The Game of Excuses: Dealing with Late Payments from Customers

Have you ever watched old game shows like Wheel of Fortune, Going for Gold, Strike it Lucky, You Bet, and Bullseye? I recently started reminiscing about these shows and realised that some of our customers seem to be taking inspiration from them and playing games with us. While some customers are great at paying their invoices on time, others give us the runaround and devise excuses for delaying payment.


Here are some of the usual excuses that I’ve experienced (maybe you’ll recognise a few): “We’ll pay you next week/month/year,” “You’ve reached the voicemail of…,” “It’s with my manager – s/he will let you know,” “I don’t have an answer” (if it’s staff), “It’s with the director for approval,” “There’s an issue with it? They will get back to you,” “Call me back later” (and when you do, there is no response), blocked by the gatekeeper, numerous unanswered emails, and so on.

If you haven’t heard any of these or similar excuses, maybe you’ve just struck it lucky and always been paid promptly. But for the rest of us, it can be a different story. When you’re coming to the end of the month, and out of your current customer base, 70% have paid up, but the other 30% haven’t, what do you do? You’d forecasted this cash as coming in, but it’s not coming in unless drastic action is taken.

Take Action

You’ve tried calling and emailing them, but you’re not getting any response. It’s frustrating! You could visit them, but they’re hundreds of miles away, and you have more pressing issues. So, what can you do? Who can you turn to? You need a less strenuous, flashy, and lenient letter. You need something worded correctly that will get the job done.

These letters have stood the test of time and have collected hundreds of thousands if not tens of thousands of pounds in unpaid invoices.

Next Steps

So, if you’re a business owner struggling to get those non-paying customers to pay you, instead of listening to their terrible excuses, request a no-obligation call with me to discuss what we can do to resolve the issue.