A colleague of mine called today to exclaim certain proof that their bread and butter consulting client was headed down the tubes. They had already received legal advice suggesting to invoice the client in advance, and ask for cashiers checks.
If there is an impending problem, I call that an easy way to let the cat out of the bag.
I told a story once about how we (in my former consulting life), used to ask for payment in advance when advising clients who were near bankruptcy. But near bankruptcy meant we knew the cash had dried up, the bank wasn’t lending anymore, and there was no collateral besides stocks of toilet roll. But that is a totally different story.
The client in question here was paying its bills on time, so I asked what the problem was. Well rumor had it that some other vendors weren’t getting paid quite so promptly. But theirs were.
If I could think of a better way to put a customer on their heels, asking for payment in advance by cashiers check would surely run a close second. In fact, the only one I could come up with to top it was asking the customer to bring cash in a brown paper bag…no, maybe unmarked bills too.
If you are not feeling the pain, don’t let those around you think you are clued in to theirs. Particularly if they are still feeding you.