It is often a challenge to collect payments without offending the other party that has delayed a certain payment or is not following the business terms properly. The buyer might have deliberately missed it and did not care to inform you or maybe it happened just out of ignorance. The best way to avoid an awkward situation is by sending a payment reminder that’s well-worded and same time, meets the target of realizing a payment successfully.
Asking for payment the right way
Sending a payment reminder is the most professional and effective thing to do. But if you want to ask your client for payment the right way, here are some steps to follow:
- If transacting with a client, confirm if they received the invoice you sent
Before going further, make sure that there wasn’t any miscommunication or error about the document. After confirming this, you can send a polite payment reminder letter stating that the client’s payment is now past due.
- Send a short email or letter requesting payment
If you didn’t get any feedback from your client after your initial check-in, you can make a follow-up inquiry with a short but professional letter. Outline here the date due of the invoice and how many days have passed.
Moreover, mention any late fees as part of your late payment terms. You can specify the various ways the client can send their payment then attach the original invoice to your letter before you send it out.
- Reach out by phone
If your late payment letters still haven’t gotten a response, the next best step is to call your client by phone to sort things out. This may at times seem intimidating and awkward but this is a good move to get your client’s attention.
- Learn about collection agencies in your locale
If all previous attempts of requesting your client’s late payments are still unsuccessful, you might want to consider seeking the services of a collection agency to assist you in securing the payments.
- Review all of your legal options
Your final recourse is to consider all of your legal options. In such a case, you have a good chance of winning a lawsuit against the client if you have:
A legally-binding agreement that contains an outline of the work you completed.
The total payment amount that the client must pay.
The payment deadline in a document that includes both of your signatures.
Late Payment Letters
How do you write a payment reminder?
A payment reminder is a document sent to a client that reminds them that their payment is already overdue. While there is a legal procedure that ensures that your company will get paid, writing late payment letters is an easier and quicker way to settle the obligation.
The letter may serve its purpose if your client simply forgot about the deadline and the letter gives them the benefit of the doubt. Here are some things to consider when writing a payment reminder email or letter:
- Your basic information
It’s prudent to first introduce yourself and your job position, together with the name and business address of your company. With this information, the client already knows exactly who the letter is from. Also, write down the date when you wrote the letter for record-keeping purposes.
- Your recipient’s basic information
This includes the clients’ name and business address and their contact details. This information ensures that the letter’s recipient is the person who receives it. To avoid having the letter getting dismissed, be as accurate as possible with the contents of the letter.
- Your tone
Always maintain a polite, friendly, and professional tone, more especially so when sending the 1st reminder. Never assume that the client intentionally missed the payment. Remember that this letter serves as a reminder, not a way for you to make accusations.
- The 1st paragraph
Be very direct with the intention of your letter – a reminder that the receiver has missed their payments. State the amount involved and the date they should have made the payment.
- Enter the bill details and attach the bills
After the 1st paragraph, attach the bills owed and a short description of the details of those bills. This gives the client a clearer picture of the payment in question.
- The 2nd paragraph
This is where you will explain why it’s very important for your company that the client pays their bill. If this is already your 2nd or 3rd reminder, you should adapt a more assertive and strictly professional tone. State the urgency of the matter.
If this is your final reminder, refer to your previous letters along with the dates when you sent them. It’s also appropriate to remind the client of the consequences if they still fail to give the payments. Make sure that you are very clear about such consequences so that the client will be completely aware of what to expect.
- Closing statement
In the final section, reiterate to the client how much they owe. Still, maintain the same professionalism you started with and you may even apologize for any inconvenience the whole issue might have caused.
One of the most important parts of this letter is your name together with your signature. This makes the letter official so your recipient won’t take it for granted.
Payment Reminder Letters
How do you politely ask for payment?
The most polite and best thing that your clients should do after getting your invoice is to immediately send their payments. Sadly, this is not always a guarantee. You wouldn’t want to wait for the payments to occur for a job that you have completed weeks or months ago.
When This kind of situation happens, the best thing to do is to send your client a first payment reminder at least 1 week before the due date of the payment. But if you’re still facing late payments, there will be a need to send a follow-up overdue payment letter or email – at least a few of them – until you get your payment.
Asking your client for late payments can be a tough job but the key here is to maintain a professional tone on all of these reminder letters. You should be very polite but firm. How much so depends on how late the client’s payment is. This means that your tone might have to tip in one direction more than the other depending on the situation.