Show me the money (part three)

We all know the importance of credit checking clients, especially in the current economic climate. But at what stage should you do this?
Julie Fawcett from Heart Business Consultants gives us her advice:
Many companies wait until they have won the business and are about to sign the contract before checking the credit worthiness of the client. But what happens if the check shows them to be un-credit worthy? Would you ask for payment up front? Or turn down the business? What if the client is unwilling to pay up front? Wouldn’t it have been better to know all this at the start, before you had dedicated all that time to the pitch?
Wasted time is not the only consequence of this scenario. You may damage your company’s reputation by declining the work as the client will certainly feel like you wasted their time and now they have to either start the pitch process all over again or face an awkward conversation with their second choice about why they would now like to proceed with them.
And don’t forget the cost of lost opportunities. What work might you have won had your pitching efforts been focused elsewhere?
To prevent this from happening to you, introduce a credit check to your ‘to pitch or not to pitch’ criteria. It takes less than half an hour to do and it could save you a lot of heartache further down the line.