10 Tips to help collect past due accounts

By: JR Rooney..


Ten Tips on how to collect debt:

PREPARE: Go over the paperwork on the debtor before making a call. Knowing the history of the account is key. Have all the records in front of you, ready for reference if needed.

ATTITUDE: Adopting a straight, professional, business-like attitude is important. You have a contract or you delivered the goods, money is now owed and you have the right to expect payment. Do not let it become personal. Don't yell or raise your voice; and NEVER curse. Don't make idol threats; legal action is your recourse.

CONTACT: It is important that you are talking to the decision maker. Do not let any individuals brush you off with "You'll have to talk to the bookkeeper." Identify the person who can cut you a check. If you can not get through after several calls, let the secretary know that you know your calls are being screened. Tell her the purpose of your call and if necessary give a deadline.

CONTROL: Control the conversation. Keep it focused on the debt and on the repayment schedule. Don't let the customer sidetrack you with personal history, excuses, etc. Remember, the object of your call is to collect money, or get a commitment, not to become buddies with the customer or win arguments.

FLEXIBLE: Always be prepared to adapt to any situation. Try to think about the kind of customer you are dealing with and work to overcome the obstacle. Be prepared to accept a reasonable payment plan or settlement, and a willingness to deal with a customers circumstances.

NOTES: Keep detailed, accurate notes of every contact with the customer. Probe for further information on the customer. Notes of these contacts will help you in subsequent phone calls, and may be invaluable in litigation. Good notes will also help in further credit decisions, or in cases where skip tracing may be needed.

PRODUCTIVE: All call should be brief and to the point. This is a business call, not a social hour. View your efforts on a ratio of time expended to results achieved. A long conversation typically means the customer is stalling you, or trapping you in the buddy syndrome.

PRECISE: Never leave a call open ended, such as "Well talk next week," or "Ill send what I can." Every single call should result in a commitment to some kind of payment, You need a specific amount, by a specific date, even the check number the customer is using to pay the promise.

TIME: The longer an account is outstanding, the less likely it is that it will be paid. If payment is not arranged or a payment plan is not established within 90 days, place the claim with a collection agency or start legal proceedings.

PLACEMENT: Try to choose an agency that does not have to pay to get your information. Just type in "Collection Agency" to any search engine and pick a firm that ranks organically.

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The best Collection Agency that ranks organically on Google is this Collection Company

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