But in order to successfully collect the money owed to you and your business, you need to be able to handle the situation, and the person on the end of the phone properly. So today, we’ve put together 7 tips that will help you be better at debt collection and reduce the chances of late payments in your business.
You guessed it – number 1 on the list is listen. You might be the worlds best investigator, skip-tracer and location agent, able to find the person who owes you money. But what do you do when you finally get them on the phone? In an ideal world, you would be quiet, and you would listen. No matter what the amount they owe you or how long it’s been overdue, they have a story to tell you, and you should listen. If you’re willing to do that, then you will be much more likely to be able to create a compromise everyone can be happy with.
Confidence is great, but there is a limit to how far it can get you when dealing with overdue payments. The debtor is already embarrassed enough about the situation, so try to be a little sensitive to their feelings. Don’t yell at them, talk over them or belittle them. Show some compassion and empathy – it goes a long way.
Keep Your Cool
No matter what, no call and no person is worth ruining your day and your mental well-being. If a debtor starts yelling at you, frustrating you with broken promises, or with bounced payments, take a deep breath and relax. If you are able to keep calm and stay professional, then you can handle the situation and when they run out of steam, you will still be able to talk through the issue and come to a solution.
Take Your Time
Business owners trying to collect on debs make this mistake all the time, and that’s trying to rush through the process. Slow down, speak in a calm, even, well-paced voice and don’t move through the process too quickly. By doing this, you will carry more of a sense of gravitas and authority, and your phone messages will be clear and well understood, making you perform more effectively.
Be Clear And Concise
Debt collection is an awkward subject, and often it makes people uncomfortable. But even if you’re not all that confident, you need to sound like you are. If you sound shaky, the debtor will latch onto that. But moreover, be transparent. Once you’ve identified that you’re talking to the right person, tell them your name, the name of your company and why you’re calling. Don’t try to deceive them – they’ll know that something isn’t quite right, and they won’t be as willing to pay later on.
Don’t Waste your Time
There are some customers who are just out to waste your time, with no interest in paying. They will try to run rings around you, or give you false promises about payment. If you’ve spent hours chasing a £100 payment, you might be wasting your time now. Try to keep it in perspective, and don’t waste your time on clients who aren’t interested in paying you. If you’re being given the run around, make sure you pass the client on to a debt collection agency instead.
This is obviously a tough time for the debtors or can be embarrassing for the person you are dealing with on the other end of the phone, so try to have a laugh at it all. No harm in having a bit of fun while you do your work. This will put the debtor at ease and the process will go a lot quicker, and smoother.
At Debtcol, we understand that you want to try and keep costs down and handle such thing in house, yourself. But sometimes, that’s just not possible. That’s where we come in. At Debtcol, we provide an outsourced debt collection service for your business, either on a one off or ongoing basis, so that you can spend more of your time working on your business, and less chasing overdue payments. For more information, or to get your free quotation today, just get in touch with the team.