Delinquent payables expose our resources to risk. Here, how to deal with difficult debtors proactively disproves the common saying that if you don’t collect a debt within the first 90 days, you are unlikely to collect it. Again, it keeps us away from the strong arm tactics of using collection agencies, collection attorneys, and adversarial litigation. Employing these third parties does not necessarily yield a better result.
Following On, Here Features How To Deal With Difficult Debtors, Apathetic As Well As Cash-Strapped.
1. Follow Through By Asking For An Odd Amount
To get the debtor to hear your request for money before summarily dismissing it, ask for an odd amount. In support of, researchers discovered that asking for an odd amount makes people actually stop and think about you and your needs (Santos, Leve, and Pratkani 1991).1 In this, others will be more inclined to consider more carefully and respond more compassionately to a request of 37 cents, than that of a simple quarter. The more we ask for an odd amount, not a routine or ordinary payment, the more we make the request harder to disregard and forget.
2. Come Up To Secure An Emotional Commitment
We can achieve this through asking for a postdated cheque. A postdated cheque spotlights as a postdated promise committing the debtor to the next payment. When a person postdates a cheque, he creates an emotional commitment to the creditor. The action starts him thinking to himself, that the promise is important. Consequently, he feels obligated to follow through. According to collection industry statistics, 98 percent of postdated cheques will be valid when deposited.2
3. Change Up And Create A Sense Of Dependency
When someone does something for us, we feel uncomfortable unless we can repay him back in some way. Though we don’t have to, we still feel uneasy until we can reciprocate. This situation instills in us a sense of dependency that gnaws at our inside.
Carrying on with, any side that gives in or makes concessions, creates a sense of dependency on the other side. For the other side, regaining a sense of independence means giving something back. So, making concessions often pulls the other side unconsciously closer to the middle. Shedding more light upon, indebtedness does not necessarily create a sense of dependency in the debtor, as he feels you haven’t done anything for him. Instead, he feels he has done something to you.
Next, to animate the dynamics of dependency in the other, send across an unexpected personalised small gift reflecting the debtor’s hobby or interests. This generates a good measure of goodwill and shifts the relationship to one that is more than official and harder to ignore. Also, since you are not obligated, let alone expected, to fete him, your gesture counts as a genuine emotional debt, from the debtor’s perspective. As a result, he will feel the necessity to repay it through redeeming the actual financial debt.
4. Brave Out And Ask For A Verbal Confirmation When The Debtor Issues A Verbal Agreement To Pay
When you secure a verbal confirmation on top of a verbal agreement to pay, you start the debtor solidifying his internal consistency, and increasing his commitment to follow through. Restrengthening this, researcher Angela Lipstz and others (1989) revealed that using a simple statement like “we’ll count on seeing you then okay?” at the end of a reminder call, and then pausing for a response, a verbal confirmation, raised their show-up rate from 62 to 81 percent.3
5. Twist Up The Silent Treatment
This approach entails calling your debtor, explaining that you are calling about the delinquent account, and then waiting for a response without uttering another word. Avoid threats, warnings, and embellishments. If you are greeted by a lengthy silence from the other side, wait it out. Sometimes, your silence prompts a gush of information from your debtor, information concerning his cash situation and intent to pay. Others startled by your stance, may promise payment immediately. Just listen and allow them talk, even if they are telling you their life stories. Making them feel heard is a plus. Here, being persistent and highly respectful are crucial.
6. Follow Up On A Debtor With A Smaller Request If He Rejects A Big Request
When we make a smaller request shortly after a rejected big request, we increase the quota of agreement ( Cialdini et al. 1975).4 In line with, when we make concessions by asking for an amount smaller than our first request, the debtor feels the need to reciprocate. He gears up to do this since he doesn’t want to be perceived as unyielding and unreasonable. As well, he wants to think himself good. Laying more stress upon, getting the debtor to this attitude indicates that we are mixing ourselves up with notions of how to deal with difficult debtors.
7. Add In A Personal Touch When You Send Out The Bill
Psychologist and researcher Randy Garner showed that sticking on a post-it note a few personalised hand-written words like “thank you” or “I appreciate your time” on requests for information increased the response rate.5 Insight from, the perception that you have taken the trouble to personalise a request for payment, can make all the difference.
How deal with difficult debtors, permits proactive solutions that keep us from spending more. Moreover, it helps us to manage our relationships, as delinquent debtors can and do become good customers or friends again.
1. Santos, M., Leve, and A. R. Pratkanis. “Hey, Buddy, Can You Spare 17Cents? Mindfulness and Persuasion.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, August 1991.
2. David J. Lieberman, “Executive Power: Use The Greatest Collection Of Psychological Strategies To Create An Automatic Advantage In Any Business Situation,” ( John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2009) 51.
3. Lipstz, A., K. Kallmeyer, M. Ferguson, and A. Abas (1989). Counting on blood donors: increasing the impact of reminder calls. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 19.
4. Cialdini, R. B., J. E. Vincent, S. K. Lewis, J. Catalan, D. Wheeler, and B. L. Darby. “Reciprocal Concessions Procedure for Inducing Compliance: The Door-in-the-Face Technique.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 31.
5. Garner, Randy. “Post-it note Persuasion: A Sticky Influence.” Journal of Consumer Psychology 7 (2005): 627-639.