Ladies, welcome to this episode of The joyful scaling Podcast. Today we’re talking about something related to money, but there’s a twist on it. Okay? We’re talking about collecting the cash, okay, I’m here with Dr. depot, and she’s the creator of collect the cash, the book, the course to come all kinds of good stuff. All right, she works with small businesses who want to solve their cashflow problems, and she’s on a mission to keep small businesses profitable. And I want to tell you this just quick story before I actually bring Dion after collecting $6 million in 60 days, while working for a small it Company D recognized Wait Wait a minute, small businesses also fall prey to revenue loss because they don’t collect their outstanding invoices. And her revenue recovery strategies have been featured in Forbes, Yahoo, finance, VIP, global Black Enterprise and thrive global. So she is the real deal date. Welcome to the show.
Well, thank you so much, Judy, for that great introduction. It is an honor to be here. I always like to start off with gratitude. Gratitude is one of my three things. And it’s like, first of all, let me just say thank you. So I’m excited to have this conversation. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been like a little kid like, let’s go, let’s go. Yeah,
let’s do this thing. Because you know, cash flow is the lifeblood of business. And I know D that the issue of collecting what’s owed because I see our client, my clients, many are coaches and consultants, among other things, but but I feel like there’s resistance Oh, they didn’t pay me. They didn’t pay me. But oh, I don’t have time to chase after that. I’m moving on to the next. So I’m really excited to dig into this. So let’s talk about this thing called accounts receivable. Because I think a lot of times you don’t even think about it. So help us out and get started here.
I’d love to so if it’s okay with you, how about I start with a story because it always always helps to have a story. So, so fun facts about me. So originally, I’m from Boston, I live in a great state of Maryland. My fun facts are that I love Ferris wheels, smooth jazz and great wine, both red and white. Those are those those are cool things people like, what does that have to do with collecting money? But listen, you got to have a balance, like you just can’t chase all the clients and chase all the money, you got to make sure you have some fun. So that’s the first part. Second part is, I’m glad you asked that question, I made the statement about collecting the cash and accounts receivable. Here’s the thing. Whenever people go into business, they usually do this, oh, I have this great idea. I’m gonna solve the next problem, my widget, my service, my whatever is going to be the next best thing. And usually it is, but it’s this part. After you get the great idea. You write it down on a napkin, you start putting it together, you go through that part. But here’s the part that people don’t like. Everybody tells you get a sale or get the sale. But they don’t tell you that you have to make sure the sale is complete. And the money’s in the bank. Because that’s the part people go oh, man, I gotta click the cache. Yeah, that port unless unless you swipe the credit card, and your payments are done upfront, then then accounts receivable is not your issue. So accounts receivable is this. It’s it’s the, it’s the money that’s owed to you, when you provide a product of a service. The best way I can teach you is this. So whoever’s listening to this, all y’all have cell phones with your team, iPhone or team Android, it doesn’t matter. The way it goes is this, you walk into the cellphone store, Hey, welcome to whatever store it is. Let me verify who you are. You get your driver’s license, they confirm you are who you are, then they say, oh, you know, your phone is eligible for an upgrade, right? You’re like, my phone was working just fine. But they planted that seed and you’re like, oh, wait, man, I get the new, whatever, fine. So the sale already starts. Next thing you know, you’re walking around the store, you’re picking up the new phone, and the new ear pads,
ear pods and all that. So then you got that, then you next thing you know, you’re like, hey, Judy, um, you know what we can we can take, we can trade your phone and put the credit toward the new phone. And you’d like to you’d like you know, well, yeah. And then you get all these other gadgets. So you get a new sale, then you got a new contract, then you’ve got order entry. So they take the back of the box, and they scan it into the into the system. So if all the information information goes there, then the next thing you know, so you got to sail you got to you so you got to sail, a new contract, New Order Entry, order fulfillment, then they say, Judy, what do you what would you like your? Why would you like your bill you’d like okay, look at a month, all my payments come in on this day, okay, I’m gonna get paid, I want to submit my bill on this day, cool. Counts payable sets up the billing to you for the service. And then you pay them which is whatever date you said, and then they and then the transaction is complete. Because here’s the thing, you don’t even get to leave the store until you do all the things I just described. You don’t get to leave the store until you pay for that phone. But the point is, is that the company make sure they get their money before you leave the store. That’s what accounts receivable is. So I was just just expanding on that to show