Debt collection is part of business life. It’s not necessarily a part of business life that most people look forward to, but it’s not something that can be overlooked. Past due accounts affect your business; it’s not just in the money that wasn’t paid to you, either. If you’re looking for an investor or if you’re looking for a loan from a bank, they’re going to look at your accounts receivable…and they will consider the past due accounts. Yet, debt collection isn’t easy. In fact, it can be a downright frustrating experience for people who aren’t debt collection professionals. Here are some things you can do to improve your debt collection skills.
Review Past Due Accounts
It’s hard to collect on an account that you don’t know anything about. One practical reason why you need to review past due accounts before you call on them is to make sure that they’re still collectable. After a certain amount of time, accounts are no longer collectable. That amount of time varies from state to state and also depends on the type of debt.
Additionally, reviewing past due accounts will prepare you to make calls on collectable accounts. You should be able to answer questions such as when the last payment was made, the amount that was paid, and you may need to be prepared to send out proof that the debt exists.
When you review past due accounts, you improve your debt collection skills because you’re more knowledgeable and appear more professional.
Start the Follow-up Process Earlier
Following-up is one of the best debt collection skills you can have. Many businesses wait for 30 days before they follow-up on past due accounts. Start this process the day after the payment is due. The purpose is to ensure that the client received their bill and that they don’t have any questions on it.
If promises to pay at a later date are made, make sure that you follow-up on that date.
Provide an Incentive to Pay
It may sound silly to provide an incentive to pay during the debt collection process, but it really can help you collect. Consider a settlement to get the account taken care of or offer a 10% discount if they pay in full by a certain date.
Always Act with Professionalism
Debt collection isn’t always easy. Sometimes people deny they owe you money. Sometimes they call you names. Sometimes they just don’t answer. It gets frustrating. However, when you’re calling on past due accounts, you’re still representing your business. Always act with professionalism and speak with kindness. Doing so will help protect the reputation of your business.
No Time for Collections? Partner with Clients ARM
If you don’t have the time to handle your own collections, partner with Clients ARM. We have a collections rate better than 90% and we have more than 30 years of experience. Clients ARM continues to focus on the human side of collections. We practice old fashioned customer service while helping our clients get paid. It’s easy to get started! To learn more, call us today to book your free consultation.