Flathmann & Stern

Debt Collection: Why Aggression Does Not Work!

Most collectors think that being aggressive is the key to successful debt collection.  This is not true.  In fact, the more aggressive you are, the less likely you are to collect the claim.  There is a stigma in the community that collectors are aggressive, which is unfortunately true.

Aggression comes across as nothing more than ignorance.  Ignorance does not collect money.  On the contrary, patience, professionalism, assertiveness, being articulate, kindness, creativity,  and a touch of common sense are what work in the debt collection world.

In today’s marketplace there are 2 emotions that drive business . The first is fear, and the second is joy/reward.  These emotions are the flip side of the same coin.  You cannot have fear and joy at the same time, so which one will you choose for your debt collection technique?

Once upon a time fear used to be a great motivator, but since it is the sum underlying motivator for most things in our society, the average professional debtor or even marginal debtor,  is desensitized to its introduction and use in the collection process.

Joy/reward, however, with the ability to feel good about something, interestingly enough is the emotion least tapped into. And by the way the need to feel good is always right beneath the surface, waiting to be called upon. So make people feel good or understood.  At the very least, make them feel respected.

Collectors usually come in to a collection scenario as if they were an IRS agent. The IRS does what they want, says what they want, and they get what they want as well.  And who is not afraid of the IRS?  Does anybody respect the IRS?  Does anybody like the IRS?  Since collectors are not the IRS, the only thing that is accomplished when one employs the same tactics,  is a sense of dislike and many times downright hatred.  This is why the collection agency has the poor image that it does.  When in actuality the tactics that many below standard collection agencies are completely unnecessary and uncalled for.   Healthy communication, a smile, and an absolute professional approach will always trump strong arm debt collection tactics.

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