Commercial Collections: Ask the RIGHT Question!

21 Sep

question-mark-1481601_640In every collection call, the collector needs to remain in charge. As a professional collector, you must lead the way toward a resolution.

To maintain control and drive the conversation in the direction you need it to go, you must ask questions that pave the way to payment in full. A question like, “When will you send a check?” will NOT achieve the goal!

For one thing, you don’t want to imply that you’re open to their terms for payment. Your terms have already been set, agreed to and subsequently ignored by your customer, which is unacceptable since they’re violating the very terms they agreed to in the first place.

Instead, try asking the question this way: “Is the check on its way?” If they respond in the negative, counter their response with something like, “Can you mail it today?”

Whatever promise is made from this conversation, document it. You might consider a follow-up email sent immediately after the call re-stating your understanding of the promise they just made. If the promise is broken, make another call that very same day. Don’t wait to address the broken promise.

Ask questions that lead your customer in the direction you wish to go. Questions that leave an open door for the customer to set new terms is counter productive.

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