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How Not to Get Stiffed, Improving Your Collection Procedures

Some businesses have slow paying customers or past due balances because they didn't "train" their customers in the beginning.

It is important that your customers know your credit policy and/or terms of payment, BEFORE they become a customer. Reiteration of your credit policy, when payment is overdue, is a good step to take in trying to obtain payment. Always ask for payment when it is justly due.

You should never extend credit to a new customer without having them fill out a credit application and go through the credit approval policy. Once you extend credit, it is important to maintain accurate records on an accounts payment history.

Adhere to your collection policies no matter what. You cannot see the future or changing market conditions. Try to keep current with trade reports pertaining to specific companies and industries.

Change your collection letters frequently, you can make them stronger and more action oriented.

Discourage payments on account or changes in payment terms. To many payment plans or changed payment terms can impair your cash flow.

When you receive payments "on account" be sure to follow up right way with a letter or phone call thanking them for their payment and telling them what their new balance is and when to send it.

On large accounts call or send a reminder just a few days after terms if they get delinquent.

Ask to speak to a manager, or owner when making collection calls rather than speaking to a secretary or receptionist. Go right for the decision maker.

If a customer disputes the quality of merchandise, or service, price or delivery, you should attempt to resolve this right way. Insist they pay the portion of the bill that they are not disputing while you work out the disputed problem.

If all else has failed you may want to refer the account to an outside collection agency.

For more information on Improving your Collection Procedures or collecting more money faster order Become the Squeaky Wheel, a Credit & Collections Guide for Everyone, ISBN# 0-9706645-1-6 $29.99 available at www.michelledunn.com or www.amazon.com or your local bookstore.

Michelle Dunn has over 17 years experience in Credit and Debt collection. She is the founder and president of Never Dunn Publishing, LLC, is a writer, publisher, consultant and the Editorial Advisor for Eli Financial Debt Collection Compliance Alert Newsletter.

Michelle started M.A.D. Collection Agency in January 1998 and ran it successfully until she sold it in December 2004. She owns and runs Credit & Collections.com an online community for credit and business professionals. http://www.credit-and-collections.com

Michell e has been featured in Ladies Home Journal, PC World, Home Business Magazine, Home Business Journal, Entrepreneur, The Internet Web Source, Professional Collector, and in Home Based Business for Dummies, Shameless Marketing for Brazen Hussies, From the Home-Front The Simple guide to starting and Running a Home based business, she was a featured guest on (NPR) National Public Radio and has been in many newspapers nationwide. She has many published articles and 3 published books to add to her list of accomplishments.

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