you. That’s what happens in business. So for your your consultants, your service providers, product providers, Everybody goes through that same process I just described. But here’s the thing, the magical part is that you want to see these two words transaction approved, that means that the money has been collected. Now, a lot of people don’t like to do collections because it’s this. I don’t want to upset my customer. I don’t want to have to go back and say, Why haven’t you paid me because nobody teaches you how to handle that point. They teach you how to sell how to do a great presentation, but they don’t tell you listen, after you get the sale. And after you deliver the product or the service, you have to ask for the payment, just like you asked for the sale. And I think that’s the part that most people were like, Nah, I don’t want to do that. But here’s the thing. The reason I’m so passionate about this and about small businesses is because I worked for a small business to ensure that you read, that’s a true story. That was actually my story, which is how I created collect the cash. I worked for a small IT company that had $8 million worth of sales on the books, not the bank. So they had sales ahead of time, but the money wasn’t collected. So like a good business, they say, okay, hey, you said you can collect money, come help us. Okay, great. And get on board. And they say, Here, here’s your list of accounts. Go get to work. Now. I’m a believer, as I like you. So I was like, I gotta go talk to God. So man, God had a great conversation. I went like this. Hey, God, yesterday, how are you? You know what, overall, God I’m fantastic. But I got an $8 million problem. And your Word says, if anybody laughs lacks wisdom, come ask me for it. So I asked him like, hey, how am I supposed to do this? And what I got in my quiet time was this business to business collections is problem solving, answering the question of what had happened was that part? Secondly, its customer service. It’s doing the follow ups to figure out, why haven’t they paid you? And then the last thing, and the secret sauce is gratitude. And most people are like, what does gratitude have to do with this? I said, Well, it’s like this, if you think about it during the holiday season, most companies that you do business with, they send you a holiday card, and I thank you for being their customer. And they wish you great Season’s Greetings, greetings, all those things. And they say we look forward to serving you in the new year. What are they doing, they realize that you they you have a choice where you spend your dollars. And if they take the extra step to acknowledge you, you’re like, Oh, well, they they see me I’m not just a number, I’m not just a customer, I actually matter. Because that the art of saying thank you is kind of a lost art, especially in our world, because everything is under 44 characters or less like no. So I decided that those three things problem solving customer service, and gratitude would be the pillows thrown, which I do, I do business business collections. And so after that, I was able to collect $6 million. And then the unthinkable happened, the CEO of the company says, let’s come downstairs. If you’ve ever worked for corporate or ever worked for a company that’s gone out of business, you’ll appreciate this, we all come downstairs and he says, listen, thank you all for your services. That’s all the departments that made an executive decision. We’re closing the company, and you got 30 minutes to go get your box and leave the building two months before Christmas. Now, this is a true story. This is this is in my book. And this is actually my life story. This is what happened to me. So after I leave the company, I’m like, a million dollars. I collect six. And it wasn’t just me the entire company went out of business. And I kept wondering, I I’ll never know if we if me and my collection team if we could have solved collecting more money would that have saved the company? I’ll never know. But what it did do Judy was made me think about how many small businesses are we’re like that small company I worked for who got all the sales, and we’re chasing the next sale, the next sale the next sale, but neglected the cash collections, which is your cash flow. And I’m like, Yeah, so I created collected cash to talk about this. And to me, hopefully make it more palatable to people to realize you got to do sales, and you got to do ar sales and AR to go together.
That is so good. And I love that you have D your own proprietary method for what you do. So and I think it’s a genius. And it’s so it’s so basic like it but it’s so that, you know what simplicity. That’s what’s poignant. Like, like, that’s what’s profound the simplicity of it, answer questions, problem solve, do the customer service and have gratitude Oh, my goodness, but I’m sure there’s tons of different elements within each of those pillars, of course, which is where, you know, the magic quote unquote, is? Yes, you know, this is gonna be a funny question, I think but as I’m thinking about it, there may be some women listening, who are thinking golly, Jeepers, I don’t even know that I know how much money is outstanding. You know, there’s a lot of resistance I’m finding in checking the bank account, not even getting to the point of following up like not even knowing there’s a problem. So what would you say to that woman who might be scratching her head said golly gee, I don’t even know. You know, that’s, that’s a big problem.
