How Do I Deal With An Unethical Client?

How should I behave with a client who took material from my factory 6 months ago on credit and has still not paid me back? First he delayed, and now he has started becoming abusive saying that he will pay me when he has the money. What should I do? Would I be wrong in abusing him back?

Anxious Businessman

Dear One

1. Using harsh words or abusing is not the way of a wise man. You should keep the dialogue on and follow up with him regularly, peacefully but firmly.

2. Be patient and set a mutually agreeable date by which the payment must be made. Remember also that if you are rude he may stop taking your calls or ignoring you. It is better to keep the dialogue alive and let your patience nudge his guilt.

3. Inquire from the market if he has the liquidity to pay you or not and also introspect about his true intent (is he using your money to finance other expenses).

4. Examine the history of your transactions with this client to see if he has defaulted earlier, what his track record is and whether he lacks integrity in financial matters.

5. Finally seek to understand the lessons this experience is teaching you and contemplate upon the following;

a. Do you have a credit policy wherein a client’s credit worthiness is verified before material is supplied?

b. Do you need to incorporate a billing clause that incorporates a penalty for delayed or faulty payment?

c. Are you choosing to do business with clients who lack integrity? If yes, look to see what your motivation is in doing so and make amends accordingly.

d. For a business to be sound, it must rest on sound business principles. Examine if your business ethics need to be revamped.



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