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Collection tactics

lawnman_scott

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
st pete, FL
Does anyone have any collection ideas other than the obvious like threaten with a lawsuit? I just try to remember anything that they may have said in the past, work phone #, place of employment... I have a section in my customer list for notes if they ever decide not to pay.
 

AndyTblc

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
West Michigan
I always tell the people that don't pay good, that if they keep doing that then, I'm going to collect the grass from their lawn and all the other lawns I mow and dump it in the middle of their front yard. And that usually gets them to pay. Even though I'd never do that, but I always tell them that, but it is only a select few.
 

RedMax Man

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Dracut, MA
I always tell the people that don't pay good, that if they keep doing that then, I'm going to collect the grass from their lawn and all the other lawns I mow and dump it in the middle of their front yard. And that usually gets them to pay. Even though I'd never do that, but I always tell them that, but it is only a select few.
There are better and more professional ways to handle late payers.
 

LindblomRJ

LawnSite Silver Member
Yup wizzkid is an expert. He has years of experience. Getting work numbers and places of employment are a good idea. Also try to get cell phone numbers.
 

topsites

LawnSite Fanatic
I've done all kinds of things, it seems the key to it all is boil it down to a system. With a system, it soon becomes 'all in a days work,' still sux but not as bad, just more lalala stuff, even if not quite lalala, but a system of certain steps you take helps considerably. The trick is to make said system a repetitive, consistent method: This is how it works, this is how I do things, and thank you. Time is essential, it needs to be fast on top of effective.

I try and remain polite, but firm. I've learned over the years if given the choice between being polite vs. nasty, it is best to try and stay nice because I think it can affect future customer acquisition (nobody wants to deal with a guy gets nasty over not getting paid, not even prompt payers). Plus, you never know for sure (well yes I know we do) but there could be a reason why they didn't pay and it's probably stupid but again we never know 100% for sure. That doesn't mean we let them off the hook, but again it helps to be polite for the odd cases where it is actually our mistake (yours or mine), and for the few who maybe went out of town and it's all good in the end, well it pays to be nice.

So, I guess that's about it, I find a short series of increasingly more urgent letters to work best for me. Ultimately, pre-screening helps a lot, too, but nothing prevents it 100% and some times you will never get paid, this I had to learn very hard to accept, but eventually it did sink in, heh. Yup, so certain steps, I usually give them 30 days for free, you have to give them reasonable time to pay, but don't let it go too long (beyond 60 days I start late fees and just before 90 days comes collections company, I never let it go past 90, but 30 days I give them for free, then 60 days the late fee, etc).
 
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