If you get reactions like any of these when you call a late-paying account customer, you might like to think about deferring your call until later!
- I’ll put you through to Mr Jones right now if you like. But he’s extremely busy. The Tax Auditors are going through the books with him.
- Waaaaaaaaaagh. Waaaaaaaaaagh (a baby’s cry)
- If you don’t stop reversing the car like that Mary, you’ll hit the ……. Oh XXXX. Er, yes? Can I help you?
- Down Fido. No. NO!! Down boy.
The examples above are little “give-away clues” that now may not be the best time to talk to the customer. Talk quickly. Talk loudly. Get up to their speed of thought. Use the following phrase and then call them back when relevant.
Mr Jones? Hi. It’s (your name) from (your company). I was going to talk to you about your account now but it’s obviously a bad time. I’ll call you back later. Would two o’clock – or three o’clock be better?
- 1 told them where you’re from and what you’re calling about,
- 2 acknowledged that it’s a bad time to talk,
- 3 taken control of the situation,
- 4 told them that you’re going to call them back (you’re not just going to go away) and
- 5 given them a couple of quick time options for them to choose from.
Don’t even try to talk to them about the account because they won’t really be listening to you. They’ll be thinking about the present situation. They’ll say almost anything just to get rid of you, and that includes a promise to pay that they probably won’t remember later. So, you get rid of yourself for them – but be sure to call them back when they said that you could.
And when you do call them back, say this …
Hi Mr Jones? It’s (your name) from (your company) again. I’m calling back about your account. You weren’t really able to talk earlier. You said that I should call you back now.
And then say nothing. Nothing at all. You’ll probably find that they’ll remember your consideration earlier and be much more receptive to you as a result.