Debt collection is not an easy job. You have to deal with companies that are often reluctant, angry, or uncooperative.
You have to persuade them to pay their overdue invoices without violating any laws or regulations. You have to maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout the conversation.
But before you can do any of that, you have to make a great first impression.
The first few seconds of a debt collection call can make or break your chances of getting the cooperation and payment you need. If you start off on the wrong foot, you might lose the company's trust, interest, or willingness to listen. If you start off on the right foot, you might gain the company's attention, respect, or sympathy.
So how do you make a great first impression in a debt collection call?
You can use the Fan Dancer framework.
The Fan Dancer framework is a copywriting formula that helps you tell a captivating story online. It consists of three parts:
• The Fan: This is where you introduce yourself and your purpose in a clear and concise way. You want to grab the company's attention and curiosity with a simple statement that tells them who you are and why you are calling.
• The Dance: This is where you build rapport and empathy with the company by acknowledging their situation and showing them that you care. You want to listen to their concerns and objections and offer them solutions that can benefit both of you.
• The Reveal: This is where you ask for the payment or commitment that you need from the company. You want to be specific and assertive about what you want them to do and by when. You also want to remind them of the consequences of not paying and the benefits of paying.
Here is an example of how to apply the Fan Dancer framework to a debt collection call script:
You: Good afternoon. My name is John, and I am calling from XYZ Company. Is this ABC Company?
ABC: Yes, this is ABC Company.
You: Thank you for taking my call. I am calling about your overdue invoice with XYZ Company.
ABC: Oh, I'm sorry. We forgot to pay that invoice.
You: I understand. It can be easy to forget things when business gets busy. How are things going for you?
ABC: We're doing okay, thanks for asking.
You: That's good to hear. I'm glad you're okay. ABC Company, I'm here to help you resolve this issue as quickly and easily as possible. Do you have your invoice handy?
ABC: Yes, we do.
You: Great. Can you please confirm the amount and the due date for me?
ABC: It's $2,000 and it was due on October 15th.
You: Thank you for confirming that. As of today, your balance is $2,200 with late fees and interest charges.
ABC: Oh no, that's too much. We can't afford that right now.
You: I'm sorry to hear that. I know it can be hard to deal with financial difficulties, especially during these challenging times. Is there anything preventing you from making this payment today?
ABC: Well, we lost one of our major clients last month because of the pandemic and we're still looking for new ones. We have other bills to pay and we don't have enough cash flow.
You: That sounds tough. I'm sorry for your situation. Losing a client is never easy, especially when you have other obligations to meet. Have you applied for any government assistance programs or contacted any other creditors for help?
ABC: Yes, we have applied for some grants but they haven't arrived yet. And yes, we have contacted some of our other creditors and they have agreed to give us some extensions or lower payments.
You: That's good news. It sounds like you're taking proactive steps to improve your financial situation. I appreciate your honesty and cooperation.
You: ABC Company, as much as I would like to help you further, I have limited options as a debt collector for XYZ Company. Your account is already past due by more than 30 days and it is affecting your credit rating negatively. If you don't pay this invoice soon, it could result in further actions such as legal action or referral to a collection agency.
ABC: Oh no, we don't want that to happen.
You: Neither do I, ABC Company. That's why I'm here
You: Then please agree to this payment plan, ABC Company. It's the best way for both of us to resolve this debt amicably and avoid any unpleasant consequences.
ABC: Okay, okay. Fine. We agree to pay $100 a month.
You: Thank you, ABC Company. I'm glad we could reach an agreement. Can you please confirm your bank account details so we can set up an automatic withdrawal for your monthly payments?
ABC: Yes, sure. Our bank account number is 123456789 and our routing number is 987654321.
You: Thank you, ABC Company. I have noted down your bank account details. Your first payment of $100 will be due on November 15th and every 15th of the month thereafter until your balance is paid in full. You will receive a confirmation email with all the details of your payment plan shortly.
ABC: Okay, thank you.
You: You're welcome, ABC Company. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
ABC: No, that's all.
You: Alright then. Have a nice day, ABC Company.
ABC: You too.
The article is about how to make the best debt collection call and improve the chances of getting paid. It provides some tips and best practices for debt collectors, such as:
• Preparing for the call by researching the debtor's situation and having a clear goal
• Being polite, respectful, and empathetic, but also firm and confident
• Asking open-ended questions and listening actively to understand the debtor's reasons and objections
• Offering solutions and alternatives that are realistic and beneficial for both parties
• Following up with a written confirmation and a payment reminder
The article also warns against some common mistakes that debt collectors should avoid, such as:
• Being rude, aggressive, or threatening
• Making false or misleading statements or promises
• Violating the debtor's privacy or rights
• Giving up too easily or too soon
The article concludes by emphasizing the importance of having a professional and ethical approach to debt collection that can build trust and rapport with the debtor and increase the likelihood of successful recovery.