Outstanding Invoice :Techniques to get you over the difficult conversations

We’ve all been there, you know, that customer who you don’t want to ring and ask for the money for that outstanding invoice.

You know it’s your money, you know you are being their bank (for free) but you still feel uncomfortable when you think about picking up the phone.

In one of my latest blogs, I explained how a script can help you feel more confident making calls so this week I wanted to go a step deeper and look at techniques to help you be even more convinced you can call about that outstanding invoice.

We’ve already reviewed whether you should make the calls whilst lying, sitting or standing. However what we haven’t covered is common mistakes people make when making phone calls.

This is such a crucial area to get that outstanding invoice paid, that I asked a great friend of mine, Julie Scott, from Great Scott Marketing if I could share with you some of blog.  Although Julie’s main focus in on removing the fear of making cold calls, what she says still applies to calls about outstanding invoice.

Julie Scott advice for calling outstanding invoices

Julie Scott advice for calling outstanding invoices

Here’s the first 5 things Julies says:

1. Being too ‘scripted’ – People can tell when you’re reading from a script – or regurgitating learned information. It doesn’t come across as natural and can stop a conversation dead! No-one wants to be talked at. Be human and engage with the person on the end of the phone.  Even if they don’t want what you’re offering at this point in time, they will remember the conversation in a positive rather than negative light.

2. Not taking a break! – You may have targets to reach, but there’s a lot to be said for taking a breather between calls. It’s not easy calling one person after another, repeating information again and again. Breaks between calls will keep your sales approach fresh and, as mentioned above, less scripted. Try to only call for an hour, break, and repeat the process.

3. Not leaving voicemail messages – Raise your hand if you put the phone down as soon as you hear the voicemail pick up. Yes, we’re all guilty!  If you’re cold calling, the cold truth is you really should be leaving voicemail messages.  Preparation is key:

  • Know what you are going to say

  • Keep it short and to the point

  • Don’t try and fit your whole sales pitch into a message

  • Tell them when you will try calling back – and make sure you do!

4. Calling the wrong person – Do your homework before picking up the phone. There will usually be a specific person within a business who will make the final decision on whether your product or service is required.  Pinpoint that person – and ask for them directly.  You may have to work your way up through the gatekeepers to get to them, but it never hurts to ask.

5. Calling the same decision maker again and again – Whilst it’s good to aim for the decision maker, there comes a point where you have to try a different approach if you’re getting nowhere. In a business to business environment, there are probably around four to eight people that can influence a sale, even if they can’t give the final ‘yes’ or ‘no’, try bringing them into the loop. In a business to consumer environment the number may be as little as two, but it’s still worth a try with the other person!

Here’s a link to the full blog, so you can read the whole 10 reasons why Julie thinks people fear the phone.

How can you avoid having to makes calls about an outstanding invoice?

If you would like to find out more techniques to help you not only having these calls about overdue invoices but also the best way to avoid having to make them in the firsts place, then you need to find out about the Cashflow College. Or for further information contact Rachael on 07756 772950 or by our contacts page.

Here’s how Julie describes herself:

Julie Scott, Managing Director of Great Scott Marketing, shares her top tips following a life long career in media sales, premiership football & corporate financial services.

Great Scott Marketing help you meet your future clients, through telephone skills training, in-house sales consultancy and event management. www.greatscottmarketing.co.uk

What about you? How do you handle/avoid those calls about outstanding invoices?

I really would love to hear you manage to avoid making those calls. What techniques do you use to stop your invoices from becoming overdue?

Drop me a comment in the section below and let me know how you handle calls about overdue invoices?

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