Guess what? I have created what is destined to be the next "in" catch phrase. Are you ready?
" The details are in the details! "
Get it? Isn't it profound? Maybe I should explain ...
As a credit manager with 30 years experience, I have noticed that if I take note of things, down to the finest, most minute details, you may very well find yourself holding all the pieces that when put together become ... the deadbeat.
It amazed me that once cornered, people will actually admit that they were just about to pay. What a coincidence! Lucky me to have called to pick up their payment and save them the extra cost of gas and of course, their precious time.
Details ... I once found someone by calling the neighbour of the guy who acted as reference because they have a good relationship. On the flip side, they may be hoping that you won't even take the time to contact their reference ... always take the time to check!
The detail is in the details ... take down names of customers your account peppers you with in casual conversation. Heaven forbid you end up garnishing his receivables, but hey, at least a list of names in their company file may chase the blues away.
So are you getting it yet? Are you starting to see the merchandising possibilities?
You have a longstanding student loan as an accountant. What are they majoring in? Perhaps one day he decides to skip payments to be a chartered accountant in Montreal. That little detail in your file may point you to CPAs head office which may be able to update you as to what company that scoundrel went to work for.
These days, details are your friend. Write things down. Go visit a customer, and while you're there look around and make note of what you see. The company is claiming they can't pay their creditors, but did you notice that picture of him on his boat at his summer place? That might make that personal guarantee much more important.
The details can be in your head. The age of the (young) owner, plus the (considerable) amount of equity in his home equals (potential) profits missing from the company.
If you are providing a product that someone needs in order to accomplish a job, ask yourself if they are actually able to accomplish it.
If your customer is suddenly buying more than usual and his payments are a bit slower than usual, chances are he may be planning a very long trip!
The details are in the details people ... remember who said it first!
Proactive Credit Management in a Reactive World