Great question. First thing I’ll tell you is that do you have do you have a tracking system? It could be a simple I’m old school. I I happen to like Excel and excel Microsoft doesn’t pay me for this. I’m just saying I happen to like Excel. So I would have you set up a tracking system, column number one name of your customer, column number two, if you have a contract or an agreement with him, column number three, how much is the contract for column number four, what services, what services they buy from you, whether it’s you know, 30 days of coaching, 90 days of coaching, whatever, call number six or five, what’s the what’s the amount of the invoice you’re gonna send them, and then call number seven, six is one of those when he supposed to get paid. And the last column is notes, what I just described as a tracking system, you can do that, you can do that on Excel. If you’re old school, if you like a like a whiteboard, just like in like sales teams, they usually have they have their all the prospects they’re doing is in column number one and how many calls they made and all the things you can set it up on a on a whiteboard, you can do an Excel, if you think it was Google thing, it’s called Google Sheets. My point is, is that in order for you to know how much money is owed to you, you have to be able to track it, because what gets tracked gets measured. And so if you don’t track it, you don’t know it’s no different to me than if somebody says to you, okay, how much debt are you when you’re like, child, I don’t even know, well, I was gonna help you get out of debt. But I can’t write a check for you. Because you can’t tell me how much you owe. And you’re like, Oh, well, it’s the same thing. And, and I’m not saying I’m not saying that to be funny, I’m saying more to make a point of whatever you whatever you track. So whether you track your sales, you track your payments, you track your customers, you have to track these things. And that’s part of how you in business. Because if you have for example, if you have if you sell products, if you have inventory, if you run out of sneakers, you got to know how many sneakers are left on the shelf. So you can really, you know, reorder reorder your sneakers. Well, in the same vein, you got to know how many how many payments are due to you? And do you do have them scheduled? If you say this customer said they want to pay me on the 25th on the 25th that the payment hasn’t hit that next day. Hi, Judy, we need to check. Your payment didn’t come through. And I need to understand you know what happened? And here’s the thing. Sometimes people people don’t people don’t always people don’t always go sue just because they’re trying to be mean, sometimes people have financial issues, financial issues, or they have situations that they’re embarrassed to say something but here’s the thing, if you’re able to get on the phone, I believe in having a conversation and saying listen, honestly, we had a we had we have an agreement, you scheduled your payments on the 25th 26th has come and I still don’t have my money. Now. Can we discuss what’s going on? Answering the question what happened? And give them a moment to explain to you what it is. Now sometimes it’s as simple as especially in the consulting or consulting group, it could be okay. Swipe the credit card, it didn’t go through? Great. Do you have another one? Or B? Can I have 24 hours to make a payment so that by the time this payment goes through, you can process your payment. Sometimes people just need grace. But people won’t you won’t notice unless you’re talking to people I happen to learn this by talking to people and finding out you know what happened? Now? Are there people that don’t plan on pan you? Absolutely, there are people that are just they’re just not gonna do that, that part. But the thing is, when you when you sign the agreement with them, hopefully what you’ve done is you’ve had a great conversation, you’ve been clear about your deliverables, you’ve been clear about what you’re going to do for them. And you’ve established, okay, within the confines of the contract. Okay, we’re setting up a payment plan, you pay me on the 25th of every single month, and I delivered these things. So these products and services, great. If you run into a problem, take responsibility and say, okay, you know what, God, I’m not gonna be able to make my payment here. But I need until this day, I think you or any other reasonable reasons why. Okay, you need great, great. One time, that’s cool. Most people will do at one time, if this becomes a repetitive issue that we got to check, we got to find out what’s going on. Because what I’m delivering my product to you my service to you, I expect to get paid. Now I understand I may have to, you know, adjust things. That’s great. But this can’t be a recurring problem. Once cool twice, I find third type. Now we I mean, either we did the cancel contract, you need different payment terms, we have to do something different. But here’s the thing, because you came to me because you want me to help you solve your problem. Great. I need to get paid for helping you solve my problem.
