Whose side are you on?

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In a recent webinar on effective collection techniques, some of the challenges faced by the collectors included dealing with debtors who did not feel they ‘should’ pay an outstanding account.

Their belief, or at least their stated belief, was that despite their signed agreement for responsibility, the debt should be paid by someone else. In the long run, it doesn’t matter who that someone else is, an organization, group or even an individual.

A typical response might be, “you signed an agreement, you are responsible, you should pay”. Even though we may be right on all three points, often it will just be more of the back and forth, quarrel and argue.

A great technique is not to have them agree to pay but  want to pay, to the point where you can’t really stop them – just get out of the way and process the payment.

How about something different?

“Caroline, I can see where you’re coming from and you may very well be right. Despite the fact it sounds adversarial of me to request the full payment, hear me out for a moment if you will, because, believe it or not, we’re on the same side.

Here is where we stand. Back last October, you signed an agreement, acknowledging the debt and promised to pay the account. You can hold back payment of course, nobody can force you to pay, but here is what happens if you don’t ___________________. “ How can we work together to avoid that action.”  

Please keep in mind too – it is not a con job. It really is in their interest AND yours to be on the same side of the table resolving a problem – that will not fade away.

Pithy Saying:

A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end, he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger.
…Nelson Mandela