Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford


Getting Paid - February 23, 2019

Q: Kevin, I have recently had several new customers change payment terms on me after contracts are signed. Do you have any advice on how I can get paid on my terms?


A: Ah yes, the wonderful world of payment terms. This is truly one of those topics that I do not enjoy discussing, but it must be addressed on an almost every day basis now. How a sales person deals with this topic can frame a great deal of the business relationship.


Sales people, unfortunately, are almost never trained or taught to address payment terms with a prospect or customer. In most cases I have found sales people are just told what their company terms are and do not discuss it further. When a customer brings the subject up, which seems to be after contracts are signed, the customer takes control and states what their payment policy is – period. This frustrates me because in most cases their terms are much longer than your terms thus extending you and them.


Sales people should address getting paid as part of the sales process. You should present your payment terms at the same time you are presenting the price of goods or services. You should ask the customer if they are acceptable to your terms or if they have something required on their end. Payment for your goods or services should be, if needed, negotiated, agreed upon in signature, and then held to this standard going forward.


Payment terms, at times, cannot be negotiated, and may need to be on the customers terms only. If this is the case, and your company is acceptable to these terms, they should still be agreed upon in writing as part of your contract. There should be penalties for failure to make timely payments. The customer must be agreeable to signing on these terms, especially if you are accepting their schedule.

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