What do I do? They Owe Us Money!
A long time client called the other day and asked what they should do– they had sold some product to a customer over 15 months ago– and still no receipt. As we talked through all of the challenges that the client had, the one key challenge was trust– she trusted the customer to pay after she said, repeatedly, that they would.
However, 15 months had gone by and now our client was being pressured by her vendor for the money.
Trust is key in the business relationship. In the end, that is all that we have. However, another homily that we use with our clients is that “business is business.” Now, why our clients customer did not pay the bill is not for us to determine. We told our client that it was probably best for her to turn in the past due client to the collection service for action.
Our client elected to do that– this process will take several more months, and then, there is no promise that the money will be realized.
Ronald Reagan always stated, ‘Trust but Verify.” That is the advice that we offer here. No reason not to trust your client, however, trust but verify that they have the funds or will have the necessary funds to pay your bill. After all, you have to eat as well.
What this lesson exposed to our client is that trust is good, however, in business– it is business. Probably taking collection action in 90 days was much better than waiting 15 months to engage in some sort of collection action. In the end, we hope that our client realizes the funds due her business. We remain hopeful that the collection service and our client’s customer will be able to resolve the matter in an amiable fashion. If not, our client just lost several thousand dollars.
Trust but verify is key in any business relationship.