Commercial debt recovery and credit management are very much about putting people first, where interaction and negotiation are key components in reaching a successful resolution.
Debt recovery sometimes receives a bad press, but done properly, sensitively and effectively and it is a professional discipline requiring excellent people skills.
Negotiation is Vital
“Listening and empathising are key qualities for a good commercial debt recovery agent,” Paul explains. “This is because an element of negotiation is vital.”
“While the notion of sensitive debt recovery might be contradictory, it is an approach that yields good results, requiring an approach that prioritises listening above all else”
Listening to a debtor is a means of gaining useful information.
“When a business is in debt and its payments are late, or missing, there is a reason for it. Understanding the reason is a crucial step on the process to negotiating payment. Furthermore, it is only through giving the debtor room to explain that you can begin to piece together a picture of what the situation is.”
“There is a strong analytical element to both credit management and debt recovery, but this comes with a human face. Negotiation is via people communicating with one another, therefore the quality of this interaction is hugely significant.”
Cool and Composed
“The other side to this analytical element is having the ability to maintain the right composure throughout the process.”
“Situations will arise where people are being evasive, obstructive or even aggressive so weighing up situations, as they unfold, requires a cool head, and a willingness to still empathise, to understand where negative feelings are coming from”
“The pressure can build, but the onus is on the agent to be consistent and methodical. Compliance is essential to the process, which requires diligence and attention to detail.”
“This work is challenging, but rewarding,” concludes Paul. “It is to do with persistence, resilience, and, above all, working with people.”
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