Dealing with Deadbeat Clients and Getting Them to Pay

by Sean Bryant on July 30, 2013

Deadbeat ClientsAnyone who has been in business for a long enough period of time likely knows all too well the struggles that come along with deadbeat clients. In business, time and money are everything, and a single client that causes problems can upset the entire flow of one’s production schedule. Sadly enough, however, unsavory clients have and always will exist, which is why you’ve got to learn how to properly deal with them.

It’s not always easy to recover your money in a situation that has gone awry, but it doesn’t have to be impossible either. If you take the following steps, you can dramatically increase your chances of getting what is owed to you.

Start with a Courteous Reminder

Just as in every other aspect of life, things can sometimes come up in the professional world. If a client hasn’t paid, it may have less to do with the notion that they’re trying to scam you than it does with the fact that they’ve had some sort of emergency occur.

You can’t always expect adequate communication in such a time, either, which is why it’s important to start by giving your client a courteous reminder that their payment is overdue. Chances are they will send you a response as to why they’ve had trouble paying on time, although the moment that they do not do this is when you need to start thinking about taking further action.

Threaten Action

If your client remains unresponsive after you’ve sent them a friendly reminder, it’s time to start escalating things. In certain situations, clients believe that they’ll be able to get away with not paying if they simply drop off the face of the map. With today’s technology, however, it’s not nearly as difficult as it once was to track a debt to someone.

If you find yourself in a scenario in which the client is ignoring you, you shouldn’t hesitate to send emails and make phone calls threatening to take legal action if they do not contact you and settle-up with payment. Mention the fact that hiding from debts is no longer a possibility in most cases, and that they’ll actually save money in the long-run by paying their debt as was expected.

Work With a Debt Collector

When clients are still reluctant to pay after you’ve made significant attempts to contact them, you have no choice but to work with a debt collector if you ever want to see the money that you’re owed. Debt collectors often take the situation into their own hands and work to recover your money, which means you won’t have to be making constant phone calls or sending out long-shot emails any longer.

Not all debt collectors are reputable, however, which is why it’s best to look for collectors that have a strong reputation. Online reviews and social media can be helpful when determining which debt collection agency to work with.

There’s no reason why a client should be able to walk away with money that is owed to you, and you shouldn’t stand for it if it’s at all possible to remedy the scenario. While no one enjoys this aspect of the professional world, it’s not likely to fade away anytime soon.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.
  • My partner had issues with a client that wouldn’t pay. He tried nice reminders but it didn’t work, so we had to take him to small claims court. Mediated with the court didn’t work so we have to go to a hearing.

  • Your Daily Finance

    Deadbeat clients make you not want to be in business sometimes. They are never happy and will always find something to complain about then after you are finish find every excuse not to pay. Thankfully for my services I charge up front. No payment problem. No services either!

  • Common Cents Wealth

    It’s clients like these that make my blood boil. I don’t understand how someone can just think that they can get away without paying someone for something they received. I’m sure it happens more than I’d like to admit, but it really shouldn’t.

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