Business Booby Traps #4

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Business Booby Traps #4

Encourager-In-Chief: April 8th, 2020

Just say no to no-payers.

Recently, I made a big, huge, stinking faux pas. I should’ve known better, but I goofed.

My coaching client invited me to speak to a group of his salespeople at one of their company meetings. While there, I met most of the salespeople and spoke to almost all of them individually. One of them expressed interest in taking my Sales Academy. Since these people all work on commission, I offered to let him attend on a payment plan. He completed the program in April and he was to begin paying in June of the same year. I didn’t receive my first partial payment until September.

Normally when somebody request a payment plan, I take down the credit card information. Having gone through a nasty divorce, he did not have a credit card. Nor did he have a bank account, so I couldn’t get him to give me any of the checks in advance.

Keep in mind that I had him sign an agreement to pay the entire amount before the end of that calendar year. He also agreed to pay all court fees necessary in the event he did not pay and I had to sue him. This document was witnessed by an objective third-party.

In the course of the rest of the year, my coaching client — who I considered my leverage in the situation — changed companies and moved to Long Island, New York. The salesperson who took my Sales Academy quit his job and started up his own construction company. He refused to return any phone calls or acknowledge my emails.

Since most of the amount was paid, the remainder was too small to take him to court and so it had to be written off as a bad debt. Although this was a disappointing experience, it did teach me a valuable lesson about what is reasonable and unreasonable to expect when creating a payment plan.

Please learn from my mistake and make sure that you have a reasonable expectation of being paid before granting anybody any grace on making timely payments. I know I will.

Take care of the customer until debt do you part.
- Bob Tasca

This blog is based on information from my seminar and entitled, Communication Excellence III: Negotiation Excellence seminar.

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