Collecting debts from your customers is hard enough for any business owner.
However when a customer or prospective customer acts deceptively in an attempt to free themselves from any responsibility, the task becomes that much harder.
As a business owner, you need to be fully aware of the risks unpaid invoices present to your cash flow and profitability. Failing to collect your outstanding accounts increases your exposure to Bad Debts, reduces profitability & disrupts your cash flow. With no working capital, the potential growth of your business may be stunted due to not having funds available to cover operational expenses.
If any of your debtors are starting to sound suspect or have acted deceptively and appear to be trying to hide something, you need to be aware of these behaviors. There intent is too trick you by presenting statements and documents that could prove to be false and misleading down the track.
To prevent your business from potentially losing money from a Dodgy customer, here are some tips for Catching and Exposing a Dodgy Business operator:
BEFORE Catching and Exposing a Dodgy Business operator
- Have a detailed credit application form in place that contains fields with comprehensive detail that you require about a customer you are about to offer to trade on terms.
Asking for more information may discourage your customer from any attempted deception. For small businesses, credit applications are critical as it helps you make an informed decision on whether the party should be trusted with a credit account.
- Make sure that the prospective customer completes the form in full (don’t accept missing information)
The personal guarantee (if part of the credit form) should always be signed accordingly by the customer after providing all of the information required.
Be aware of the following deceptive moves deliberately made by prospective clients when completing a credit application form:
- Missing signature
- No indicated date of signing the credit form
- Company name not input
- Form is signed by the wrong party who is not a director or a shareholder of the company.
Steps for Catching and Exposing a Dodgy Business operator
One popular way of catching or exposing a dodgy operator is by setting a trap question. The trap question should be located on your credit application form. To do this, follow these guidelines:
- Include the question “Do you own your home with your spouse/partner or are you living in a rented house/apartment?”
- In case the answer is yes to owning there own home, it is imperative that you validate this information. Make sure that the address the debtor gave is indeed his or her own property.
- You can verify the information by visiting the government websites displaying property ownership details (by state). These sites are explicitly designed to give property ownership information on all houses in Australia. Validate the name of the owner against the address provided by the debtor and view for any discrepancies.
- Alternatively, you can make things easier and time-efficient by hiring a reliable and experienced debt collection agency. A professional debt collection agency can verify all information stated by the customer in your credit application form.
What do to AFTER Catching/Exposing a Dodgy Business Operator?
If you have been able to identify irregularities after credit has been approved and granted, do not lose your focus in accomplishing your goal – collecting money!
We recommend that you confront the customer directly. Engaging in a direct conversation professionally is a straight forward solution against a suspected dodgy operator. Be discreet but direct in telling them that the information they supplied contained numerous errors. This approach can establish a strong impression and prompt the operator to admit the mistake or that the information supplied was false. This should also turn the tide in your favor by setting up a positive outcome in your debt collection endeavors.
If the above fails and the customer continue to provide false or misleading information, hand the debt over to professional Debt Collection Agency. Debt collection agencies are well trained and experienced when it comes to handling these types of operators and will get a result for you.
Brodie Collection Services is a full-service agency offering a multitude of services and is one of Australia’s leading debt collection firms. Our objective is to provide you with expert debt recovery and advice at a price lower than the market cost. Our recovery approach is simple – we strive to get to the bottom of why you’re not being paid, then implement steps to ensure prompt payment. With 25+ years’ experience in debt recovery, we have undeniable results proving that debtors will pay once we become involved.
With offices in Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane, we can assist with all your collection & recovery, legal support services, and credit risk management requirements.