How to Deal with Late Payments from Clients

Let’s talk about money. More specifically, about how to deal with late payments from clients.

Not a conversation that many people are really comfortable with. However, it’s one of those things that we have to become more comfortable with if we’re going to be growing a successful and profitable business. It’s all of those conversations where we might feel awkward, but we really need to learn to strengthen our own muscles and go into those money conversations feeling bold and empowered.

One place that a lot of business owners struggle with is when clients start to get behind on their payments. It can become so awkward, right? You’re serving your clients, you’re doing great work, and all of a sudden they haven’t paid their bills.

What do you do? How do you address late payments?

How to Deal with Late Payments from Clients

I will share 3 tips with you, that I always implement in my business.

My first tip for that is you’ve got to be very clear that if clients aren’t paying, then you’ve got to stop serving. If they’re not paying, you stop working because otherwise, you’re in the business of free delivery, free coaching, free consulting and so on. You’re doing the work, and you’re not likely to get paid for it. So that’s the first thing – to be really clear on those boundaries.

The second thing is to have a conversation really quickly. Don’t allow it to go by so that all of a sudden you become really awkward about asking them about that late payment. Sometimes the reality is credit cards change. Something happens. There’s a glitch in the system, and your client may not even be aware that they’re late on their payment. Or something else has happened. The quicker you can actually address it, the quicker it can be sorted out.

And then thirdly, if there really is a strong reason that they’re not going to be able to make that payment, you’ve got to work with them rapidly to co-create a plan to get them back on track so that you’re both on the same page. Empower your clients to step up and honor their commitments around payments, and empower yourself around those conversations in money so that you’re really holding firm boundaries too. That way it becomes a win-win for both of you.

You both get to learn and grow around those important money conversations in business.

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