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9 credit control lessons from Game of Thrones


Amidst all the violence and the mind-games, Game of Thrones has taught us a lot about leadership and getting to the top. But did you also catch the credit control lessons the show has taught us along the way?

Here are nine credit control tips your business can learn from some of the hit TV programme’s most powerful characters so you can become the king of credit management.

1. Know your enemies

The easiest way to survive the Game of Thrones is to know your enemies and beat them at their own game. Similarly, getting to know your customers can give you the upper hand when it comes to credit control.

Offering credit to customers who can’t or won’t pay can be devastating. But the risk can be reduced by using credit reports which allow businesses to instantly check a company or director’s credit rating online, allowing you to make quick, informed decisions about who you do business with.

Discover more about the benefits of credit reports here.

2. Always be vigilant

Prince Oberyn learned the hard way that a momentary lapse of concentration can cost you a fight – and in his case his life.

Similarly, when it comes to credit control it’s important to always stay alert to adequately protect your business and its cash flow against the threat of late payment.

Often, customers can be very creative when it comes to making excuses as to why they’ve not paid you yet. In these situations, it’s important that you don’t take their excuses at face value, however, and attempt to find out how genuine they are. Doing so could lead to payment being received in no time at all.

To help you stay vigilant here are tips on how to avoid common late payment excuses.

3. “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder.” – Littlefinger

Sometimes the job of a credit controller can be a difficult one. With some customers persistently trying to evade payment, it can become a race against the clock to get paid before your own cash flow is negatively affected.

But, in times of chaos, it’s important to remember that effective credit controllers aren’t thwarted by challenges. To keep cash coming in on time requires dedication, persistence and a lot of hard work. If you apply strong credit control processes for a short period and then slacken off, you’ll lose many of its benefits. So, when times get tough, be persistent with your efforts and you’ll reap the rewards.

4. Never underestimate yourself

If Jon Snow can go from being the black sheep of the Stark family to becoming Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch there’s no reason why you can’t make even the most evasive of customers pay their debts. You just have to believe in yourself.

If you think a late payment excuse is simply a stalling tactic – trust your instincts and take the appropriate steps to nip the excuse in the bud and get what you’re owed.

5. Fortune favours the brave

There’s a reason the Dothraki failed to become a powerful enemy – they were scared of the sea and this fear made them seem weak.

Likewise, if your business is afraid to take action against late payment you may find yourself victim to persistent late payers. Take the brave step to take action – either through late payment interest, a debt collection agency or the courts – and not only will you show that you don’t stand for late payment you could get back what you’re owed sooner.

Here we look at your options when a debt becomes overdue to help you make the best decision for your business.

6. “Winter is coming.” – House Stark

If there’s one thing that Game of Thrones taught us it’s that being prepared for the unexpected is essential. Likewise, when it comes to credit control you need to plan ahead and prepare for the worst to limit the damage to your business from late payment.

Suffering a bad debt can cause an unexpected, and often severe, impact on cash flow. That’s why it’s important to monitor your sales ledger and regularly update your cash flow forecasts to make sure that in the event of late payment you can still meet your own commitments.

It can also be beneficial to secure credit insurance which safeguards your cash flow against late payment, either through non-payment or protracted default, to protect you from any nasty surprises.

7. Empower your staff

When Daenerys chose to free the unsullied she created the perfect army of followers. Likewise, if you inspire your credit control team to work harder you too could reap the rewards.

This blog post looks at 7 skills all credit controllers need and how you can develop these abilities in your employees to get the most out of them.

8. Keep your promises

Remember when Robb Stark decided to break his promise to marry one of Lord Frey’s daughters? Failing to keep his word got him, his wife, his men and his mother all killed at the infamous Red Wedding.

Whilst breaking a promise with regards to credit control probably won’t get you and your family murdered it can tarnish your reputation and cause delays in payment.

If you continually fail to follow through on your promises your clients won’t take your credit control efforts seriously and could stall payment for even longer.

This credit control timeline offers tips to streamline your processes so you can keep on top of your customers at all times.

9. “A Lannister always pays his debts.” – Tyrion Lannister

The Lannisters are well known for being true to their word – they always pay their debts. And when it comes to your business this phrase is equally important.

If you fail to make your on payments on time how can you demand your customers adhere to your terms? So, remember to practice what you preach and stay on top of your own payments to avoid damaging your cash flow and your reputation.

This blog post looks at 6 repercussions of not paying suppliers on time to show that missing a payment is a big deal.

If your business is struggling to allocate the time and resource that’s required for effective credit control, our outsourced services could help. Contact us on 0800 9774848 or collections@hiltonbaird.co.uk to discuss your requirements.


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