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Counting Down The 10 Biggest Credibility Mistakes – #5
Encourager-In-Chief: October 31, 2018
This week begins another series of blogs. This one is specifically geared to solving the problems associated with maintaining credibility in your business setting.
#5: Saying you are going to send a payment and then not sending it.
If you’re an entrepreneur, I can already tell you the two groups of people who’ll put your business at the greatest risk: slow payers and no payers. These are the people who tie up all of your cash flow and make it virtually impossible to get your money out of them because, in most cases, they know that it will cost you more to take legal action against them than the amount of money you are seeking.
I used to have a client that was a notoriously slow payer. Every time I called and spoke with the controller, he would tell me, “I just put your check in an envelope to go out with today’s mail.” And yet, without fail, it would take two or three other phone calls before we would ever get our payments from him.
I eventually caught on to what was happening. I’d park in his company’s parking lot and call him from there. Whenever he told me that he just put the check out for that day’s mail, I would say, “I happen to be very close by. I’ll just stop in and save you a stamp.” This was the only way I could ensure that I would get a payment from him.
I used to work for a florist who told me her banker told her to never pay a bill until the last day it was due. She would deliberately hold off paying her utility bills and her inventory bills until the thirtieth day. This was so she could hold onto as much of her cash flow as she possibly could. She was a widow in her 60s and had never run a business on her own before and I was a teenager making deliveries for her.
Now that I have my own business, I make it a point of paying my invoices either the day they are received or, at worst case, that same week. I want my vendors to want me as a customer. You never know when you’re going to need a favor from a supplier. I believe in making as many deposits into my relationship bank accounts with my business associates as I possibly can. Usually, if I need a favor they’re very willing to accommodate me.
“Make your word your bond.” -- Famous business axiom
This excerpt is taken from my Focus, Follow Up, and Follow Through seminar. I encourage you to order my book, Moving Towards Mastery.