I have always been a great advocate of the telephone for collecting money – because it is TWO WAY communication and enables you to ask questions as to why the payment is late – if there are any issues with the invoice – and more importantly WHO the person is who authorises payments.
Emails – and letters and statements – are ONE WAY communication and sit there, waiting to be responded to – and most of the time they are ignored.
So ! Let’s pick the phone up – let’s start conversation and let’s get the money in.
Always – when calling – use your full name and never say the word ‘just’ (it diminishes everything that you are trying to do)
Ask the receptionist WHO you need to speak to in accounts payable and make a note of it
If the accounts department are only open limited hours – make a note of this – don’t waste phone calls!
When put through – use a firm tone of voice – not aggressive – more assertive – state how much is outstanding – which invoices and ask when they’ll be paid (please goes a long way here)
Discuss how and when they’ll pay – if it’s on the next BACS run – ask when that is – and if you’re looking to the future ask HOW often do you do BACS runs so that you can make your invoices fit into the payments
Leave the call by repeating HOW MUCH and WHEN this will be paid
Put the phone down last – make sure they’ve finished speaking
Possibly not – join a Benchmark open course entitled Debt Collection by Telephone to enhance your collection skills