Business Development

Closing a sale - getting your prospect to say yes - can sometimes be as easy as asking for it.

When you deliver an in-person sales presentation, you have a unique opportunity to appeal to your prospect on a number of levels at once.

You've looked at a potential client's credit report and recognize the warning signs - late payments, pending lawsuits, heavy debt load. This customer could be a credit risk. Does this mean you have to turn the business down? Maybe not. Take these steps to minimize risk when working with companies with questionable credit.

Dig deeper

Each potential customer's credit will be affected by different circumstances, so it pays to look closely at the source of bad credit marks. For instance, if a new client sells holiday ornaments, there's a good chance cash flow will be tighter for this business in the summer than in the winter. If you decide to accept its business, you can use this insight to design credit terms that increase the likelihood that you'll be paid. You may require C.O.D. payments in the off-season and down payments when sales are high.

This checklist will help you think about the information you should obtain before entering into a franchise agreement. Find out as much information as you can about the franchise. Read all documents and agreements carefully, and do not sign anything without understanding it first. You may adapt it to reflect your business needs, type of clientele, products and service you offer. Seek independent advice from a lawyer, accountant or business adviser who has experience in franchising.