The frustration comes from all those debtors who don’t seem to do much of anything. The problem is, debtors don’t seem to answer their phone. They are always busy or away. Frankly, many of them are trying to avoid you at all costs.
Getting someone’s attention is a SALES problem and, even if we have nothing to do with sales, we know plenty about selling. We know that the chew stick will get the attention of most dogs. We expect the high grade point average in college should interest the prospective boss. We also know that the reverse is not going to work. The difference is that the high grades could only benefit the employer and the chew stick could only benefit the dog.
From the perspective of the debtor, paying your bill is a big negative. You want to talk to them about payments, but it will never get them running to pick up the phone. To get them motivated to pay your bill, call, fax, E-mail, or write them about benefits. You can offer these debtors a continuation of a comfortable relationship with your company, a way to eliminate or reduce your calls for money or a substantial financial benefit by avoiding litigation. You can offer almost any positive benefit and it will create interest.
It doesn’t have to be a great offer. It merely has to be better than other items fighting for your debtor’s attention. Since most incoming contacts to debtors who have trouble paying their bills are negative, even a neutral contact has a chance to make it to the top of the action list.
Circle, draw arrows, and leave hand written notes on your letters and notifications to the debtor. This can increase the odds of being read five fold.
Finally, as a last resort, SEND a TERMINATION LETTER. Specify that if the bill is not resolved within 10 days you will send the debt to a Collection Agency. Mention that you understand that the debtor may be having problems and you are willing to work with the debtor. However, your company has a STRICT termination policy and this bill is getting close to the termination point. About 1 in 10 debtors will respond to this notice.
These methods are more than are usually required. If they don’t work, not much else will. Stop beating a dead horse and send the claims to a collection agency. Some debtors cannot or will not pay unless you force the issue. The bottom line is that once you have done everything possible you can pass the debt on without second guessing yourself.