We’ve all heard the phrase “cash is king”. Every business needs good business processes to ensure it gets paid for the goods and services it provides. As well as that, every business needs to proactively sell its goods and services.
When the economy and business are both booming “selling” and ensuring payment is received is straight forward. But in uncertain times, when many of our customers are struggling, it becomes even more important… and challenging.
We have heard some horror stories of businesses stopping credit and ramping up their debt collecting without any thought for how their customers are coping. Those businesses are tone deaf and their loss of customer goodwill significant.
It is important to be empathic – ask your customers how they are coping and how business is going. Show that you care and consider the loyalty they have shown to you in the past. Give customers payment options and look for win/win solutions. Be considerate and flexible.
Debtor Management Systems
Having good debtor management systems is best practice – but dial up your empathy. Send digital invoices and statements promptly and use credit control flowcharts. Payment reminders can be automated, while scripts and templates are useful and effective. Train your admin team well, do credit checks for new customers. Micro businesses could also consider outsourcing their credit management function to free up scarce resource.
It’s OK to sell!
We all hate “product pushers” and feeling that we are being sold to. But selling is not a dirty word and it’s OK to sell so long as your product or service is solving a problem for your customers. The SPIN sales approach based on Neil Rackham’s 1988 book “Spin Selling” is perfect for these uncertain times. SPIN is an acronym for:
Situation – understanding your customers current situation
Problems – recognising their current problems and challenges
Impact – identifying the impact of those problems if not resolved
Needs – agreeing on the next steps to solve the problems and avoid the impact
Using the SPIN approach to selling helps your customers get the products and services they need, promotes customer loyalty, whilst also ensuring your business survives and thrives.
Free “Getting Paid” webinar
Register for Q2’s “Getting Paid” free 50 minute webinar at 2pm Wednesday 26 August 2020. We’ll discuss the required mindsets and systems, the cash conversion cycle, the 7 causes of poor cashflow, as well as some of the government, tax and bank support currently available to businesses. Register here
“When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down and their positive energy replaces it. That’s when you get more creative in solving problems.” – Stephen Covey