Making Effective Collection Calls
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Advice from the Expert: Making Effective Collection Calls


Collection calls are hard because they are a part of business, but it is also a personal matter which is what makes it so hard to do. People get emotional and have to make business decisions about their bottom line.

Calling a past due customer and asking them to pay their bill is not on the top of anyone’s list of fun things to do.  If you are in business, you have to do it or hire someone to do it for you.  The easy part of a collection call is picking up the phone; the hard part is the actual conversation.When you are faced with the dreadful task of making collection calls you will want to take some steps that can help make those calls easier for you and the person you are calling.

Advice from the Expert: Making Effective Collection Calls

You should prepare for the call by looking up the customer’s account, see if anyone else has called them or if any letters were sent.  See if there were any disputes and be ready to send copies of documents to support any excuses you might get.  Once you have all your ducks in a row, be prepared for what response you might get when you make the call.

Here are my top 5 questions to ask when you are calling a customer (consumer) that owes you money:

1.         Do you have a job?

2.         Does your spouse/roommate/partner have a job?

3.         Are you collecting unemployment?

4.         When do you get paid / receive your unemployment check?

5.         Can you pay half of the balance (insert dollar amount, be specific) on (insert date they receive check or get paid)?

Here are my top 5 questions to ask when you are calling a business customer that owes you money:

1.         How are your sales?

2.         Are you waiting to be paid by your customers?

3.         Are you actively trying to collect from those accounts?

4.         What payment promises do you have?

5.         Is bartering a realistic option?

This article is published on behalf of Michelle Dunn. An internationally-known expert on the topic of credit and collections Michelle Dunn is a leading authority on collecting money to businesses everywhere.  Michelle is an award winning author and self syndicated columnist. She has worked in business for over 25 years and has been named one of the Top 5 Women in Collections for two years as well as being voted as one of the Top 50 most influential collection professionals in her industry.  Learn more at

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