When you’re trying to collect past-due money from clients, it’s common to run into one of two responses: the stall and the objection. The “stall” occurs when a client tries to avoid talking about the debt. An “objection,” however is much more legitimate and occurs when the consumer gives you a real, valid reason as to why he or she cannot pay at a particular time.
While no one likes getting either a stall or an objection- after all, both answers are still technically a “no,” remember that getting some response from the customer is better than just being ignored outright. And, what truly matters is how you handle the stall or objection and what you do after you’ve received it.
Handling The Stall
To begin with, the stall is much worse to get than the objection. It doesn’t contain any real reasoning or valid objections. Instead, it’s simply a way of putting you off and not having to talk about the debt at all. You’ll often get the stall when the person accidentally picks up the phone or when the person just plain doesn’t want to or isn’t able to talk about the real reason behind why he or she isn’t paying at that time.
Stalls may be quick, such as, “This isn’t a good time,” or they may be well thought-out, such as, “I don't handles the finances. Sorry.”
No matter what kind of stall you get, the key is to be persistent and to not let the customer off the hook that easily. Remember, you have the person on the line, that may not happen again, so kindly redirect the stall.
If you can’t get the person to talk about the debt, then at the very least, try and arrange a good time that you can talk in the future. This will help the customer to feel like you’re on his side and may make future contact seem less scary and stressful to the client.
Handling the Objection
An objection is usually a better response to get than a stall because it gives you more to go on. An objection might be honest and open, such as, “We are waiting on receivables” These objections are the best kind because they give you an opening to work out a new payment plan or some other option with the client.
Other objections are more like excuses, or, in some cases, genuine complaints. The person might complain about the product and/or service received and use that as a reason to not pay. When this is the case, you can still try to work something out, or you can simply remind the client of the agreement he signed and the responsibilities that remain. For example, if a customer was unhappy with a product but didn’t return it according to the approved procedure, you’d need to remind him or her that the debt is still owed, regardless. You can still try to smooth things over, but, at the end of the day, your job is always to try and get the customer to pay while being careful to follow all Fair Credit Reporting Act rules and regulations.