What if my customer doesn’t pay my invoice?

| Annelien Maurissen

The corona crisis has an enormous impact on our Belgian entrepreneurs. Despite the many efforts and protective measures, not everyone can survive. This creates a snowball effect of unpaid B2B invoices and gives entrepreneurs financial headaches. How is your company preparing for this?

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Entrepreneurs are having more difficulties to pay invoices on time due to Covid-19, which means they have to make difficult financial decisions. As a result, we notice a downward trend in payment behavior between companies. In recent months, B2B invoices were more often paid after the payment term and/or only partially. For example, the drying up cash flow of one company means that other companies also have financial difficulties. Now that the protective measures are being scaled back, we will gradually be confronted with more bankruptcies.

Is your company already preparing to maintain its cash flow? Probably yes, but have you already made a distinction between customers who do not want to pay your invoices (on time) and those who simply cannot pay your invoices? They require a different approach.


Entrepreneurs who do not pay your invoice

Some customers will be able to pay your invoices, but prefer to postpone the payment. This can have various reasons, such as other worries during this corona crisis, administrative disorder or from the idea that they can monitor their own cash flow for a little longer. Sometimes also a – temporary – impossibility to pay. Are you not talking to them about this? Then you will have to wait longer and longer for your money. This can put your company in serious trouble. On the basis of these three steps you prevent such a scenario, while your customer relationship is maintained.

  1. Close follow-up of payment terms

State a clear payment term on your invoice. Has the payment term expired without payment? Anyone can sometimes lose sight of a payment. Send a friendly reminder right away or give your call, because persistence wins. Certainly, in a scenario where people careful consider who to pay first. Whoever shows initiative will be paid first. However, do not threaten, because that is counterproductive. Fair communication works best.

  1. Start the conversation

Do you notice that your customer is systematically paying late? Does he need more and more time to pay you? Then have an open and honest conversation with your customer. It is important for entrepreneurs to discuss any financial problems. This is the only way to get through this crisis. Ask why your customer’s payment behavior has changed and be empathetic. However, this does not mean that you should not insist. At the same time, explain why you are counting on that income and why you cannot live without it. After all, your customer’s financial headaches should not become your headaches. But thinking along helps.

  1. Outsourcing offers a solution

Follow up unpaid invoices? That is often time consuming. That is why it can be interesting to call in a recovery expert. When your customer receives a reminder from such an expert, they will be more likely to pay. Recovery experts excel in nudging, or friendly adjustment of problematic payment behavior.

Before calling in any debt recovery expert, it is important tot take a close look at a few things. What does that recovery expert emphasize? Is he only busy with collecting your unpaid invoice as quickly as possible or does he also take your customer relationship into account? What costs does he charge to your customer? In other words, what does his intervention cost? In these times of crisis, you naturally want to keep as many customers as possible. Finally, it is important to check whether he collects the full invoice amount for you or whether he deducts a percentage for himself. Does a recovery procedure free of charge sound too good to be true? It is possible with Go Solid!


Entrepreneurs who cannot pay your invoice

Do you suspect or know that your customer has difficulties paying invoices?

  1. Advance or ‘cash on the barrel’ principle

You can request an advance or use the ‘cash on the barrel’ principle, which means you’ll only deliver if your customer also pays the invoice at that time. Make sure that to bring this new in a friendly manner. Explain that many entrepreneurs are currently struggling because of the crisis and that you have to take some necessary measures. Avoid blaming your customer. In this way you customer remains your customer. This is not an unnecessary luxury now that more and more entrepreneurs have to consider bankruptcy.

  1. Partial payment or payment plan

Discuss a partial payment or installment plan. It is essential here that realistic goals are set. Determine an amount that will be paid monthly and follow these payments closely. Also know that you can charge interest. Put these new agreements on paper and have them signed by your customer. This way you avoid discussions at a later time. Is your customer not adhering to the payment plan? Then you can still call in a debt collection expert, such as Go Solid.

  1. Certificate of bad debt

Call on Go Solid free of charge. If after processing your file it appears that recovery is not possible, you will receive a certificate of bad debt. With this certificate you can record the claim in your accounting and reclaim the VAT amount.


Certainty within 4 hours

Go Solid is your ideal partner for all your undisputed B2B invoices. When you submit a file, Go Solid immediately examines the solvency or financial capacity of your customer. This way you will know within 4 hours whether your invoice can be collected. Fast, efficient and already proven! No less than 75 percent of the files are successfully completed within 8 weeks, while maintaining the customer relationship.

Go Solid also guarantees you a service free of charge. With us you don’t have to pay an advance or deposit. We collect your fill invoice amount. The cost doesn’t have to deter you.

Curious? Send us your unpaid invoice and we will do the rest!