Question: Have you ever opened an account and no sales went through? Yes? How Many? If you don’t know stop reading this now – check out all the customers who opened accounts within the past year for which there are Zero sales – then come back – and without knowing the facts I can tell you your process took too long.
The customer made a decision to buy from you, they need the goods or service NOW – they completed your application process and they waited and waited and then simply went elsewhere. Before you go on the defensive and say – the delay was the sales department, the IT department, the Admin department – the Credit Department has to stand up and take responsibility for the profits of the company. Anyone who knows me will know that I see the future of Credit Managers as the managers of the margin and if you want to stand up to the mark you have to take ownership and find out what is going on and fix it for the good of your business.
Anything that can erode the margin has to fall into your area of responsibility and through proper profit focused training, Credit Management and staff can be shown the areas they need to be aware of, what they should be doing and then what they could be doing to have the maximum positive impact on the business.
Some of the areas that should be addressed are:
· Late invoicing – the cause of delayed payments
· Delayed payments costs a business ten times more that bad debt write offs!
· Incorrect invoices – can account for as much as 25% of the cost of doing business
· Credit Notes – particularly the ones to correct mistakes or disputes.
· Low margin customers – can you identify them
· Stock Control – if your system stock levels agree with your physical stock that is proof that your customers are getting what is dispatched, and what is being dispatched is being invoiced.
In addition to all the points above it is vital that your Credit Controllers can talk professionally to all your customers. They are the experts and their professionalism, focus and persistence is what will get the required results in the end.
They have to know the good and bad words to use, they have to know the right questions to ask, they have to know about the different stages of the call and how to move seamlessly from one to another, they need to be aware of the different circumstances they will encounter and the fact that every single customer is different and has different needs and if the business aims to maximise its profits – having a Credit Controller or Manager who knows what to do and how to do it can make such a difference you your business. If you could wave a magic wand and turn your debtors into cash – would it make a difference? This is what your trained and educated staff are doing every day. The others arrive in and wonder “What am I going to do today?”
Details of Education and training courses available can be viewed by following this link