6 Tips for calling debtors - Download the FREE e-book on debt recovery!
Calling customers about an outstanding invoice: for many entrepreneurs it is a tedious job. Nevertheless, it is important not to postpone these debtor calls, but to act quickly if your invoice is overdue. Do you feel uncomfortable calling your debtor about an outstanding invoice? With these 6 tips from our debt collection specialists, you will be able to successfully call your debtors from now on.
Tip 1: Make sure you are well prepared
Good preparation is half the battle, so make sure you are prepared before making the call. Do your research: know who you are going to call, understand the commercial relationship you have and their payment behaviour. In addition, make sure that you have all the information and details about the outstanding invoice:
- What exactly is the outstanding amount?
- What sales conditions have been agreed?
- What goods or services have been delivered?
- What is the exact due date of the invoice?
- Are there any other outstanding invoices?
Tip 2: Take account of excuses
Of course, it is important not to assume the worst, but be aware that your debtor may come up with excuses. We know from experience that debtors can come up with the craziest stories. And you can often get so caught up in this. But sometimes very credible arguments are also put forward as to why payments have not yet been made. As a result, debtors often try to postpone the payment. They hope that by doing so you will eventually write off the invoice, and then they will no longer have to pay the outstanding debt.
Wondering how you can best respond to excuses? Read more about the most common excuses here and how you can properly handle them.
Tip 3: Record everything on paper
Make sure that you make all agreements with your debtor in writing. After the phone call, make a short summary of the points discussed during the call and mail it to your debtor. In addition, make sure that your debtor confirms these agreements to you in writing (by e-mail). This will make it easier for you to refer to the agreements made during the telephone conversation.
Tip 4: Stay friendly and professional
An overdue invoice often causes a lot of frustration. Make sure, however, that you don’t let your debtor know that this has annoyed you. Instead, be sure to remain friendly and positive. This often has a positive effect on your debtor. But even if the debtor becomes frustrated with you, it is important not to let this get to you. So, if your debtor starts throwing false accusations at you or if the debtor insults you: make sure that you continue to respond in a professional manner.
The advantages of a Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyer
- Succesfully recovering debt since 1952
- Always honest and clear advice
- Specialist laywers in international debt recovery
- Every year we collect thousands of outstanding invoices
Tip 5: Ask open questions
By asking open questions to your debtor, you gain more insight into the debtor's situation and why the invoice has not yet been paid. This information can be very valuable at a later stage if the invoice remains unpaid.
Tip 6: Make clear agreements
The purpose of the call is to get the debtor to pay as soon as possible. Therefore, make clear agreements about when the payment will be made. Make sure you know when the outstanding invoice will be paid, record these agreements and send them to your debtor by e-mail. And as mentioned before, ask for confirmation of these agreements.
Is your debtor still refusing to pay after speaking with them? Then transfer your outstanding invoice to Bierens. Our debt collection specialists and lawyers know exactly how to approach debtors in order to ensure that payments are still made.
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BONUS TIP: Practice with your colleague
Is this your first time calling a debtor for outstanding invoices? Then practice with a colleague first and give each other feedback. This will undoubtedly give you more self-confidence.
Calling international debtors
Do you have a debtor abroad? If so, do you speak a different language to your debtor? This makes calling your debtor a lot more complicated. In cases like these, our international debt collection specialists will be happy to call your customer on your behalf. They are not only experienced in calling debtors, they also speak the same language.
Specialists in International Debt Collection
Our 35 international lawyers are specialists in debt collection across Europe. From the moment that you hand your case over to us, we will do our utmost to resolve the matter as soon as possible. Whether this concerns a straightforward debt recovery matter or a complicated legal conflict, we will unburden you.
Want to know more about international debt collection?
You can find more comprehensive information about international debt collection in our knowledge bank.
Still in need of some advice? Contact us today. Our international debt collection specialists and lawyers will be happy to help.
We work for SMEs and Large Corporations.