imgae cubicle privacyIn overcoming excuses for non-payment, we recommend focus on the 5 W’s of investigative journalism: Who, What, Where, When and Why.Here are some tips that combine two of these and the offer of free* product for three of you.

Where and when we make our contacts to our customers depends on our business. Some of us have our own office (there are still a few of them around) where we can close the door and if we are working on large balance clients – call them at the ‘best’ time.

The important words in real estate are location, location, location and in our business timing, timing, timing. When is the time convenient for you – not so much for them?

At the opposite of a private office would be those of us working in a call centre where we have little if any control over when the calls are received or the environment. A large percentage of us are in-between. We have some control, but not much. However, just because you can’t do a lot, doesn’t mean you can’t to a little.

  • Establish ‘zone’ time with your co-workers. This is a do-not disturb time that rotates among your peers. They say the longest journey begins with but a single step. If you do this just on your own, you have taken a step down the road of becoming the office jerk.
  • Decide or influence the next account or client you work. You don’t want to spend much time on it and collection management systems should be designed to help, but the question asked and answered is: “If I could only work on one account today, which one?)
  • Quiet on the set! Perhaps you have one or two accounts that would be better resolved with your full attention and no background noise or distraction? See if you can arrange to book or use an empty office or meeting room.
  • If a high balance or serious delinquent client calls you, they may more prepared than you. Set up a time to call back or at least put hold long enough to ‘be prepared’.

When I teach stress management programs, I mention a firm called “Cubeguard”. They make a neat little product that can stretch a message, such as “do not disturb” across your cubicle. They are about $20 each and can be customized with your own message or a company’s logo.

Gamesmanship? Sure, tilt the field in your favor with every trick in the book – but keep it legal and moral.

image cubeguardHi Tippers,

Thanks for all the love. First three to submit were: Jason Chesley, Kesha Haney, Melinda Schaffer. I’m getting in touch with them to send out their ‘free’ gift :).