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Senior Member

Wording for Reminder Invoices

A few of my clients routinely run late on paying their invoices. They are repeat customers who always pay eventually, but their inconsistency makes it difficult for me to plan ahead. Any recommendations on wording for the note on my reminder invoice? I want to convey that I appreciate their business while also reinforcing that I need these invoices to be paid on time!

12 Comments
Frequent Contributor

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices

Always a tough spot to be in, especially when you're the service provider and debt collector all rolled into one, which we often are as sole proprietors.

 

I don't work without a deposit, and I don't deliver my images or video (my final product) without being paid the balance. 

 

As for the wording, I struggle with that as well.

Senior Member

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices

Asking for a deposit is a really smart idea, especially for project-based work. As a freelance writer/editor I've never tried it before but if I'm contracting for, say, 5 blog posts to be written on a pay-per-post basis I might send the initial invoice after I've completed the first assignment instead of all five (they all say "payment due within 30 days of receipt"). I wouldn't do this for a new client but for the ones I have in mind I think it might work. Then when they're "late" they're actually on time - haha!

Community Manager

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices

Great question, @Ianbel08

 

Just like you, we here on the QB Community Team have wondered about wording and timing for invoices when you've got a client (or clients) from whom you need to collect. We created the following series of articles to help out with just that:

 

Frustrated by Late Payments? Some Tips for Tracking Down Your Dollars

Make Every Invoice Work Faster and Better Than Ever Before

The Mighty Invoice: How to Put This Powerful Tool to Work

 

There are links to more resources from within these pieces as well. I hope there are some ideas in there that help you out!

Frequent Contributor

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices

To be honest, I actually think that some of the phrasing in your very post might be a valuable addition to anything you write.  Particularly letting your customers know that it is the inconsistency that is making things difficult, and why, might just get you to a better situation for a couple of them.

 

Have you thought about increasing terms in exchange for a credit card or auto-payment set-up?

Senior Member

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices

Thanks, @ShanaNiederman!

Established Member

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices

I usually start with ''Our records show this invoice as not paid yet. Have you already paid and the payment got lost somehow?''

Usually a nudge is all they need, in my case.

Member

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices

Hello,   I usually find this statement helpful, especially when all they really need is a nudge:  For budgeting purposes, please let us know the date when this invoice will be put in line to be paid.  Thank you.

Works for us.

Good luck!

Contributor

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices

Hi,

Its a question that we are always asking ourselves especially nowadays. One way that worked for me was - 

Sir / Madam could you please instruct us on as to how and when we should collect our dues from you?

That sort of jolted them into giving the right answer stating the right time by which they would pay. Got reorders from the client too. Hope it works for all of you too. 

Frequent Contributor

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices

Hi 

 

I think the below are the two components to getting paid on time

1.Automating the task of sending email reminders.well timed email reminders are known to improve DSO's

2. The content that goes into those mails needs to be thought through

I would suggest writing on a board the timeline before and after the invoice due date in days

 

---10 ------5-----3----1-------0--------(-3)----------(-10)----------------------(-20)--------------------------

 

After this come up with mail content for each of these dates.Make sure these automated emails have one of you/your team members in cc so that they can reply back to you to have any questions cleared.

 

Btw we are a small software(PayorCRM) company automating the above function

Regards

Megan

 

Super Contributor

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices

I deal with this all the time as a small distributor selling to other small independent businesses. I don't think there's a one size fits all approach here.  Some customers respond to email, some to fax some to snail mail and some need a phone call or personal visit.  The least fun side of small business!

Community Host

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices


@WineGuy wrote:

I deal with this all the time as a small distributor selling to other small independent businesses. I don't think there's a one size fits all approach here.  Some customers respond to email, some to fax some to snail mail and some need a phone call or personal visit.  The least fun side of small business!

 

@WineGuy you bring up a really good point. Clients do have preferred forms of communication. How do you keep track of who responds faster to what? Do you make notes and, if so, where do you keep them for future reference?

Super Contributor

Re: Wording for Reminder Invoices

Hi Emily.  Our company keeps a master aging spreasheet with notes as to what action has been taken to collect.  After many years of dealing with a lot of the same usual suspects you get to know what needs to be done.  Fax is fast and cheap but not a lot of people use it anymore.  Email is not always reliable, people and addresses can change often.  When in doubt we snail mail.  It's slow, tedious and costs money but you know it's harder for them to ignore an invoice copy stamped "Past Due" in bright red ink.   I leave the delicate task of phoning/personal visits to the sales reps who call on the accounts.   They are most likely to get to the right person without killing the account.  Fun fun!