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What To Do When a Customer Won’t Pay For Your Services

You have to accept that you’ll come across bad people when you’re running a social media business. While the vast majority of people that you interact with will be nothing other than a positive force, there’ll be some that seem to take, take, take.

This is the case with those pesky non-paying customers. It happens to everyone at some point. You provide a service, and then when it comes to payment, the customer is nowhere to be found.

Or at least slow to get out of their wallet. So what should you do in that situation?

I’ve had this happen here once over the 2+ years in business. It’s frustrating because you spend a lot of time planning out your social media posts and creating graphics. Remember, time=money.

I’ll take a look at a few key tips below for what to do when a customer won’t pay you.

You provide a service, and then when it comes to payment, the customer is nowhere to be found. #InspireToThrive Click To Tweet

Avoid Anger

Yes, anger would be a justified feeling to experience when it feels like someone is ripping you off. And actually, a moment of anger is useful.  You’ve got to let your frustration out somehow.

But anything more than a moment of anger will be problematic, both for your peace of mind and your ability to get money back from your customer.

If you get angry, then you’ll be inviting them to get angry in return and to use it as an excuse not to give you your money. Don’t give them that window: stay cool, calm, and collected.

If you get angry, then you’ll be inviting them to get angry in return and to use it as an excuse not to give you your money. #businesstips Click To Tweet

What To Do When a Customer Won’t Pay – Get in Contact Quickly

If you’re going to get the money that you’re owed from the customer, then you’ll need to get in touch with them. Ideally, you’ll already have their contact information, and they answer you when you send reminders periodically.

If you don’t have their details, or they don’t reply, then you’ll need to step things up. Using skip trace software can help you to identify where they might be. Once you have their information, you’ll want to get in contact tactfully.

Fifty phone calls a day won’t help, but a weekly check-in would be appropriate. I’ve given clients 30 days to pay so if they go over that amount, I begin the check-in.

Next, I put a note on the invoices that there is a 15% charge for late fees and mention it in the phone calls.

Fifty phone calls a day won’t help, but a weekly check-in would be appropriate. #collectinginvoices Click To Tweet

Outsource the Debt

You don’t have to go through the process of getting your money back all on your own. There are companies that can help you. If it’s a sizable sum, then you could hire a debt collection agency to reclaim the debt for you.

They’ll take a fee, of course, but you’ll get a decent share of your money back. If you want to wash your hands of the debt altogether, then you could sell the debt, though it’s unlikely that you’ll get all that much money through that approach.

If you don’t reclaim any of the cash, then remember that you can write it off your tax bill.

The Negotiation Approach

If you are in contact with the customer but have a sense that they won’t pay the full amount that they owe you, then you could enter into negotiation.

Ultimately, if you know that you’re not going to get the full amount, then it’s better to get something at least. How you proceed with this process will depend on various factors, such as how much you’re willing to accept.

Hopefully, you’ll get your money, but whether you do or don’t, be sure to never work with them again!

This method has worked well for me over the years as I’ve had one client that stretches out paying me but always comes through. I know ahead the payments will be late and run the social media business accordingly.

If you are in contact with the customer but have a sense that they won’t pay the full amount that they owe you, then you could enter into negotiation. #socialmediabusiness Click To Tweet

Finally, What To Do When a Customer Won’t Pay – Get The Money UpFront in the Future

Another way to protect yourself is to get at least 50% of the money upfront from new clients. If you don’t know the client well, be sure to collect at least 50% upfront from them before you begin the social media services.

Have you encountered clients that did not pay for your services? I’d love to know more in the comments below! (Or if you have another tip to add!) 

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