Start an exercise this week – print a summary aged debt – just with names and amounts on it. Then go to the file where you keep your new account application forms – this should either be a paper file or better still if you have incorporated a scanning system where you scan the forms and all supporting documentation and save each file as the customers names.
As you go through the Aged debtors list highlight the customers you have a properly completed document on file, if you want to share with me what % of the customers you have highlighted, I will keep the information completely confidential and will never divulge individual information to anyone - I can let you all know the week after next what the average is – so you can see if you are performing well in relation to everyone else.
For the accounts there are no forms available you can do two things:
1. Involve the sales people – give them a list and ask them to get the forms filled out the next time they are with the customer. Or
2. You can send a form in the post to the appropriate person in your customers business, explain you are updating your systems and ask for their help. If you take this option leave time to call most of them after a week or two when the forms don’t arrive.
There is a third exercise you can do to help your sales team – as you go through the new account application forms create a list of the account forms you have on file for whom there are no balances outstanding. This list should be followed up by the relevant sales person to find out why they are not buying from you now and can the account be reopened if requested. Best make sure the list you give the sales team are people you are prepared to do business with.
Why is this exercise important? As long as the form asks the proper questions:
· You will have documentary proof of acceptance of your Terms and Conditions
· You will have the exact legal name of the customer
· You will have all relevant addresses telephone numbers and contacts
· You will know how they want to be served
· You will know at least four of their suppliers
· You will have three hot sales leads
· You could incorporate Direct Debit and other automated payment system
· You will know everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
Anything less is selling yourself short. Work with me here, let me know how you are getting on – if you follow the system – The Credit Coach system - of managing your Credit Control function – you will see real results. Keep up the good work.