As if the mass mailings and multiple calls weren’t enough to drive you to drink, collectors are also obtaining free online tips on how to better bang out calls to bring in your bucks. Learn what collectors are being coached on to better their efforts against consumers with accounts in collections. Read through these training tips collectors are using to manipulate or trap you into making a payment over the phone.
1. Be Prepared: Write down a list of common excuses debtors make and prepare your rebuttals to combat the debtors excuses. Exchange other ideas with co-workers and then categorize the possible excuses and incorporate them into your call script. It’s also wise to have handy: Exact amount of debt owed, Terms of sale, Product/service purchased, Payment due date.
2. Think Positive: Develop a positive mental state before jumping on the phone. Act as if every call is your first call on a great day. Wear a smile, it helps with tone. Be positive and maintain control of the call. Give the debtor a good personal vibe and work a payment out of them in a positive, professional manner. They may not like the collection agency, but you could be their best friend.
3. Respect My Authority: Tone is a strong tool when dialing for dollars. Debtors respond to tone. The tone, pitch, and speed at which you speak can have a powerful influence over your debtor. Take an anchorman or a radio DJ for example. Their voices command attention with little effort. You can take control of your call the same way with a confident tone and still maintain professionalism.
4. Establish Control & Maintain It. Address the debtor by name during the entire conversation. This displays respect and demands constant attention. Agree with your debtor, right or wrong. – I understand why you feel like that John – Validating their concerns keeps the lines of communication open and will eventually disarm the debtor. Ask open ended questions to lure your debtor in and absorb as much information as you can squeeze out. Silence is deadly. Count to 5 before replying to a debtor, wait a few seconds after being asked a question. An uncomfortable silence can create a sense of urgency in the debtor to satisfy the dead air, losing focus of the original reason for the call.
5. Lock & Key. Don’t waste your call. Every call should end with a payment, partial payment, or a commitment to make a payment in the very near future. If you don’t get a payment by phone at least you have obtained some ammunition and an open invitation to continue contacting the debtor for a committed payment. Have the debtor set up a payment for an extended date. This alleviates playing cat and mouse down the road and locks the debtor into a payment.
6. Adaptation. Every debtor is different. Lock into details like location and accents. What was the debt you’re collecting on? Identify who your debtor is before making contact. Listen to your debtor and pick up clues about their lifestyle and personality. This will help you decipher the best way to handle each situation.
Understanding your rights under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) will enable you to defend yourself against collection tactics and unscrupulous measures to collect. Use the information collectors are using against you to prepare and protect yourself when combating collection calls.
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