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Chase your overdue invoices successfully

Overdue invoices: we all have to deal with them, whether we want to or not. Here are 3 tips that can help, without the headache of sending payment reminders. 

Ever had a non-payer or late-payer? There’s a big chance you have.

In 2014 the commercial intelligence company Graydon announced that 67.1% of invoices - two thirds - are paid on time in Belgium. That means that one third of invoices are not paid on time.

The percentage of companies that have problems with this is even higher. In the Netherlands research by the Dutch Association of Insurers shows that a good three quarters of Dutch SMEs have to contend with non- or late payment.

With the risk that they can no longer pay their own suppliers in time – or worse.

We have already given you tips for making your invoices, so that hopefully they will be paid faster. But how do you deal with overdue invoices? 

Here are 3 tips to finally get them paid, without the headache of sending payment reminders. 

1. Automate your reminders

Factuur reminder

Sending payment reminders must be about the most irritating job in your company. So a lot of entrepreneurs don’t do it, or do it too late.

But without a reminder there is even less chance that your customer will still pay.

Fortunately, the better business software has a fantastically handy option: automatic payment reminders. They get sent automatically, with a message you can choose in advance – while you get on with other things. 

With Teamleader you can set up a whole schedule of reminders. You can select how many days after the expiry of the payment term you want to send an email reminder: 5 days, 10, 63, 151? You can set up as many reminders as you like. 

At the same time you can decide whether you will charge late payment interest or reminder costs. And finally, you can choose the template: a standard text, which you write and adapt as you wish. You can choose a unique standard text for every reminder, personalized with the name of your customer, of course.

Does your customer pay the invoice? Then it will be registered and the reminders will stop, of course. 

2. If payment reminders don’t work

Unfortunately, even after a few friendly emails, an invoice can still remain unpaid. A telephone call can do wonders then. Just ask whether your customer has seen your reminders. Perhaps he’s just too busy to check his mail? Sometimes personal contact is the solution. 

If that still doesn’t help, switch to paper, and send a good old postal reminder. 

You can do that in Teamleader too. When you create a reminder you can also indicate that it should be sent by post. The post office will print your invoice and send it to your customer. 

Do you send your invoices and reminders by post anyway? Then switch to a reminder by registered letter. You can choose between a registered letter and a registered letter with receipt of delivery.

3. Thank customers when they pay

Thank you

Professional relationships are often only as good as the last contact. So it’s best to keep it positive. 

That’s why it’s an excellent idea to thank late payers, too, when they settle their invoices. 

Remember, it’s not always a case of not wanting to – perhaps your customer is short of cash and has paid you with his own private money. In that case he will certainly appreciate a ‘thank you'. Moreover, there’s a chance that he’ll pay faster next time. 

Using Teamleader it’s really easy. You receive automatic notification when an invoice is paid. With a click of your mouse you can send your customer a ‘thank you’ message that you have set up beforehand. 

The most profitable half hour of your financial year?

You see, an automatic system for payment reminders can be set up just like that. And if you look at how many invoices you manage to get paid, or paid faster … 

And you don’t even need to check your payments every month and send out reminders. It’s a no-brainer! 

About the author

Benny Waelput

Game of Thrones has Maesters, we have Benny: a man whose vast experience, life-long devotion and superior intelligence have made him a walking, talking and inexhaustible source of knowledge about Teamleader - and strong Belgian ales and bass guitar too. Knowledge this hard-working ex-customer success, ex-inside sales, now full-on copywriter is more than willing to share with whoever's asking. "Benny knows" is a phrase so often heard, you tend to forget that a couple of beers make him sound more like a potty-mouthed pirate than a scholar.

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