January 15, 2003
get into the habit of paying your monthly bills late
Question: (E-020) Last month a substantial number
of my clients didnt pay their bills on time. Quite
a few do so on a regular basis; they must think its
alright to let it ride as they see fit. I cant afford
to cut them loose, and I cant afford to be the
bank, either. How can I guide my clients towards
acting with more integrity in their financial transactions
with my Company?
Response: When customers/clients pay late, you may
want to assess the situation utilizing these assumptions.
that you are providing excellent services/products and
your customers are confirming their satisfaction with
all aspects of what you are delivering to them (high quality,
superior price-value, along with mutual respect and appreciation)
that you wish to continue working with those late
paying clients if they would pay as agreed
you are willing to risk losing any or all of them if they
continue to treat you poorly by failure to meet their
part of the agreement, i.e. to pay you on time
that you can speak forthrightly to those individuals for
whom and with whom you have been providing services
that they will respect legitimate concerns that you would
share with them related to the difficulties their tardy
payments are causing you
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS:
INTEGRITY IS THE GLUE OF SOCIETY. Integrity sustains relationships
with mutual respect and treats each member of the transaction,
whether personally or professionally, as a partner. Partnerships
apply to each and every significant relationship.
BRACHER is founder of the Bracher Center for Integrity
in Leadership in Monterey. His column, "Integrity
Matters," appears Wednesday on the Business page.
Readers are invited to submit questions on business-related
ethics and values. Please write in care of INTEGRITY to
email@example.com. The center's Web site is
Letter to the Editor,
published February 11, 2003:
would like to express my appreciation for Jim Bracher's
Integrity Matters column, to give your newspaper
credit for having the backbone to publish it, and to relate
two distinct ways it has made a difference in my business
and personal life.
First, the column about a Receivables problem was right
on the mark. I have that in a prominent place on my desk,
and I have already referred to it as a blueprint for handling
this type of customer issue. Raising a Client's awareness
in the manner Mr. Bracher suggests has already resulted
in better response from, and ultimately better relationships
with my customers.
Secondly, on a more personal note, I am pelted with sales
calls on a daily (and NIGHTLY) basis. Based on a shifted
focus towards integrity (due in no small part to reading
Mr. Bracher's column), I asked a long distance rep if
she could fax me a list of social causes her company contributes
to. She hung up on me. The response was proof enough that
my question was the right one to determine what kind of
company I was dealing with.
To close, thank you again for helping helping to remind
us all that there are deeper, more meaningful values by
which we may live and work.
Woodland Hills, California
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