You hear the same excuses year after year when asking for payments during the holidays: “We’re short staffed,” “Half of our guys are on vacation,” “It’s a short week, have a heart!”

They may be true, and you certainly don’t want to sound like Ebenezer Scrooge in collecting payments during the holiday season. But Thea Dudley, CEO of Pocket Protectors, aka “The Credit Overlord,” is here to remind distributors that they too have their own people to look after.

“[You] still have people that would like to get their holiday bonuses and things, so we need to keep that money rolling,” she said.

In this video with RSP Group Publisher Jill Bloom, Dudley explains four different ways distributors can successfully navigate holiday schedules and payments. These include leveraging payment portals to make it easier for clients to pay, examining terms and conditions on a per-client basis, leveraging late fees or interest, and relying on emails versus snail mail.

“If you think [snail mail] is bad during just a regular year, it's worse during the holidays,” she said. “I know people don't send holiday cards the way they used to, but trust me, if there's any way that the post office can slow down getting your stuff to or from you, they're gonna do it.”

Dudley also provides some suggested phrases and tactics to use when your credit department or sales people run into the typical holiday excuses mentioned above. Dudley admits it sometimes comes down to being a little tough.

“You have to learn to be okay with just getting blatantly honest. You don't have to be mean, you don't have to be a jerk, but you can un-varnish it,” she said.

Watch the full episode here or download it from our podcast page to listen on the go.