We’ve all heard it before. You shouldn’t mix business with friends or pleasure, but in most cases it’s much easier to say than actually do. We usually enter into these agreements with the hope that the business will go to plan and the friendship will be stronger for it.
Despite our best intentions, sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan. So what happens when the project ends and the tax invoice have been issued, but months roll by without a payment. All of a sudden, you’re in the unfortunate situation where you have to constantly, month after month, ask your friend for payment but they are now avoiding you. You want the money you’re entitled to, but you want to salvage the friendship also so what do you do?
Perhaps you should seek the services of a professional debt collector who can mediate the situation. This might seem a little rash to some, but remember money is what makes the world go round and by employing someone else to do your dirty work for you, you’ll be able to concentrate on salvaging your relationship.
In choosing a debt collector to pursue payment from your friend there are a few things you should consider.
* Select professional and seek their advice – employing someone that you can trust from a reputable company is important. Remember, this your friend you are dealing with so you want someone who is firm but fair. Explain the situation to them and ask them to provide you with ongoing status reports so you can keep up to date on what is happening.
* Notify your friend’s company that you have had to defer all outstanding creditor records to your debt collection agency – explain to him that it is company policy.
* Advise your close mutual friends – spare them all the intricate details, but let them know so that they can support you both and hopefully help you to salvage your friendship. Make a concerted effort not to complain to them about your friend to them – stay positive and advise them once the collection process is all over.
* Give your friend some space during and immediately after the debt collection process, but make sure you make the effort to rebuild the friendship afterward. Planning a gathering with mutual friends is always a non-invasive approach.
* At the next appropriate time, send them a gift. A small but thoughtful gift at an appropriate time like a birthday, wedding anniversary or a home warming will imply that there are no hard feelings on your end. But remember, it is not appropriate to send them something ‘just because’ – it may look conceded.
To salvage the relationship it will take some time and some hard work on your part. After all, someone’s pride is on the line, but stick with it – business and money was never the starting point of your friendship and it doesn’t have to be the ending of it either. By seeking professional debt recovery advice and appointing them to do handle what is essentially a business decision, you should be able to come away from this paid and unscathed.