John Seybold, an independent to distributor based out of Chicopee, Mass., has a pulse on his customer's finances. Why? It helps him with collections and ironically make more sales to boot. "Sadly, most of the population lives paycheck to paycheck," Seybold notes. The majority of his customers...
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John Seybold, an independent to distributor based out of Chicopee, Mass., has a pulse on his customer's finances. Why? It helps him with collections and ironically make more sales to boot.
"Sadly, most of the population lives paycheck to paycheck," Seybold notes.
The majority of his customers use debit cards with him, which he keeps on file and charges using QuickBooks. He runs payments when the payroll at certain shops goes through, usually right on his truck via wireless internet. He will charge some customers on a Thursday afternoon, the majority on Friday morning, and others as late as Monday.
Seybold's collections tactics have one thing in common: they prevent the possibility of him ever having to directly ask for money. The logic of this is that it keeps Seybold as the "good guy" with his customers. Unless he is the first to draw payments from his customer's checking accounts, he can be stuck harassing his customers to add money to their accounts or double up their payments the next week. Some customers always avoid returning to the vendor they owe money, because they do not want to pay it back. So, by making sure he is paid first, Seybold is never the bad guy. This leads to customers increasingly using their discretionary tool spending with him as opposed to other vendors.
Wise collections practices, including keeping tabs on customer paychecks and the use of payment cards keeps business relations cordial and consistent.
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