Positive collection tips

Here are some tips from the Lighthouse Consulting LLC training manual 

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Greetings (Never Sound the Same)

  • How may I direct your call
  • This is (name) how may I help you
  • Thank you for call this is (name)
  • Hello this is (name) how can I help you
  • Who am I speaking with
  • Thank you for holding
  • I appreciate your patience
  • Good morning, afternoon, etc.

Negotiations (Always take the Sales Approach)

  • Avoid this hitting your credit
  • Correct the credit reporting
  • Expunge the credit reporting
  • Stop the phone calls (with a commitment)
  • Reduce the interest
  • Reduce the balance
  • Stop the interest from accruing further
  • Eliminate the interest entirely
  • Waive the phone payment fee

Key Statements

  • Do you get paid this Friday or next?  Do you get paid weekly or bi-Weekly?
  • Where are you working? Where do you work?
  • Are you still working with UPS?  (No I never worked there; I work at Suntrust)
  • Reference the collect report and the financial/personal information on it
  • Where do you bank?  Are you still with Bank of America?
  • Do you currently have any liens or judgments against you?
  • Do you own your home?
  • I’ve just got to get through a couple items here before I move this onto someone else’s desk.
  • We are trying to avoid moving forward, but you need to work with us
  • Which family member or close friend would most likely help you out with this?
  • Would you like to satisfy this voluntarily or involuntarily? Satisfy is a great term
  • We need to get this satisfied
  • How do you wish to satisfy your debt, obligation, etc.?
  • We need to satisfy this obligation
  • How much is in your 401k/retirement account? You can borrow from that.
  •  “How much are you contributing to your retirement account? We can pause that” so that you can make this payment.
  • A payment arrangement can stop or pause the interest.

Lets Make a Deal Statements (Make Them an Offer)

  • Waive the phone payment fee
  • Offer them a discount for phone payments when someone says they are mailing it in. –I can knock 5% off if you make the payment by phone
  • Let me tell you what I can do for you or “I can” or “If I do this, can you do that?”
  • I’ve got an offer for you -make an offer of expungement, arrangements, etc.
  • Save money and time with a payment over the phone.
  • It’s hard to trust the mail around the holidays, tax time, anytime; I can assure you that your credit report will be adjusted
  • We have multiple options for you, is it better for you to pay with a credit card or check by phone?

 Collection Tips – Negative

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Statements to Avoid (Never-ask Yes/No Questions)

  • Can you pay?
  • Alternate Statement – you need to pay.
  • Will you pay?
  • Alternate Statement – What date can you pay?
  • Do you think that we could set up an arrangement?
  • Alternate Statement – You need to commit to payment on this account
  • I need you to make arrangements?
  • Alternate Statement – You need to pay this debt.
  • Do you think that you can pay this today?

Don’t Put the Debtor on the Defensive

  • Do not call anyone a liar Alternate Statement – I think that there is a mistake or miscommunication.
  • Do not call anyone childish
  • Lets try and handle this professionally
  • Good luck getting this off of your credit
  • We are in a position to get this taken off of your credit
  • You need to educate yourself
  • Let me explain how the process works
  • This isn’t compliant
  • Your account has become delinquent

Don’t Give the Debtor an Out

  • I will notate your file
  • I will add that to your account
  • I will mark it as a refusal to pay.
  • Alternate Statement – Ok, I’m going to have to contact our client and let them know that you aren’t making arrangements and we will make the appropriate suggestions for alternative options to satisfy the account unless we can reach an acceptable arrangement.

Negative Statements/Words – Not to Use

  • Like I said
  • Obviously
  • Actually

Phillip W. Duff

Phillip W. Duff the Founder of Lighthouse Consulting was trained in Six Sigma while working for Bombardier Capital in 2001, and is highly successful helping organizations improve their processes using the Six Sigma methodology. Mr. Duff has consulted with numerous companies over the last 10 years and has shown the ability to enact cultural change in a company. He has also initiated programs proven to drive positive revenue growth both as an employee and a consultant. His focus is to help CEO’s with a focus on growth. His knowledge of technology and background in debt collections have combined to help companies automate processes and identify which processes provide profits. Mr. Duff has also developed a unique process of initiating cultural change as a part of developing a revenue-driven atmosphere in a variety of formats. This unique philosophy and technique are unseen to date. His substantial experience in the collection industry, Six Sigma core competency and extensive industry relationships can provide you and your team a matchless perspective into your accounts receivable business or any business strategy.

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