Get Paid Sooner & Boost Your Cash flow
Today’s strategy is a no-brainer, but one that can often be over looked. The sooner customers pay, the more cash you’ll have on hand to pay your expenses -- so it will really (literally!) pay to spend some time developing systems to get customers to pay sooner.
Shorten the Purchasing Decision and Ordering Processes
Spend some time monitoring what the average lead time is -- from the first contact that a prospect has with your business, to the time they pay you for your product or service.
What usually holds up the process?·
- Is it that they need to consult multiple decision makers? ·
- Is it because they're not really sure how the product/service works? ·
- Is it because they’re not 100% convinced of the benefits that you offer?·
- Or is it because the product purchase isn’t a high priority and other things always seem to take precedence?
Whatever it is, try and identify some common trends and put in place measures to shorten the time frame.
- Make it easy for customers to buy by offering as many of the following as are applicable to your business: online, telephone, in person, and mail ordering systems.
- Make sure that you are as flexible as possible in the manner in which they can pay you by offering as many of the following payment systems as are applicable: credit cards, debit cards, cash, cheque.
- Lower the barriers to doing business with you by offering a money-back guarantee. Make your customers a “ballsy” promise (that you can keep) and it will be a no-brainer for them to purchase from you.
- Educate your prospects and clients. Provide all the information they need to choose the best possible product/service (yours!).
- Ensure that all decision makers are present when you or your sales people are conducting a sales presentation.
- Include a Frequently Asked Questions document that handles any buying objections. Answer their burning questions before they turn into worries.
- Follow-up consistently, persistently and in a conversational, inviting manner. Make your points of contact about them - how can you help your prospect or client? Remember this: most of your competitors will not keep following the prospect up; so you can really own your market if you do.
- Make it attractive to buy soon with coupons, early bird rates, bundles, and value-adds.
- Shorten the Delivery Timeframe - What happens between the time a customer orders and the time you deliver? For many businesses, there are many steps that happen here, and if one thing goes awry the process can be dramatically lengthened – annoying your customer and delaying your payment!
Here are some things you can do to speed up the process.
- Develop systems which increase speed and efficiency;
- Train your people to perform their roles faster and more effectively & undertake time management training for your people so they get more achieved in their day;
- Analyze job roles of all staff and identify unnecessary double-ups;
- Identify why backlogs occur and fix the problems;
- Use the fastest shipment methods economically possible;
- Ensure you have “back-up" suppliers of stock and/or raw materials so if one supplier runs out; you can access another one quickly.
To Your Success!