If You Aren't Collecting Payment at the Time of Order, You're More Likely to "Lose the Sale"
Inside an agency owners group I saw a sales discussion in which a number of people said they had problems collecting payment and closing deals. They would think they had “closed the sale” and gotten the order, but when they later sent an invoice, the buyer would ghost them.
Here’s my question in response: Do you have your screen for collecting payment ready when the buyer is ready to buy?
A major block to selling that I see with newer agency founders is that they don’t present this attitude: “It’s normal to buy.”
They’re busy being afraid. They’re afraid this person won’t buy. And the actions they take demonstrate it’s weird, unusual, wrong for someone to buy.
When You Act Like No One Has Been Here Before, They Won't Buy
When you don’t have your method of collecting payment ready, you’re telling your prospect, “Oh, wow—nobody ever got here before! This is strange!” And what do you think the prospect’s emotional reaction to that is? (“Yikes, I’m outta here!”)
My hardcore close, based on 25+ years of experience, is, “So, what do you want to do next?”
When I feel all questions have been taken care of, the prospect has a need for what I offer, a problem large enough to warrant my involvement, and a personality I and my team can work with…then it is natural for them to say something like, “I’d like to buy. How do we get started?” How do I pay you?
And then, instantly, I bring up the payment processing page. It is normal to buy. I have been here a zillion times before. I have been here earlier today. It is normal to buy. Here is the process. People do this. Many people have done it before you.
Make It Normal to Buy
Make this change. If there is a gap between you and collecting the money, get rid of that gap. Collect the money.
I was a credit manager for a national electrical wholesaler for four years around the time I was 30. I collected $2 million a month and got very good at talking to people about the very touchy subject of money. I learned that you must ask for the money, you must be ready to collect the money, and it must feel normal to everyone involved that you are collecting the money.
Are You Presenting Yourself As Someone People Regularly Buy Things From?
Observe how you present yourself and your content on sales calls. Are you nervous? unprepared? unsure?
Everything about what you do needs to express “I have been here before. Many buyers have been here with me before. This is normal. It is normal to buy.”
What changes will you put into action to make this happen?
When I originally posted this in the agency group, fellow member Boyd Trimmell commented: “Failure to collect payment immediately is why so many small service businesses struggle with cash flow.” He is dead right.
The accounting maxim goes: A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. The interest rate aka inflation, creating the Time Value of Money concept, makes it so. Add to that if you aren’t collecting payment now it’s less likely that you ever will, and you’ll see the problem clearly: you’re delaying or completely denying that cash your business needs. Cash is the lifeblood of business. If you’re an employee and not an owner, understand this…you are paid by money collected. If you don’t collect, the business will soon run out of cash and you won’t be paid at all. As Stuart Wilde said: “When they show up, bill ’em”.