Dealing with objections

Here are some common objections you might come across when asking customers to pay by Direct Debit, and some tips on how to respond.


Here are some common objections you might come across when asking customers to pay by Direct Debit, and some suggestions for how you can respond to them.

“I don’t want to change my processes”

  • Outline the benefits to customer and/or incentives (see Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of this guide).
  • Show how easy it is to do - explain the steps (see Chapter 7 of this guide).
  • Ask what they don’t want to change and see if you can meet them halfway, or add additional benefits to them, e.g. let them choose their payment date or split payments over multiple instalments.

“I don’t have time”

  • Show how easy it is to do - explain the steps (see Chapter 7 of this guide).
  • Outline how they’ll save more time this way (if they are paying by cheque/cash/bank transfer) by giving a simple comparison of how long it takes to pay by their usual method. E.g. 30 seconds spent filling in an online Direct Debit mandate form once vs. 2 minutes on a bank transfer every month.

“I want to stay in control of payments”

  • Let them know that you will still send invoices or agree payment in advance as usual.
  • Tell them they’re protected by the Direct Debit guarantee and are guaranteed a refund in case of any payment being taken in error.
  • Tell them they are notified before a payment is taken and they can cancel their Direct Debit at any time to stop future payments.
  • Let them know that they can change their payment date at any time by reaching out to you (assuming your business supports this).

“I’m worried about using GoCardless, I’ve never heard of them”

  • Tell them that GoCardless is an approved Direct Debit provider, who work with over 30,000 businesses across the UK, Europe and Australia, including Sage, TripAdvisor and Les Mills.
  • Let them know that GoCardless is ISO 27001 accredited, (ISO 27001 is a widely recognised, internationally accepted standard for information security).
  • Let them know that GoCardless is authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority to provide payment services as an Authorised Payment Institution across the European Union.
  • If they would like more information on GoCardless security credentials, you can point them to this page.
  • Explain that compared to other payment methods like cards, bank transfers and standing orders, your Direct Debit scheme offers more customer protection, including refunds of any payments taken fraudulently or in error.

“I always pay you on time, so I don’t see why I should have to change”

  • Thank them for being a prompt payer, but explain the challenges you have in your business with admin overheads or other cash flow challenges.
  • Explain that having customers on differing methods is more work for you, and your efficiency ultimately benefits, so you’d appreciate it if they could sign the mandate.
  • Incentivise if needed (see Chapter 4 of this guide).

“Customers have voted with their feet – today more than 80% have chosen to pay with GoCardless.”

David Lester, Founder & MD, Citrus HR – HR software and consultancy

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