Six Pointers to More Effective Collections
"Have you been trying to reach me?" Yeah, right! What the delinquent has been trying to do is stay out of your way. But it's a question that puts delinquents on the spot--just the spot where you want them. Why haven't they tried to reach you, and why haven't they paid? It really works for this credit veteran. As vice president for credit at MJB & Associates (Fargo, N.D.,) William K. Blixt
is responsible for collections for a total of eight companies, including Western Products and EMCO Building Products. The activities of these companies range from home improvement (from siding, gutters and windows to spas, pool tables and fire¬places, and also providing financing for some of these projects) to machining for auto companies and handling rental properties. Each company has its own credit terms and pricing tiers, and customers range from wholesalers to homeowners. All of this means that Blixt has to be both adaptable and creative. "You have to treat each group of customers differently," he says. "I shift gears many times a day depending on the group of customers I'm talking to." But as many times as he may shift gears, he is careful to keep six principles in mind . . .
- How his first principle puts him ahead of the pack when people are deciding who to pay
- A simple trick you can easily implement that helps him get customers' attention
- His secret phrase to allow him to be aggressive, but still respectful, when tracking down hard-to-reach customers
- Ways he keeps his collection expenses down
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