Right. I love it. A couple of things I want to highlight. Sure thing. As a lawyer, of course, I love contracts. Yes. What I find is even women that are in six figures or multi six figures, sometimes they’re doing things without a contract, which is really, the thought in my brain was kiss of death. But that’s an overstatement, but kind of sort of because, look, if you have no contract, you have no recourse. Right. You know, I mean, I know as a lawyer, I can get all creative and say, you know, you don’t have to have a writing. That’s true oral contracts are still binding, but the question is, how do you prove it? Right? How do you prove the meeting of the minds? So ladies, anybody listening that does not have a process, just as Dee said that includes a conch. Rak that makes clear clarity so important that makes clear the payment terms, clear on your responsibilities clear on their responsibilities including payment. You’re really I mean, then I would say, are you really in business? Are you just playing around? So that may sound harsh, but I’m gonna tell you what you need to hear not you know it even if it hurts, but that’s the truth. So anybody out there that doesn’t have a contract? That should be number one. Now, number two, if you have a contract, I love what he just said, pick up the phone, have a conversation. And what do you think of this day? I think that a lot of times we get ahead of ourselves. What I mean by that is, we as the business owner are thinking, Okay, I’ve got a call Jane Smith. And I love Jane Smith. And I’m worried that she might not have the money, like we put our own concerns, oh, I wouldn’t reach out to someone, or I would avoid somebody if I really wished to pay, but I didn’t have the money. And I didn’t know what to say. So I just ghost them. Like it’s almost like we put our stuff in our brains on them. Oh, absolutely. And what I find is that that might be the reason why the phone never gets picked up. So what would you say to someone out there listening D who had that thought, come up? Hey, you know, I just don’t know that. I could do that. Because I’d be embarrassed. I don’t want to embarrass them something like that.
Great question. First thing I tell you go look in the mirror and practice. Yeah, seriously, sometimes. Sometimes you have to get yourself into the right. mindset. You know, I call it the collection zone. I call it you know, I you know, I’m a sports fan. So I think of sports, I think of like pregame Game Day postgame. Pregame is okay, you’re having all these thoughts about making this phone call, go go get in the mirror, practice, what are you going to say to them. And even if you even if you stumble or make a mistake, it’s okay. The people that we admire the most and especially in sports, why do we love them, I admire them. Because they practice they hone their gift they get me they get into the mindset about they plant they they plan the game, they’re planning and playing the game to win, you have to have the same thing about collecting your money that you’re planning and playing to win. And may have to you know, you may have to get in the mirror a few times to practice what you’re gonna say or, or scripted out or just think about this, just like we’re having competition, think about it as having a conversation now, can the conversation go left? Absolutely. But the point is, how you prepare for it is this. If you have the contract, like Judy said, you have a copy of your invoice, you have your deliverables. You need to be able to stand in the fact that you you’re a business owner, you’re in business to make money. And you’re entitled to get your get your payments now have the conversation, I usually have my conversations based around calling to collect, you know, call and talk to you about account number blah, blah, blah. And obviously, you know, the payments are past due, like to find out why. And then be quiet and then take notes and let them tell you why. And then you can decide, based on what based on your relationship, okay, this is this is this a legitimate excuse or legitimate concern? I’m willing to work with it. And then you have to decide. Now, if they can’t pay you the full amount, taking a partial payment is just fine. And document that. And then make sure you tell them, Okay, you owe me $10,000, I understand you don’t have all that, what can we do today, and then accept the partial payment and then follow up with email. This partial payment made was this. And the next payment will be on this date, this date and this date, because you don’t have to ruin the relationship just because they