Business Article

10 Tips For Collection Calls By Martin B. Greenbaum, Esq.
Greenbaum Law Group, LLP 


  1. Know who to call.  Determine the name and extension of the A/P person once and keep it.  Get the email also. If repetitive calls are necessary, be nice.

  1. Know how soon.  You teach your payment terms.  If you call when a bill is 30 days late, you just taught that there are 30 extra days in the payment cycle.  Call 5 days after a payment is due.

  1. Know when.  Afternoon calls get deferred to the next day.  Be on the short list for todayís action.

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    1. KISS, Keep it short and simple.  No blame! No insults! No emotions! ďIím calling because your account is overdue.  Will you pay this now?

    2. Chatty.  Listen without blaming and keep the conversation going.  Discover the facts or build rapport or become less threatening.

  1. Be prepared to respond.  Anticipate the usual excuses.  Have the responses ready. For example, if told they didnít receive invoices or billings, have pdfís ready to email immediately while you are on the phone.  Have your statements and A/R balance report handy for past payment application responses.

  1. Payment alternatives.  Send an email with direct deposit and wire transfer instructions to an account in one of the big chain banks.  Tell debtors  they can pay by directly depositing (or wiring) into your account number at any of the branches.  Do you take credit cards? Paypal?

  1. Pick up the check.  Fedex, UPS and others will pick up, usually same day if called early.  If you are told they have a check for you, ask if you can have (fedex) pick it up that day.  If yes, call for a pick up.  Eat the cost to get the money if the payment is big enough.

  1. Speak through a smile.  Few people like collection calls but most people like to talk to friends.  They smile when talking to friends.  Treat each debtor as your friend and your attitude will come through your voice.  People pay more attention to friends.

  1. Keep a log.  Know when you called, sent letters, what was said, who you talked to and what was discussed.  This may not be important now but it could be very important in the future.

  1. Make every call a success.  You wonít collect on every call so donít set yourself up for feelings of failure.  End each call with an assessment of what you gained from making the call.  You can almost always find something positive, even if it is just knowing you must move to the next level.


© 7/2012 Martin B. Greenbaum, Esq.

About Martin B. Greenbaum

MARTIN B. GREENBAUM is the senior attorney with the law firm of Greenbaum Law Group, LLP and limits his practice to collection and loss recovery.  Mr. Greenbaum is rated "AV" by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest rating given by the most prestigious attorney rating directory in the United States. 

He attended UCLA for both his undergraduate and law degrees. He acquired intensive trial experience while serving as Deputy District Attorney with the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office for almost five years. Since then, he has been engaged in collection, enforcement of judgments, and debt recovery.  Greenbaum Law Group LLP has itsí principal office in Newport Beach, California with satellite locations in San Diego, Beverly Hills and San Francisco 




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