Skip to content

Professional Ways to Request Payment

Delivering quality products and services is just one aspect of running a successful business. Managing business finances is what keeps the lights on and allows you to continue to serve clients. At the core of this is invoice processing and receiving payments that are owed to you. If you are invoicing customers for your business services, the process of asking for payment—and having to remind customers about missed payments—can be a point of discomfort and stress on both sides. In this article, we will help you navigate this common situation by demonstrating how to ask for payment professionally.

Ways to ask for a payment professionally

  • Time your request for payment letter appropriately: A good policy is to send a payment reminder email one week before the due date, on the due date, one week after the due date, two weeks after the due date, and one month after the due date. This can be a lot to tackle manually, especially when you have multiple clients with invoices due. If you are using an automation tool like Modern Receivable, you can schedule these automated messages in advance. If someone does make a payment during that time, they will stop receiving the emails to avoid errors and annoying communications.  
  • Ask for payment respectfully: The key to success is sending a polite request for payment letter that communicates your need with professionalism and precision. This means clearly laying out all facts including the amount due, the date due, and the services provided. Keep it short, simple, informative - this is business, not personal. Keep that in mind to ensure the email is objective and void of emotion. An automated service like Modern Receivable that included pre-written templates makes it easy for you to send these communications without having to worry about how to word things.  
  • Strike a positive tone: Start and end the email on a positive note. Thank them for their business, and offer the opportunity for them to ask any questions or concerns they may have with the invoice or service provided. Make it clear that you are available as a point of contact for anything they need, while still communicating the outstanding status of payment. 
  • Attach an invoice that they can store and file: Make it easy for your request to be met by their business processes. Include an invoice attachment that they can put through their financial processes. This will increase the likelihood that you do get paid and that your message doesn’t slip through the cracks. Even better, give them a link to pay online. While you may not have this capability set up for your business, the Modern Receivable platform includes this as a payment option. 

Common mistakes to avoid

  • Sending vague requests: Don’t beat around the bush—if you are requesting a payment, be clear and direct about it. If you are indirect or vague, you will still not get a payment and risk confusing or annoying your client.  
  • Getting too personal: Don’t tell them about various bills you have coming up that you need to pay, explain how business has been tough, or apologize for having shame about charging fees. It's business, not personal. Everyone understands that payments are fundamental to any business transaction, so keep it factual. 
  • Becoming confrontational or threatening: There is no need to elevate to a threat when you are seeking to remind someone for the first or second time about a payment. That could quickly damage your relationship with that client and result in lost future sales. 

If your invoicing process has become a pain point for your business, consider automating your invoice management with Modern Receivable. Our software can help with communication, timing, analytics, and so much more. Get started today.