Here are some quick tips for making effective accounts receivable collection calls.
- Make the calls! It’s easy to find something else to do but making your collection calls regularly will improve your cash flow and reduce your bad debt losses. It’s the single most effective way to make sure you get paid on time.
- Start with accounts payable. The lower on the totem pole you start the more places you have to go if payment isn’t forthcoming.
- Be timely. Making your first call about 10 days beyond terms is good rule of thumb.
- Schedule call backs appropriately, daily calls or multiple calls in a day are annoying and generally ineffective. One or two days between calls is generally acceptable.
- Keep it professional but don’t overdo it. The line between professional and obnoxious is easy to cross. Remember these are customers and you want them to come again. An overly dry tone won’t serve you well.
- Be friendly but avoid personal details. Too much information can blur the lines. The last words you want to hear are “you know my situation”.
- Document everything, including the day and time you called, the number you called whether or not you spoke to someone, what they said and what you said. You don’t need to write a dissertation but briefly include everything you can.
- Be prepared. Have your invoice number date and amount in front of you when you make the call.
- When they ask you to send an invoice, do it. No need to tell them you already sent it. Repeated requests for invoice copies are another story and may need another tactic but the 1st time they ask just do it.
- Ask for the money! Every accounts receivable collection call should answer 2 questions; when and how much?
For more information on making effective accounts receivable collection calls download our Top Ten Tips Tricks and Techniques on our Resources page.