Once an account becomes 90 days past due, the chances of recovery are drastically reduced.
The key is making better collection calls before you have to place an account for collection. And remember, intelligence wins!
There are seven steps to a successful collection call:
1. Confirm who you are speaking with.
Verify that you are speaking with the decision maker, i.e. the person who can authorize the check.
2. Identify yourself.
Always start out by providing the debtor with your name and company, at the very least.
3. Give your reason for calling.
Do not hedge, do not intimidate. Be businesslike and friendly.
4. Let the debtor talk.
Let them explain why they have not paid. If the reason is valid, they will not hesitate to explain their situation.
5. Identify the problem.
Identify why the debtor cannot pay: cash flow, damaged goods, credit, etc.
6. Determine the solution.
Do not terminate the conversation until you have reached an agreement.
With every phone call, your aim should be to solve the problem at hand.
The solution could include a payment plan, settlement, merchandise return, etc.
7. Document it!
Take detailed notes on every call. Record the date, time, debtor name, what is expected and when.
Write down everything pertinent to resolving the debt.
Do not be like the boy who cried wolf. Remember, follow up on whatever promises or arrangements are made with the debtor.
Whatever you said you were going to do – do it! Never threaten or promise to do something you could not or would not do.
[ Related: How to Leave Good Voicemails ]
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