Credit Matters Blog

Do you have an induction program for new customers?

Kim Radok 18 August 2011


Adults learn on first association.

We understand this statement by having induction programs for new employees. Where a business has no induction program, the new employee may flounder around and worse still, learn bad business practices to the detriment of the business.

I saw this example in a telecommunications company. The Sales Manager was always complaining, their salespeople would never do "... as they were told". I asked the Sales Manager about this situation and whether the organisation had an employee induction program. The answer was no - and they didn't believe they needed this program.

A short time later, the organisation stopped selling that product. It was not because the product was not profitable. It was simply there was no program on how to sell the product properly and the customer complaints had made everything too 'hard'.

The same situation applies when you engage with a new customer. If your business has no upfront statement on how and when you expect  to be paid, the customer will pay you according to their normal payment practice.

Therefore, when reviewing your organisation's customers and their payment patterns, and your cashflow is not satisfactory, ask yourself - "Do we have a customer induction plan?"

If your business does not have any constructive and practical payment policy - that works - then it will be time to review how your business interacts with all new customers.

There are three additional benefits in reviewing how you do business.

First, if completed properly, the program is a great method of reviewing how you do business, and how your customers interact with your business.

Secondly, a properly prepared customer induction program, provides upfront guidance on how you expect the customer to pay you.

Thirdly, the program will soon get rid of those customers who (i) want to tell you how to run your business, (ii) want to slow pay you or (iii) not pay you at all.

In either case, you will be paid quicker with more cashflow and more profits. 

May you be paid today rather than tomorrow.

Kim Radok