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When you have a customer who hasn’t paid you and you want your money (who doesn’t?), one of the most effective things you can do is get on the phone and call them. Although calls are certainly more intrusive than letters, they are much more direct and can help you get closer to your goal. Think about it: letters are easy to push to the side, to “get to later”, but a collection call adds urgency and immediacy to the situation. When you are itching to get paid, give them a call. However, be wise in how you approach them. The best way to be successful is to prepare. A collection call script is the key to make sure your call goes just as you need.
Collection Call Script: Prepare Yourself to Get Paid
1) Always Stay Calm & Professional: Whenever you are reviewing your collection call script, keep in mind what is most important – keeping calm. A collection call really puts you in a vulnerable position but you have to be super careful to not let your emotions affect the conversation. Remain professional and never lost your temper. Keep yourself from posing any threats, as turning to anger can often make the other person on the line defensive or turn you off. Remember, as your collection call script should clearly state, you should always be calling from an “inquiring” point-of-view and never a “demanding”. Ask your customer why they haven’t paid and what you can do to help make sure that happens.
2) Prepare Responses in Advance: What makes phone calls a bit nerve wracking is the fact that you don’t know what kind of responses you are going to get. You don’t know entirely how a customer is going to react or what they are going to say. However, you can prepare yourself. Given your past experiences in the business, and your knowledge of dealing with customers, sit down and map out all possible reactions you could have from customers. Then, create a game plan of how you would respond to these reactions. Include this as part of your collection call script, preparing for each type of customer: apologetic, forgetful, despondent, etc. Although you can’t guess every response you will receive, you can at least give yourself some ideas for the most expected responses. The more you practice with your collection call script and prepare, the better you’ll be when the moment comes.
3) Structure Your Collection Call with Specific Goals: There are many goals you should consider for yourself when making your collection call script:
- To catch up with the customer - Before anything, you need to acknowledge the person on the other end of the line. Show the customer you care by remembering details of their personal life, things you know they will enjoy talking about. It’s important to never forget the relationship.
- To talk about any current business - Not only should you care about what’s going on in their personal life, but get an update on their business. Their business is a huge part of their life and it’s also immensely beneficial for you to know what’s going on professionally for them.
- To establish the payment is late - You need to acknowledge the reason you are calling. Let them know their payment is past due.
- To discover why the payment is late - Instead of simply listing off the facts to your customer, ask them why the payment is late. Listening will help you better solve the problem at hand.
- To get a payment promise from the customer before you hang up - The call is useless if you cannot get that promise from your customer. Do everything in your power to make this happen.
Creating a collection call script is no easy task. Feel free to use our’s as your template. Check out our free collection call script!
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