In a recent article we discussed how to write a B2B initial collection letter, with an emphasis on maintaining open, professional, and consistent communication. In this article we continue on that theme with some helpful guidelines about how to make a business to business collection phone call.
1. Prepare a list of companies that are past due in their payments to you, starting with balances over 60 days. On the list include the balance, products or services provided, past due invoices and phone numbers.
2. Begin by calling the customers with the oldest and highest balances. Customers with older balances might be missing invoices, purchase order numbers or service approvals. Customers with higher balances might have a longer period of time between paying invoices.
3. When calling, ask to speak with the individual responsible for accounts payable. Always keep a record of the first and last name of the individual you speak to, their phone and fax number, and even an email address if possible. Make sure to be professional yet friendly. Your purpose may be to collect the debt, but the effort is better facilitated by maintaining a genuinely cordial demeanor. Before you end the call, be sure to provide the necessary information they need to pay their invoice and set a date for when payment can be expected.
4. If payment hasn’t arrived by the agreed to date, follow up with a phone call on that very day. If you learn that the customer is having difficulty making payment, offer alternate payment terms that are mutually convenient. At this point, it is probably best to speak directly with your contact at the company, perhaps someone at the executive level who can directly and immediately address the issue.
While making a phone call to seek collection of a debt may seem easy, it isn’t always the case. Many companies fail to follow such guidelines as above and instead opt to be unyielding, curt, and sometimes even rude. Such an approach will not help you, and may in fact unnecessarily impair your collection efforts (which can be costly). Finally, stop providing services or goods to the non-paying customer until the issue is resolved.
The Jayaram Law routinely and successfully assists its clients in their business-to-business (b2b) collection needs. We take pride in obtaining payment on accounts receivables without fracturing critical business relationships or engaging in time-consuming and costly litigation efforts.
If you need business debt collection services conducted in a professional manner, contact our B2B (business-to-business) debt collection law firm by calling 312.454.2859 or visiting www.jayaramlaw.com.