Credit, sales and balance of the universe


Dear Thea,

One of my reps recently told me that he should be able to issue orders and have override capacity on his accounts that are on hold or don’t have enough credit. I am new to credit, but that’s not a thing, is it? I don’t think that’s the case, but he said it with such conviction that I question myself. To help!

– Second riddle in Saginaw

Dear second,

Let’s talk a bit about nature. There is a certain balance in nature that keeps everything balanced and stable. Any slight modification of certain parameters will be corrected by a negative reaction which will eventually return the modified parameter to the original equilibrium position. That’s how it is with sales and credit. There is a certain balance that keeps everything stable. Any slight changes (such as sales governing accounts) and the balance of credit and sales changes, usually not in a good way.

To be fair, I can see how, in theory, some sales reps might think they would be diligent, and that monitoring their own accounts, tracking lien entitlements, overdue balances, overdraft limits, and other challenges seems plausible. Well, I couldn’t even write that without laughing. Think about it: if sales are commission-based, wouldn’t it make sense that they want the account to pay on time? They would like to know if we are about to lose money. They would like to keep the account on track with moving products so that the beautiful balance stays in balance! What if they are engaged but don’t want to be the tough love parent? What if they are not commission-based? Then what ? Money is the great equalizer.

Sales reps tasked with a credit function would tip the balance of the cash equation into a negative reaction. The delicate balance is maintained when everyone works together to ensure the goal: get the sale, support the customer, get paid as agreed. Nature remains in balance.

I find it charming that your sales rep thinks he should have override and release capabilities. I believe I should never have to work out, I should sleep all day and have unlimited chocolate and wine with no consequences. But, alas, nature does not work that way.

What I’m hearing loud and clear is that your sales rep doesn’t like your decisions or doesn’t like having to go to another person in the company to ask for their cooperation, especially if that person has a point. opposite view. Let’s make something clear now. The customer is not “his”, the customer is “our”, and it takes a village or, in this case, the whole company to manage them. Whether it’s getting the sale, entering the order, approving and releasing credit, pulling and loading warehouse, delivering drivers, collecting credit and applying funds , everyone in the company has a role in a customer’s success and is equally important. . Some salespeople, not all, are a bit territorial about the customer, but – be clear about this –everyone has the property.

In short:

  • It’s not a thing.
  • Sales should never be given the opportunity to increase a customer’s line of credit, exceed the limit, or release orders on overdue accounts.

Just because he believes his own hype doesn’t mean you should. The balance of the universe depends on you.

With over 30 years of credit management experience in the LBM industry, Thea Dudley advises businesses on a wide range of credit and financial management issues. Contact Thea at


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