When we think of marketing and developing a successful integrated marketing communications program what tends to come to mind first are the 4 P's, new business development, direct marketing postcards and maybe how marketing and sales support each other, or could be better aligned. But what about applying marketing concepts to your business process? For this post, let's look at how we can use marketing to get paid faster:
1. Profile and Segment. You most likely already do this. You just don't apply the criteria for business process purposes. You put a lot of thought into profiling an "ideal client"...well part of what makes a client ideal is how they pay. You don't need to judge who's better or worse, but include that criteria to segment your prospects and maintain that information as they become a client. You'll then know which clients will pay best, and which ones you may have to apply tips 3-4 on...
2. Jump to the front of the queue. Getting paid is a competition. You want to get paid FIRST. Understand how everyone else is billing and do it differently. Instead of invoicing at the end of each month, invoice in the middle of the month so you aren't lumped into the pile with everyone else.
3. Use personal connections. Just like every other part of business, it's all about relationships. Yeah cutting the check and most other payment process are probably automated, but someone is still pushing the button. Make sure you know who that is and, more importantly, that they know who you are. It's easy to push the "faceless" invoices to the bottom of the pile. Don't let that happen.
4. How 'bout a promotion? This is novel. A good old-fashioned incentive. Invoice discounts for early payments or maybe even a monthly contest including an attractive giveaway could do the trick. It's fun, it ads a little life to an otherwise boring, yet important, part of doing business and many times the costs associated with doing this are far outweighed by the benefits of getting paid faster.