What should you do if you're confronted with an aggressive debtor?
Many entrepreneurs hate it: calling debtors to ask where their money is. Even with a debtor who simply remains friendly on the phone, it is often quite a job to start the conversation. But what if this debtor is aggressive? What if the telephone conversation leads to abuse and aggressive behaviour? How can you best deal with this as an entrepreneur? Our collection specialists are happy to give you a number of tips what you can do if you are confronted with an aggressive debtor.
Tip 1: Stay calm
Whatever your debtor calls you on the phone: stay calm at all times. Do not show that you are irritated. Don't be tempted to yell back or scold your debtor. Even if your debtor comes to you with false accusations, respond calmly. Stay business like and only respond with facts and refer to previous agreements from the contract.
Tip 2: Back up everything in writing
It is normally harder for people to be aggressive through e-mail. There is time to compose yourself. When dealing with an aggressive debtor, it is wise to put all facts in writing and clearly explain next steps or outcomes should they continue not to pay.
Tip 3: Remain professional
During heated arguments, it can sometime be all too easy to say things without thinking them through. Even though your debtor may be goading you, it is important to remain professional. Don’t let them push you into something you don’t want to do. For example, extend their payment terms or reduce their payment instalments. You need to remain professional and consider the negative effect these options may have on your business. In addition, making exemptions due to this type of behaviour could set a precedent going forward – after all if it works for the debtor once, surely it will again?
Tip 4: Call in a specialist to deal with an aggressive debtor
If you feel that you cannot get further with this debtor, it is wise to call in an external party. A debt recovery lawyer is not emotionally involved in the case but focuses primarily on solving the problem. This often makes collection much easier. Not only that, but a lawyer has the full strength of the law to bring down on your debtor should they still not comply.
If you have an outstanding invoice or are dealing with an aggressive debtor, get in touch. Our team of expert lawyers and collections specialists can advise your best route of action and, in agreement with you, can take your debtor to court. We can get your money back.