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Credit Control

carolcarol New MemberRegistered Posts: 13
Hello, New to site. Can ayone help with "Essential Credit Control Phone Tecniques". How to word a plea for money and get around all the excuses. I have a lot of knowledge doing s/l and p/l and bacs payments so can cope with the excuses and understand them. Just want to learn some more persuasive language. Seen course from Inst Credit Man £400 +. Have to pay for it myself, cannot find any good books. Help!!:001_smile:


  • PAMDILLPAMDILL Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 718
    Being on the side who are usually getting the calls, just be polite, don't get ratty or cheeky unless you have been getting run around for weeks.

    Most of us do want to pay and are just experiencing cashflow problems. The companies whose credit controllers are rude tend to get put below the ones whose credit controllers are polite if the debt is the same age.

    (only personal opinion)
  • CullenCullen Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 592
    I agree with Pamdill about being polite.

    Try reading some NLP stuff regarding using powerful language. An example of this is the difference in saying:

    "Please settle your account" or

    "Your account must be settled now, please. I can collect the cheque today. I shall be there in half an hour"

    This type of language puts the customer in a bit of a corner where they either admit they cannot pay or accept that you will not be fobbed off any longer. I am sure there are much better examples of use of language.

    When I worked for a company a few years ago I inherited a worrying aged debtors list.

    I rang them all asked for all overdue balances to be settled by end of week. A few were, the others I rang on Monday, all the "cheque's in the post" stuff I asked them to cancel the cheque and reissue. As soon as I got their agreement I asked them not to post it and I would collect within the hour.

    It was a local business, so before the end of the week I had 75% of the list cleared. The other 25% some had cash flow issues so it was pointless chasing money that wasn't there so I thanked them for their honesty and negotiated terms, some paying off a little each week and purchasing further items on a cash only basis.

    In the end I only had to take one bloke to the small claims court, the debt was around £200 and we took this action because he ignored phone calls, letters etcetera and whilst owing thousands to all his suppliers took his wife and three kids for a three week holiday in Florida.

    If you are a national firm, try varying the "dont post, I will collect" to if it is not here on Monday, you will have to make a same day chaps payment... It might work for some of them.

    Best of luck, anyway.
  • sarahwilsonsarahwilson Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 567
    I do credit control, I try to build relationships with people so that they will tell you if they cannot pay you and be more open about when they can. I then get an idea of if people are being truthful or giving me the run around and can act accordingly.

    For example I have one firm who won't pay unless I send a legal action warning letter, I have been through everything with them and its the only thing they react to. I send them the legal action letter about 10 days after the account is overdue,they pay problem solved. However I would not use this approach with everyone as it would annoy most people.

    If you can get a rapport going with people it makes the job easier and a blanket approach doesn't work in most firms unless you have hundreds of customers, you need to consider each client and what works for them.
    Donna Curling
  • CullenCullen Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 592
    Good point Sarah. What works for one may not for others. Knowing your customers is the key to determining your tactics.
  • sarahwilsonsarahwilson Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 567
    I think its absolutely vital to being an effective credit controller, if you just blindly send letters you are in danger of becoming a sales prevention department.
    Donna Curling
  • Jon_1984Jon_1984 Well-Known Registered Posts: 186
    Re phonecalls I tend to say "Hi its Jon from XXX. I am just ringing up to get the payment date for the overdue invoiceson your account" on the first call, record their answer if they dont give me a card there and then and then call them back as soon as the agreed action date doesnt pass.

    The other subtle trick is to vary the format of letters every three to four months - if customers see the same letter every month they start to ignore them as well.

    There are also tricks in learning to read individual customers - one of mine have a trick of not notifying issues until two days before due and then saying because of the issue it missed the monthly BACS run. I now ring them 10 days before due and check they have the invoice and that there are no issues:laugh:

    The best trick is usually to get into a firm, friendly relationship and always take an interest in their business. If you have the time it is always worth following up 5 days or so after the invoice is issued and checking they have received.

    Also - record every conversation and the outcome so when they dont follow through you can go back and say I see you havent done XYZ as agreed....or but you said the invoice was ok when we spoke on 01/01/99.
  • carolcarol New Member Registered Posts: 13
    Many thanks for your reply and I totally agree
  • carolcarol New Member Registered Posts: 13
    Yes thanks for that I have tried that sort of tactic and I am impress that I have replies on my first day too.
  • carolcarol New Member Registered Posts: 13
    Yep agree with you too
  • carolcarol New Member Registered Posts: 13
    Yes there is that. We are having Credit Hound installed soon and wonder how it will work for us.
  • carolcarol New Member Registered Posts: 13
    Thanks for that, sound info I'll take it on board. I'll find out what NLP is about.
  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    Can also suggest you don't automatically presume your debtor is giving you the runaround when they say, but we've paid this!

    My poor husband nearly had a fit when one of our suppliers rang after christmas to say we owed them over a £1000 (a lot to us). As I knew I'd paid it, I checked the bank account and sent a fax through to them to say when the cheque had been presented at our bank. No, came the reply I haven't got it on my records. Husband now thinks somebody else has got hold of the cheque. :crying: I eventually managed to speak to someone - during my work time - to explain they must have paid it in on xx date, oh I'll check the paying in book ! What ! Why hadn't she done that in the first place??? Instead of the computer says no ? :mad2: Turns out it had been applied to someone elses account, - you'd better go and chase them then, says I, thinking she might just say sorry. No chance.

    OK moan over
  • Jon_1984Jon_1984 Well-Known Registered Posts: 186
    On the flip side we sent a cheque for 6K to a supplier and it went out our account as normal. 3 months later they send a statement and ask where is the payment for your overdue account? 8 weeks later the bank admit it was cashed at a cash convertors style place ( despite being crossed etc. ). It was an interesting one relationship wise because obviously we wouldnt re-issue the payment until the bank proved where it had been cashed was not to the suppliers bank account.....whilst the supplier only had our word this is what had occured.
  • stuart-elmesstuart-elmes Registered Posts: 6
    This article is good: the top 10 excuses customers give for paying late (and what to do about them)

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