Collector’s Chat: 5 Collection Tips from Second Chance’s Team Lead

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary” – Vince Lombardi

Collecting on unpaid invoices can be very tricky. Between difficult debtors and lengthy federal regulations, sometimes navigating your way through everything and reaching success seems impossible- but it is not! Ms. Williams, our Team Lead at Second Chance, sticks to a consistent process that leads her to exceeding monthly goals. She is consistent in the conversations she has and maintains a positive attitude with debtors and because of this, almost every one of her calls ends in money. We recently asked her for five things that help the most with her collecting efforts, and here is what she had to say:

  1. Speak With Professionalism and Authority – Think of yourself as a debtor for a moment. I’m pretty sure when your phone rings, the last person you’d want to speak to is a debt collector trying to get money out of you that you may or may not have. Now imagine that debt collector having a bad attitude or not speaking clearly. You’d be a lot less willing to speak with them and handle your business, right?! As a collector, you want to speak loud and clear enough for the debtor to hear you. You want to give them the facts without coming off as rude or militant. An easy way to try this is by speaking with a smile. It may sound odd, but a smile can definitely be HEARD through the phone. Try it and see!
  2. Be Over-Prepared for Excuses and Rebuttals – If you’ve done collections before, you are probably already aware that debtors will have excuses. Ohhh, the excuses: “I don’t have a job right now”, “I filed for bankruptcy but don’t have my attorney’s info at hand”, “I am sick and can’t speak right now”, “I’m driving”, “I have to speak with my spouse”, “I’m driving right now and can’t give you my payment info but I want to pay”…The list goes on and on. The best way to deal with rebuttals and excuses are to provide the facts regarding their debt, listen to what they have to say while maintaining your professionalism, and give them their options. Do not argue and do not provide rebuttals on top of theirs, just listen and give them their options.
  3. Positive Thinking Goes a Long Way – Mindset is everything. If you start your day believing you will be successful, you WILL be successful! A good quote to remember is, “The difference between ‘try’ and ‘triumph’ is just a little umph!” Be positive with your debtors and positive outcomes will arise.
  4. Ask Open-Ended Questions – In order to get your debtor talking so that you can determine their actual means and ability to repay, you must ask questions. Don’t ask yes or no questions because you won’t find anything out. Ask questions they have to go into detail to answer, and determine the best way to collect with them from there.
  5. Don’t Waste Your Time – You can tell fairly quickly into a conversation with a debtor if they are able to pay or not. There is no point in continuously going after a debtor that has absolutely no means and won’t anytime soon, so it should be passed on to the creditor to handle at their discretion.