As we all know, web sites can reveal answers to questions has about a prospect or client. Questions such as: How long has the company been in business? Who is leading the company? What do they sell? Is he website professional and informational? Are there negative blogs or posts about the company?

Many professionals now employ Google and other search engines as a “credit vetting tool” to gauge the risk of doing business with a new customer. As the following illustrate, professionals should consider social media sites as easy-to-use and -access tools. 

Social media can be used to learn who you are dealing with.
For example, if you get a large order for computer hardware online or over the phone, check out the address on Google maps.  Does the address indicate a real office or is it in the middle of a parking lot.

Google the person ordering the goods. If the Facebook profile says the person is under 18, then it is safe to say this is not a prospect.

Social Media can help you stay connected.
Many businesses large and small are creating Facebook pages. “Like” the Facebook pages of your clients so you can easily stay up-to-date on what they are doing. For example, one of the red flags is clearance sales.  If you see a client is doing a big clearance sale on Facebook, those can be red flags for credit managers and collection people that the client could be having cash flow issues.

Another example, you have a client who suddenly closes the company’s doors and moves to another city. Check the client’s Facebook page and see where they moved so you can collect any debt owed.