I’m a – dun, dun, dun! – debt collector.
I’ve owned my agency for over 20 years now, and we collect at almost twice the national average. Without the complaints or regular lawsuits. In other words, I know how to ask for money, and I know how to do it without making people feel like crap. Want to learn how?
Let’s be real, the debt collection industry has a bad rep. And to be honest, they deserve it. For too many years, the industry has threatened and intimidated people into paying their debts. And now, no matter what industry you’re in, it can feel slimy to ask for money. I get that.
But what if there was a better way?
The truth is, you can ask for money in a way that feels confident, compassionate, and cleansing – for both parties involved. Here are my top tops that you can actually use today for asking for money (in any business):
#1. Put in Policies and Procedures
If you’re in a one-on-one conversation with someone who owes you money, and you have to make decisions about what kind of payment plan you could put them on, I can guarantee you that pressure won’t end well.
Get the prep in place to know exactly what kinds of plans are available, what kind of payment you’ll accept, and when it’s due, instead of trying to make an on-the-spot decision. Plus, it’ll result in clarity and confidence for the person who owes the debt – no guesswork!
#2. Systematize your Sales
If you have access to the tech, automate. Nothing is worse than getting out of a beautifully relaxing massage and then having the receptionist ask for money. It often causes the customer to snap out of that happy, satisfied state and into one of guilt, defense, or even fear. Which is bad news for you as a business, too.
Instead, make the process as easy as possible, so that the client doesn’t even have to think about the fact that they’re spending money. Send email receipts, set up automatic billing, and keep credit card info on file so they don’t have to pull out their wallet.
#3. Communicate with Clarity (Be Direct!)
I see passive language all the time. FYI, if you’re asking: “Is there any way you could pay your bill today?” The answer is going to be no almost 100% of the time. Instead, use direct and clear language, like this: “Your total balance is $78.54. How would you like to take care of that? We take cash or credit.”
And by the way, direct communication receives higher scores on customer satisfaction surveys. People don’t want you to beat around the bush, they want to be guided through the process.
Your payments will skyrocket when you implement these – even if you don’t change anything else. Try them out and let me know how much better it feels to get paid without driving away your clients. Send me an example of a new & improved money ask using your own language. I want to see your success!
To view this article as originally published, visit MaryShores.com