Angry? You’re LESS Likely to Collect

When it comes to collecting commercial debt, getting mad almost never leads to getting even. But the concern extends well beyond your bottom line.

How to be 30% less effective in collecting business debt

It’s simple. Just allow yourself to get absolutely furious about the situation, and BOOM. Your ability to recollect your money drops by a third.

Even seeing this figure may enrage you a bit, but stay with me here.

As a commercial debt collection expert with years of experience, I understand the rage you feel when you think about the money you’re owed and the length of time you’ve been waiting for payment – not to mention the deceptive, unethical, illegal moves your debtor has made along the way.

But there are concrete, research-backed reasons not to let anger take the wheel in any scenario involving debt collection – or, in fact, in any aspect of your business dealings.

The brain, the body, and what happens when we see get angry

When we get angry, the amygdala – our brain’s danger-sensing center – sends distress signals throughout the body and within moments:

  • Our muscles tense
  • Our hearts race
  • Our blood pressure soars
  • Our breathing gets shallow, ragged and fast
  • Our faces flush, revealing our inner emotional state

Waves of stress chemicals move through us, and before we know it, our brains are locked onto the target of our anger, unable to see or think about anything else. And as any seasoned collection agent will tell you, this isn’t the state of mind that leads to a good outcome.

Two factors that make anger a counterproductive force in debt negotiation

Wait a minute. Isn’t it POWERFUL to state that you’re mad as hell and you’re not gonna take it anymore?

Only if you want to force yourself into a position of having to “take” that pile of unresolved debt even longer, because two things will happen when you burst into flames.

  1. Stress chemicals will make it impossible for you to think clearly and react calmly, with full access to the facts and the mental agility to explore solutions.
  1. Your brain’s ability to form memories will be impaired. Tomorrow, you’ll be even less prepared to grapple with the issues than you were today.

How to make certain your debtor resists all collection efforts

Getting angry also means we don’t listen very well. In fact, we’re a lot more likely to blame, accuse, threaten, and issue personal attacks when we’re outraged.

On some level, debtors might deserve all that. But like all humans, they meet anger with anger. Now you’ve got TWO parties that can’t think straight – the perfect foundation for stubborn resistance. Suddenly, your opponent feels far less inclined to work out a payment plan, much less honor it.

In fact, you’re on the backfoot in virtually every way, because when you make your next move, resistance will rise up again. Debtors won’t remember the details – only the way you made them feel.

Business debt is a big deal – but it’s not worth your well-being or getting angry

There’s another reason I’m writing this blog, and it goes beyond settling commercial debt, regardless of how much you’re owed.

The truth is, anger can cost us our health. Heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, headaches, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety and depression are known outcomes. Chronic anger is also notorious for damaging our relationships with business partners, employees and loved ones.

Anger is dangerous because it tends to become a habit. Studies show that over time, we fly into a rage more often – and our perspective shifts. We lose some of the flexibility, creativity and open-mindedness we need to shape positive outcomes.

Good advice for redirecting anger

If you find yourself flying off the handle a little too often, take a page from Mayo Clinic’s anger management playbook. Their expert advice:

1. Think before you speak.

2. Once you’re calm, explain what triggered your anger.

3. Get some exercise.

4. Take a timeout.

5. Identify possible solutions.

6. Stick with ‘I’ statements in which you calmly own your point of view.

7. Don’t hold grudges.

8. Use humor to release tension.

9. Practice relaxation skills such as deep breathing.

10. Know when to seek professional help.

If you’re a biochemistry nerd and you’d love more perspective, I highly recommend the book “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” by Robert Sapolsky.

A sound philosophy for dealing with commercial debt (and other aggravations)

If Aristotle were here, he’d remind us how hard it is to be angry at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way.

If your purpose is to collect thousands, even millions in commercial debt, the right way involves seeking out a partner who can turn frustration into results.

Engaging a skilled debt collection agency whose sole focus is getting results for you will change the dynamic right away. You’ll get a break from the erosive anger you’ve probably felt in trying to settle things on your own. And it’s amazing how anger turns to peace of mind when the situation is resolved.

Think about it and contact The Kaplan Group to get things rolling. 

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