Making Collection Calls
A solid approach to making a Commercial Debt Collection call has three parts. Collecting the facts, collecting your self and collecting the money.
1. Collect the facts
You can collect facts from a number of sources to uncover things like a change of address, change of business name, partner names and other important information.
Most of the time, what your customer tells you is quite revealing. Your conversations with him may lead you to believe he has no intention to pay. On the other hand, you may feel he has every intention of paying, but is facing obstacles that, at least in his mind, prevent him from paying you. The details of your customer’s circumstances may help you determine the next best action.
The collection specialists at C2C Resources routinely caution clients to take excellent notes of every action taken in the course of collecting. And this is why: You may need to remind your customer of previous conversations you’ve had with him, especially any promises he may have made during the course of collection.
2. Collect yourself
It’s easy to get emotional during a collection call, especially if you feel you’ve been getting the run around. For that reason, put yourself in the right frame of mind before the call and take a straight-line approach when you make the call.
Before you call, choose a positive and respectful attitude. Have your information in front of you and if you feel it will help, do a quick rehearsal of what you plan to say. Keep it brief and to the point, making a straight line to the point of your call. Above all and no matter what, stay calm and professional.
You will never regret NOT loosing your cool.
3. Collect the money
Your goals when you make a call are to get paid in full and retain the customer relationship. With those two things in mind, go into your call planning to request payment in full. You may change your mind when you hear what your customer has to say. And if that’s the case and you feel comfortable with a compromise, make sure you write down what you both agreed upon.
Putting your agreement in writing, even just as a follow-up email can be very effective in helping your customer see his promise through.
For successful in-house collections, collect the facts, collect yourself, collect the money!