1. Be the loudest to cry
Many business owners pay their suppliers only when they see themselves forced to do it. Until then, they simply ignore all overdue invoices and use their money for other purposes. They aren’t even shamed to state that they pay first the suppliers that cry the loudest. Be that supplier yourself! Don’t get rude, but call them constantly and kindly remind them about the overdue invoices. It might help to give them some reasons why you need the money. Not that you don’t deserve that money you worked hard for, but all that matters in this situation is to trigger some feelings in your customer, so that he puts you high on the payment priorities list.
2. Interrupt the services
If you provide services against a monthly fee, you can simply cut those services after a certain number of days of not getting paid. This could be risky, as the customer may go elsewhere, but if you work for nothing, it’s better if he goes, so that you can find new ones that are perhaps going to pay you in time. Again, don’t be rude when you do this, but be assertive and make it clear that you are not a bank, you don’t lend money to your customers, you provide high quality services which you expect to be paid as agreed in terms of both amounts and schedule.
3. Make yourself indispensable
If you treat your customers like friends, you have more chances that will try to pay you first, regardless their financial problems. Treating them like friends doesn’t mean to flatter them. However, you can help them in other areas of their lives, if you have a chance. For instance, if you know one of your customers is single and looking for a partner, you can arrange a date between him and your very nice neighbor next door, who’s also single and looking. Such services cost you nothing, but they show people you do care for them and you think about them and not only about their money.
There may be other ways also, but you could try these ones first and see if you can get some results. Eventually, if nothing helps, you can use your legal agreement and sue the customer, but that’s really something most people want to avoid, as it’s not good for any of the parties involved and it may ruin the cooperation.