How do you stop a debtor from the natural instinct of flight when things get tough?

Just like an animal, a debtor will try to get away from the pressure rather than deal with it. Just like an animal will run when they face something they do not know how to deal with, a debtor will hang up the phone to avoid the conversation. The debtor does not know how to solve the problem so he flees. What you must do is stop his desire to flee and replace it with the confidence that he can solve the problem facing him. 

The job of a debt collector is to educate the debtor so that he has the knowledge to solve his own problems. Many people think you can motivate someone else but the truth is we only motivate ourselves, however, people can influence how we motivate ourselves. Humans look for satisfaction not difficulty. They will deal with lots of difficulty if the reward is great enough. 

Getting a debtor to see the satisfaction at the end of the deal is the collector’s job. So how do you teach that staff member that is tasked with collecting a number, that he really has to just pitch the opportunity to the debtor? For he can no longer push that person to change his attitudes. It’s now a soft sell and the hard sell only works for career debtors like Payday loan files. 

Teaching soft skills to the collection industry is very difficult as the big issues lie with management and ownership which  grew up in hardcore collection shops. You must create a new program and make sure that the staff understand this comes form the top; it’s not just a new thing. 

Try these steps; 

  • Set up a new soft skills initiative and promote it with posters, prizes, meetings and management daily;
  • Make sure the ownership and management are the big pushers of the new soft processes; 
  • Have an industry veteran come and speak to the staff; and
  • Teach new skills repeatedly.

If you need some help with this give me a call at 904-687-1687

Phillip W. Duff CEO Lighthouse Consulting International



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