That is the number one rule when communicating. As a Debt Collection Agency we are keenly aware of the pitfalls of verbal commitments. I would like to share some of the problems involved and their simple solutions.
The first rule of debt collection communication is that there is no truth, only perspective. Science has studied the universe for thousands of years and acquired an abundance of information. Scientists have concluded that absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Earth moves around the Sun. You cannot tell the difference by looking at the Sun To the naked eye it looks like the Earth is the center. It also feels like the Earth is flat.
Science goes beyond these initial sense perceptions to obtain a true picture of what is happening, but a lot of people aren’t buying it.
A lot of people in this country, about twenty-four percent, believe what they see with their own eyes. Clearly, to them, the Sun moves around the Earth and it is ridiculous to think otherwise.
Same Earth. Same Sun. Two completely contrary views. These views are so different that each concludes the other is wrong.
Now, let’s shrink the scale down to your business. When you speak to a consumer or business client about the nature of your relationship or how a bill will be paid, keep in mind that what you think you are saying may not be what the other party is hearing. Let’s examine a few examples.
An apartment Manager tells a tenant it is OK for them to go. The Manager is thinking the Tenant cannot be forced not to leave. The Tenant, on the other hand, is thinking that the Manager said there is nothing owed. It is no more of a stretch than thinking the Sun circles the Earth.
A Contractor has a verbal agreement with a Consumer to do some work and to be paid upon completion. The Contractor is thinking about a list of jobs. The Consumer may be thinking of the same job list, but their understanding of complete may be very different. In their mind the driveway may be too narrow, the planting too sparse or the pattern of tile work less impressive than it was on the sample.
No matter what service you provide or what you sell this is a real problem. It not only will cost you money, it will cost you customers. You can save a customer by doing a lot of free work or providing free products to meet the customer’s thoughts. That may save a customer but will cost much more.
Writing detailed information that everybody agrees to in writing is the best solution to this problem. Nothing works all the time, but signed written agreements usually put all parties on the same page and give you a clear and obvious path toward obtaining a Judgment should you not be paid.
Make everything as detailed as possible. Materials, workmanship and time are always important factors, but you should also start including problems from your past experiences.
Keep the language simple. Your goal is to communicate. Go over each item and obtain verbal confirmation that it is understood. Finally, obtain a signature.
This will make sure you haven’t left anything out in your description that will haunt you later. It will significantly lower the number of problems you have with Clients and, if necessary, it will provide a clear path toward obtain a Judgment.
There is nothing to write about a down side to written agreements. Simply, there is none.
ABOUT EXECUTIVE CREDIT MANAGEMENT, INC.
Executive Credit Management is a full-service Debt Collection and Applicant Screening agency with over 20 years experience located in Central New Jersey. We provide excellent service in the following areas: Employment Screening, Business Screening, and Tenant Screening. Executive Credit Management belongs to a number of Skip Tracing databases and offers services to help locate and confirm the current address of missing debtors. Other services provided are: litigation evaluation on all lawsuit decisions, improvement of the quality of the applicant data, Lawsuit Monitoring, Handling of Debtor Disputes. Executive Credit Management features the best Call Monitoring System in the Debt Collection industry.