Being a collection agent is a lucrative yet extremely stressful job. You certainly need a thick skin in order to succeed. People are constantly screaming at you, calling you ugly names, and hanging up in your face. Others cry and tell sob stories in order to try to break your heart. Some will even make it seem like it is your fault, even though you are just doing your job. Although there are a few honest debtors, most will lie about the reasons that they cannot pay their long overdue bills. In extreme cases, people have been known to physically threaten collection agents and their families.
Being a collection agent is one of those jobs that can take a toll on you. In order to handle the stress it is important that you take breaks between those nerve-racking calls. Something as simple as going outside and breathing in the fresh air for five minutes can make a world of difference. That being said, it is also extremely important to your bottom line, otherwise known as your financial success that you are as effective as possible on each and every phone call. So without further ado, here are the top 4 ways to obtain better results when making collection calls.
1: Always Be Prepared
Remember that old saying “prior planning prevents poor performance?” Although you may not want to say this tongue twister ten times fast it is certainly great advice to follow. You definitely cannot be over prepared when it is time to make a collection call. Prior to picking up the phone you should compile a list of the most common excuses that are made by debtors, and have an answer ready for each one of them. Group them by category and have them close at hand in your computer files. That way you will be able to take complete control of the conversation whenever the debtor attempts to end the call by offering you one of these excuses. The proper reply goes a long way when attempting to collect a debt.
Here are two examples to get you started:
“I do not have the cash at this time.”
Collection Agent Response:
“I completely understand that times are tough. I have the authority to offer you an affordable payment plan so that you can start getting the weight of this situation off of your back.”
“I just sent you a check in the mail.”
Collection Agent Response:
“That is good news. Please provide me with the check number, amount of your payment, and date that you sent it in the mail so that I can make sure it is posted properly.”
It is also extremely important to have all the specific information regarding the debt you are contacting them about. Having all the facts close at hand also keeps you in control of the situation. You absolutely cannot afford to have the conversation disrupted due to the fact that you do not have an answer to the debtor’s question. If that happens typically the call is over. It is imperative that you have the exact amount that the debtor owes, the payment due date, the products and or services purchases, and the exact terms of sale.
In addition you should have the debtor’s payment record/history in front of you, particularly pertaining to your company. Has the debtor typically paid you on time but is currently slowing down, or skipping payments altogether? If you are armed with this information going into the call you can play the sympathetic card and offer them a more affordable monthly re-payment solution.
2: Always Be Positive On The Call
Your emotional state, or mood so to speak transmits over the phone line. It will have a tremendous influence on how you deal with the debtor, and in response to that how the debtor will deal with you. People respond to your tone and vibe on the phone. If you are upbeat and pleasant it will elicit a far more positive response from the person on the other end of the line. Prior to picking up the phone make sure to have a smile on your face. Treat each and every call like you are having a great day. A good attitude goes a long way with debtors. Always keep in mind that they are dealing with an unpleasant experience, and you are the person that is offering them a solution instead of a problem. If you just got off of a tough call, than take a short break and clear your head before making the next call.
3: Always Get A Commitment
Keep in mind that a call without positive results is a complete waste of your time and loss of money in your pocket. If you simply cannot get the debtor to commit to a full payment settlement, or even a monthly payment plan than it is crucial that you get them to commit to something. For example, schedule a specific call back time and date to set up the monthly payment plan. It is key that you control the situation by making them commit to it. You should never hang up the phone without reviewing the results of the call.
For example, always restate the debtor’s commitment to making payments, exactly what you expect from them, and the penalty that occurs if they fail to meet your expectations. Be sympathetic yet firm. You cannot come across as the bad guy or a pushover. It is also important to stress exactly how urgent the situation actually is. That way the debtor will not forget about you the second they hang up the phone. If the debtor does fails to follow through on their commitment you must follow through on the penalty, otherwise they will never take you seriously.
4: Always Have The Ability To Accept Credit Card Payments
A plethora of debtors simply do not have the additional cash flow to make monthly payments let alone a lump sum settlement. Having the ability to accept monthly payments or lump sum settlements through credit cards is a tremendous advantage that helps collection agents to close more deals and earn larger commission checks. However, most collection agencies do not want to pay the large processing fees that are associated with accepting credit cards as a viable payment option. The good news is that companies can avoid paying those fees out of pocket through the use of a debt collection merchant account, otherwise known as a collection agency merchant account. In essence it is a completely legal method of building every cent of the processing fees into the debtors lump sum or monthly payment. When a collection agency has the ability to accept credit cards for collection payments it vastly increases the chances that debtors will actually make payments.
Due to the array of complications, it is vastly important to only work with a payment processing company that is an expert and specialized in the collection agency/debt collection merchant account arena. For further information on how your company will save money through the use of free payment processing please contact the experts at www.MyPaymentSavvy.com.