don’t have all the money. You have to decide, can I can I accept the partial payment and keep this customer because here’s the thing, hopefully what you’re going to do is you show them grace, you work with them, you’re gonna get more business down the line if you’re able to work this out. Now, there’s some people who are like, I’m not doing that. That’s fine, you choose. But here’s the thing you ask you ask you to get out what we do. We’re telling you who did this that we were doing. This is how we roll. That’s how we work. That’s how we work it out. And here’s the thing, Judy has been super, super successful and what she’s done, and so on. So take it for what it’s worth. But the thing is you have to you have to make a decision. And here’s the thing, you can do it afraid you can absolutely do it afraid you can you can be scared you can be shaken. But point is that you have to decide that I don’t want to lose any money. Just like so for example, as I’m telling this story today, I’m telling you a story that happened to me years ago, but what it did was this while when I first started telling this story, I was nervous because I’m thinking who cares about accounts receivable, I’m just being totally honest. I’m like, no, nobody care about this because everybody you know, especially in the Social Ministries, everything is you know, the glitz, the glamour, it’s all these things and I’m like no, when you look at when you’ve worked for a company that’s gone out of business, there’s there’s that life changing thing that makes you go okay for me As my book code said, D, your why is this you don’t want to see another business? Lose you don’t you want us to win? I said exactly when number two watching COVID For the past two years, especially when it first hit and seeing all the businesses that were scrambling, to, you know, reinvent themselves figure out things. And then my my thing was this one Broadway shut down. And you think about it, if you if you like theater like I do, you got off Broadway is a multimillion dollar business. You have all the theaters and think about all the small business owners that had contracts with the theaters to sell the tchotchkes or whatever they were going to sell. And those sales weren’t complete, and their money wasn’t in the bank, and their AR was probably upside down. And then they’re scrambling going, oh my gosh, what am I gonna do? I kept seeing this over and over and over again. I’m like, Okay, you have to tell the story. You have to get people to start looking at their sales, their invoices, and their payments, and they have to learn to embrace this and realize that this is a part of business, you actually get a sale? Yes. You have a contract. Yes, you deliver a product or service. Yes, your invoice. And yes, you click the cash, and then you celebrate. That’s it. So yeah, so
good. Oh, my goodness. And I love that you the way you approach the collections call, quote unquote, is not adversarial. It is truly a conversation. And I love that you say you’re you’re behind on the payment, or the payment hasn’t been made. Please tell me why. You know, and instead of saying, I need to get paid right now, or whatever, it’s more like, tell me what’s going on. And I think that’s really great. And that whole approach. I believe that if anyone’s listening out there that did have that hesitation, or Gosh, I don’t know what to say, There’s nothing better than that, hey, something’s happening. Tell me what is it? I love that. I also really appreciate especially as a lawyer, that if you have accepted partial payment, if your contracts good, and written by a lawyer who protected you, it’s going to say something to the effect of if I accept something outside the contract, that doesn’t mean the whole contracts out with the bathwater, so that if you give them grace for a week, just as Dee said, the next month, if they’re late, that’s a big problem. And you’re not beholden to give them more grace, unless you decide to do that. You see what I mean? So so that paper trail of saying we discussed today that you owe $10,000, I’ve agreed to accept 5000 today and 5000 In two weeks, and then going forward, the rest will be paid on time, blah, blah, blah, whatever it is, that is so so good. All right. Well, we’re coming up against the end of the half an hour went so fast. What what advice, maybe we’ve covered a lot of great ground. But is there anything on your heart D or anything we didn’t have a chance to talk about yet that you really want to put out there in the way of the importance of cash flow? In the, you know, in the accounts receivable world?
