By Bridget McCrea

In "Bridging the Cash Gap, Part I", Elliott M. Portman of the Portman Law Group, P.C., in Hauppauge, N.Y., discusses what to do when your distributorship is getting squeezed between a supplier that wants its money and a customer asking for extended payment terms. Here, he shares six solid tips for closing the cash gap.

 

SIDEBAR:

6 Ways to Get Paid Faster

In Speeding Up the Payment Cycle, Elliott M. Portman shares his top tips for getting paid faster (read the complete article and all of his tips here).
 
1. Don't delay the first phone call to the customer. Don't delay demands. A reminder that you are expecting payment should have the desired result. And call the accounts payment clerk, not the CFO. (The CFO or president of the company might transfer you to the A/P clerk to extend their time to pay.)

2. Ask for your money, as a matter of right. Don't apologize for demanding what is yours.  It isn't necessary to spew fire during the telephone call, but it is imperative that the customer understands that you will not be put off further.

3. Get credit card information as part of your customer order system. Asking for credit card information as part of your credit granting process has the positive effect of weeding out the bad customers who aren't serious about paying.

4. Make sure your invoices are correct and complete. If you eliminate confusion, you eliminate reasons for delay in payment.

5. Put terms and conditions on your quotes and contracts. Include a penalty for late payment (finance charges) and an ability for you to recover attorney fees from the customer in the event of a default.

6. Understand your customer's payment cycle. If they issue checks on a fixed day of the month, time your invoice to arrive a few days prior to checks being cut. Invoices at the top of the pile might get paid first.

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McCrea is a Florida-based writer who covers business, industrial, and educational topics for a variety of magazines and journals. You can reach her at bridgetmc@earthlink.net or visit her website at www.expertghostwriter.net.