Two Tips to Improve Collection Negotiations

One of the most important aspects of debt collection is knowing how to negotiate effectively with debtors. Learning to negotiate is not an easy process, and certainly requires practice, but anybody who’s already working as a debt collector has likely had time to develop their negotiation techniques to some extent at least. With this in mind, today’s blog post provides two very simple tips to help debt collectors improve their negotiation skills, allowing them to collect more efficiently.

  1. Failing to demand payment in full during the very first communication with a debtor is one of the most common mistakes collectors make when negotiating with debtors. Luckily, this is an easy mistake to correct: when you get a hold of the debtor, you should immediately explain that you’re calling to collect the full balance due and ask them how they would like to make a payment. Of course, in many collection efforts they won’t immediately agree to make a payment, but by asking for full payment rather than conceding to a payment plan or other payment option, you will leave the impression that the debt is being taken seriously and that immediate action is required on their part.
  2. Oftentimes, indebted businesses will direct debt collectors to employees who don’t have permission to authorize payments. This is a fairly common tactic employed by debtors to stall the collection process and frustrate the debt collector. With this in mind, whenever you speak with somebody on the phone you should immediately find out their position at the company and whether they are authorized to make payments on outstanding debts. If the answer is no, your next step should be to ask to be transferred to somebody who does have this authority or, at the least, request contact information for said individual. Don’t waste your time negotiating with somebody who, in the end, won’t be able to make a payment anyways.

For more tips, check out our post on Basic Strategies To Promote Debt Collection Success.


About The Author:

Dean Kaplan is Principal at The Kaplan Group. Dean's exper­tise is widely rec­og­nized in the debt col­lec­tion indus­try. His advice has been pub­lished in a num­ber of indus­try newslet­ters such as Credit Today and InsideARM and he is a fre­quent speaker at indus­try events.