Well, you know, Judy, I’ll say this, it’s one of these things that you, you, as a business owner, have to get really good at it’s it’s one of those things you cannot neglect it. You know, the reason I tell my story is because of of working for somebody that did this now, just like you track everything else, I’ll tell you this the thing I think one of the things I like like like, like to leave the listeners with is this, please create a tracking system. Please do that. Please have something whether it’s Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, a note on your phone, a whiteboard a piece of paper, I don’t care what you do, but you have to know the state of your accounts, you have to know how many customers do you really have? Do you have contracts with all them? Or some type of agreement? You know, what’s the dollar amount? When you’re going to what are you delivering to them? What do you invoicing and when you’re getting paid and have a column called notes, because now in a perfect world, you would deliver the product, deliver the service invoices, get paid no drama. Now, that’s perfect. That’s a perfect world. But we don’t we don’t live in a perfect world, we know this stuff comes up. And if you learn to track what track track your accounts, and it’s particularly keep good notes, that’s how you can come back and say, Okay, on this date, we discussed this, and we need to, we need to address this, you said well, we agree to the following. And then you in good faith, I accepted that you would do this. When you come back with your notes, you have your paper trail of all the things that have transpired. And you can go back and say, Okay, this will be done. The you haven’t agreed to our terms. And then you have you, as a business owner have the right to say you know what, you’re a great customer. But this is really challenging. And I don’t want to keep doing this. So you might have to decide that you know what, I’m going to terminate this contract, I’m going to I’m going to sell it you know, settle up with you. And then we’re gonna we’re gonna part ways and hopefully you could part ways on a good term because sometimes in business, there are customers that just don’t fit. Sometimes they’re just one term and one time only, and that’s okay. Most of us what we’re looking to have have customers for the long term, but you also have to learn a lesson And then if you don’t track all this, you’re not going to know. And if you don’t keep up with it, you’re not going to know. And my goal is to make sure that you just like I said, the title is this, click the cast sale. It’s not complete until the money’s in the bank, but you must collect it first.
Oh, I love it. Oh my god, that’s so good day. And it starts with the decision. tough conversations don’t have to be tough decide that it’s not going to be a difficult conversation, it’s going to be just a conversation, a very professional, above the board conversation, where it’s just a give and take. And then you get to see here’s the thing that I have to but I get to decide if this is going to continue to work or not. And one thing we she didn’t didn’t mention that, of course, me as a lawyer, I think of is if the dollars are enough. And different circumstances are such and I know nobody wants to talk about this. But if you have to sue somebody, you know, that’s reality, ladies, sometimes the best thing to do is walk away part ways. God bless you, bye bye. But there are some times when you know, you know, that’s why I went to law school D I didn’t go to law school to make millions of dollars I went to law school to right wrongs and that I’m always a person of principle. So, you know, that kind of thing. All right. So where can go ahead?
No, I was gonna say, thank you for sharing that. It totally makes sense. It’s like, you’re you’re on the side of righting wrongs and I’m on the side of righting wrongs in terms of teaching people how to collect their cash and I want them I because I want them to win. I will You and I both on the same page. We come at it from different angles, but we our goal for the for the listening audience, we want you to win. Yeah, and if you get the if you get the principles from from on duty side and my side combined, you should win.
Yeah, yeah, you’re a winner all the time. And in Christ we are no matter what happens. Hallelujah. So where can our listeners find you? Where can they grab your book, all of that? Tell us
first let me say thank you again for the opportunity to be here. It’s been a great great time so thoroughly enjoyed it. So getting a copy of collected cash, please visit www dot collect the cash.bi Z forward slash book that’s WWW dot collect the cash.bi Z forward slash book. I am on Facebook as D Bowden. LinkedIn is devoted. Instagram is at D collect but you’ll still find me so again, T boned me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram is at D collects but the book again www dot collect the cash.bi Z forward slash book, it’d be my honor and privilege to actually sign it to sign a copy and send it to you. I love I love being able to sign and write you a personal note. Because here’s the thing, like I said in my story earlier, people have people have a choice where they spend their dollars if you choose to do it with me, I want you to know that I value that and I actually write you a personal note and ship it to you personally.
Wow. D I knew I loved you. I didn’t know how much more in love with you. So thank you for sharing that wisdom. Really wonderful.
Thank you it’s been a it’s been a it’s actually been a lot of fun. I’ve definitely done it. I look to come back and do do some more in the future. All right,
excellent. Well Ladies, thank you for listening and if you have been blessed by this show, would you please take a moment and leave a rating and review even if it’s one word? Wow awesome. Oh, that’s not more than what’s what’s two words but it means the world to me and also go to my podcast page on my website, Judy weber.co/podcast Scroll down a bit. Leave me a voice note. Tell me Judy de is on fire break her back or whatever feedback you want to share. And I’m going to be playing it on upcoming podcast episodes. So once again, D Thank you ladies next time.