If a debtor wants to make a payment arrangement.
To “pay off” their debt …
1: ask for more that you think they can afford, and
2: ask them to pay it more quickly than you think they’ll be able to.
To explain: If someone asks you for a large donation then “settles” for a much smaller one, the smaller figure may not sound like that much money when compared with the larger sum you’d been considering a moment before. In addition, you may feel as if that person has made a concession by accepting a lower number and that you “owe” them one as well – i.e. making the small donation they wanted from you all along!
So, from a negotiating point of view (when collecting an overdue account payment) if you concede and accept a lower payment amount (as, in all reality, you may well have to) you’ll end up with a much better result than otherwise.
In his book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion“, Dr Robert Cialdini identifies six specific techniques that are able to trigger an almost mindless compliance from people due to their alignment with psychological vulnerabilities that most of us share. Reciprocation is the first, and that is why you will end up with that higher commitment.
AND, while on this topic …
This is what most people say when a debtor wants to make a payment arrangement
* Well, how much can you afford, or
* Come in, let’s talk about it, or
* I need you to pay at least half, or
* I need the full amount now, nothing less will do, or
(and this is the most common one)
* Can we come to some sort of an arrangement?