“A Primer on Collecting Late Payments, Part 2"
The first general rule on collecting late payments was about overall professionalism and communication style. The second point naturally follows from the first one and is a critical elaboration of it.
Second general rule: Payout and delivery, both amounts and due dates are a critical part of the agreement. Make sure they are stated in writing in advance.
Be aware that it is bad practice to make any business agreement otherwise. In many cases it may be appropriate to add provisions to the agreement for late payment, which may even include late payment penalties or collection charges. It is a good idea to tie the price very specifically to the payout, payment terms and deadlines. For example:
* A payment of USD $1,000 will be made by the buyer on 5 March 2012.
* This amount represents a 20% discount off the regular price of USD $1,250.
* Discount prices are no longer valid for payments made later than 10 working days after the due date.
In the above example, I've stated the late payment penalty as a discount because it sounds friendlier and more professional. Depending upon the circumstances your mileage may vary with this approach, but all else being equal you are better off with a diplomatic approach that shows goodwill and diplomacy rather than trying to muscle and beat your customer into submission. Human nature being what it is, keeping the atmosphere friendly tends to be good for your cash flow.
From a friend who is an established consultant, who has both worked for major consultancies and run his own shop. He gives us these useful pointers today -
"A Primer on Collecting Late Payments"
Anyone who has ever done business has had occasional difficulties collecting payments from customers. Experience shows that putting some attention (in advance) on a couple of key items can help resolve the lion's share of these issues.
First general rule: Your written communication style and professionalism can go a long way toward inducing unwilling customers to pay up more quickly than otherwise.
Let me clarify these two terms:
We all want the halo effect to work in our favour. According to Wikipedia, halo effect is defined as a
cognitive bias in which our judgments of a person’s character can be influenced by our overall impression of him or her.
Applied to education and essay writing, we can think of it as the teacher evaluating a student based on his initial impression of the student's ability and performance. With tens and hundreds of scripts to read, teachers can hardly be blamed for judging a book by its cover. After all, it is far more likely that a well written essay follows a good introduction and that a poor essay follows a bad one. This means that it is in a student's advantage to spend some time to write a good introduction. After all, who wouldn't want to start a journey with a step in the right direction?
In general,the introduction should achieve the following aims.
It cannot be stressed how important definitions are. Not only do clear definitions demonstrate your understanding of the content to the examiners, more importantly, they allow you to identify the scope of the essay more clearly and ensure that you are sticking closely to the question. Definitions can range from simple one-liner explanations of what national income is or what barriers to entry are, to full paragraphs illustrating how the price mechanism functions or how the short-run profit maximising rule works.