Setting up a payment plan for your B2B clients is essential to running a successful business. It can help you manage cash flow, encourage clients to pay on time, and maintain positive industry relationships. But what are the dos and don’ts for setting up a payment plan for your customers?
Do: Know Your Client's Needs
Before starting anything, ask your client questions like:
- How much are you expecting to pay?
- What timeline works best for you?
- Is there any room for negotiation?
Their answers will help create a well-structured payment plan that works for all parties.
Do: Set Up Terms and Conditions
Consider factors that may impact the plan such as:
- Payment Frequency (Monthly or Quarterly?)
- Payment Due Dates (Beginning or End of Periods?)
- Minimum Payments (Fixed or Percentage?)
Additionally, be sure to include any interest, late fees or collection / attorney fees in the agreement for transparency. You must ensure that all parties are aware of any terms or conditions before signing.
If possible, try to implement a system where you incentivize early payments. This will encourage your clients to pay on time and minimize being late or missing entirely.
Do: Emphasize Communication
Good communication now is key to avoid misunderstandings later. Stay on top of your clients by providing them with regular updates about due dates, changes to the agreement, and more.
If possible, set up an automated system where notifications are automatically sent out when payments are due or late fees need to be applied. This eliminates the possibility of your team forgetting to remind customers.
Can’t Get Your Clients to Pay?
If you’ve tried incorporating a payment plan to no avail, it may be time to consider working with a commercial collection agency to recover your debts. Not sure if it’s time to send your overdue accounts to collections? Read our blog that breaks down the right time to send accounts to collections!
Don’t: Be Aggressive or Inflexible
Financials are sensitive enough as it is. The last thing you want to do is make your clients feel like an inconvenience by treating them rudely. Not only does this kind of treatment damage your relationship, but it also impacts your business’s reputation and reduces your chances of successful debt recovery.
Approach every client empathetically when it comes to payment. If they had the means to pay you upfront, they would. A rough-and-tumble attitude does nothing but damage your business’s reputation.
Don’t: Charge Your Clients More
Some business owners think that they should charge customers more simply because a payment plan is inconvenient to them. This behavior is inconsiderate, unethical, and a poor business practice.
Payment plans are about collaborating with clients to find a solution that works for everyone—not nickel and diming them. Yes, they are less convenient than upfront cash, but strong-arming clients because they lack resources is aggressive and erodes any goodwill you’ve built with them.
Don’t: Neglect Communication
Effective business is entirely predicated upon excellent communicative skills. Stay in touch with your client’s consistently, and make sure to use multiple channels so that you’re giving them every opportunity to be informed.
However, be careful to not be overly pushy, either. Keep all communications regarding payment cordial, fact-based, and objective driven. If your organization acts poorly, you’re just as guilty as your clients are.
Summing Up the Dos and Don’ts
Creating an effective B2B payment plan doesn’t have to be complicated—keep these simple dos and don’ts in mind and it won’t be! By understanding your client’s requirements, structuring a proper agreement, and handling communication carefully, you ensure a smooth setup process for all involved!
Work With The Gold Standard in B2B Collections
If you continue to struggle with the B2B collections process after following this guide to making a payment plan for your business, turn to Rapid Collections! We have decades of experience in the collections industry and have a 95% success rate with all of our collection cases. Contact us today and get your AR back on track.