Have you been blacklisted as a customer? You may not even know that you have.
Whatever sized business you deal with, you run the risk your actions could have you blacklisted without you realising it.
Here are three top reasons you could be blacklisted as a customer.
This is the big one. I’ve asked a group of my friends and colleagues. What’s the longest period they’ve waited to get an invoice paid.
The answers ranged up to four years, with many quoting two years.
What was horrifying to hear was how many of them gave up chasing for payment and never did get paid. It’s just not on.
If you enter into an agreement for a business to provide you with services or products, you have to pay. It’s as simple as that.
While there may be the thought that if it’s a big corporate, they can afford not to get paid, or they can wait for payment. When you’re dealing with small business, remember you’re depriving them of cash flow. Cash flow they need to pay the wages, the rent and all the other costs of delivering those goods or services to you.
When you drag out the payment over months and years, it’s not acceptable, and you deserve to be blacklisted.
I’ve seen it all. I’ve had clients who didn’t pay my bills but managed to find the money to take the family overseas for the holidays. And I have also had clients brag about how they’ve paid off their credit cards, while not paying me a single dollar. I could go on, but you get the picture.
Don’t do it.
Pay your bills when they are due. It’s as simple as that. If you can’t afford to pay, don’t buy it.
This is another reason that you may find yourself blacklisted as a customer. In these days of instant gratification, leaving things to the last minute doesn’t cut it.
More and more, we understand the value of managing our time, of chunking work and blocking diaries. This doesn’t mean that urgent matters that crop up can’t be done. But it’s not urgent, just because you’ve left it to the last minute.
I’ve recently had this situation and not only was the demand for me to take action on a matter immediately, but when I didn’t ring back within 30 minutes, I got another five phone calls that day (none of which I answered). And yes, that person has been blacklisted.
Another situation arose when a client demanded that I complete their work straight away. We dropped other work and did their job as fast as we could. Then we waited over three months for payment (even with chasing it up). Then when they tried to pull the same trick the next year, we told them to find another accountant.
I always loved the old adage that if you pay peanuts, you’ll get monkeys. So, if you screw down your supplier on pricing, don’t expect gold star service. You’ve put yourself on the bottom of the pecking order.
The better option is always to pay what the supplier asks (within reason, of course, and as long as you believe you are getting the value). Don’t beat them down on price.
If you want a cheap budget price, find a budget supplier. If you’ve beaten down the pricing and start demanding gold star service, you’ll soon find yourself blacklisted as a customer.
When you put all three together, not only will you be blacklisted, but you may find you’re blacklisted with other suppliers in the industry too.
The one who screws down the price, expects gold star service, is demanding bordering on harassment, and pays invoices late or not at all. If we all made a concerted effort to pay our bills on time, we would all be in a much better position with our cash flow. We could eliminate the stresses that come with non-payment or late payment of invoices.
Maybe I’m a dreamer but wouldn’t that be heaven.
Originally published on www.smallville.com.au