A great dichotomy exists between customers and suppliers: customers want to keep hold of their money for as long as possible, while suppliers want to be paid as soon as possible. Often suppliers are reluctant to press customers for payment, especially large customers, for fear of damaging the relationship. This is the conundrum that faced Buki Mosaku, founder of Inquire Management.
Buki Mosaku has a background in sales and consultancy. Running a small team, Buki was used to buying-in training but found much of it either over-complicated or over-simplistic. So Buki took a sabbatical, did some research in the US and other parts of the world, and created a training package and methodology that helps sales people get more meetings, close more sales, and grow existing more business. In short, Inquire Management turns ordinary sales people into high-performing sales people, in the UK and internationally.
As big consumers of sales training, and with some big names and big brands, financial services was a natural target market for Inquire Management and its first client was a fund management company. Inquire Management now has not only financial services clients but has moved into virtually all sectors.
Dealing with some very large clients put Inquire Management up against the problem of long payment terms. “It’s a big problem,” says Buki. “We deal with some large FTSE 500 companies and they want to hold onto their money as long as possible while we want to get paid as quickly as possible. There’s a different sense of urgency on each side.”
In search of a solution, Buki looked into factoring and other traditional invoice financing products. He shied away from them as the risks were too high and he didn’t like their intrusive nature. Buki explains, “With factoring they’re all over you and it no longer feels like your business. They want complete control over your book, if the customer doesn’t pay they’ll come back to you for the money, you pay through the roof for the privilege, and the set-up fees are ridiculous.”