it face to face with their accountant or my mate but not under the lock down as he isn't there right now. Still onwards and upwards and we live to fight another day.

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