How to Get Debtors to Pay You When You Hate Confrontation

Posted on: 13 January 2017

Most people are not adversarial by nature and will shy away from any confrontation if they can. This is generally accepted by society as a better approach to life, as opposed to someone who is aggressive. However, if you're in business, you may battle internally with the idea of chasing clients for past due money. How should you approach this, given the circumstances?

Coming up with a Plan

The first thing that you need to do is to figure out a plan of action with regard to your serious debtors. If you've been hedging because you're afraid of a confrontation, you need to work out a several-step process to obtain the desired goal. You need to start off gently but build momentum without fail. You must understand that, at the end of the day, there's a possibility you might lose this customer as this process unfolds. You will have to assess the circumstances in this case and determine whether that is a risk you want to take. This will usually be predicted by the amount owed, any history of previous reluctance and future potential.

Teasing the Payment

The initial course of action should be a gentle reminder, by phone or by mail, just reaffirming that the debt is outstanding. If you haven't done this for a while, it may be all that you need.

Getting Serious

If not, you will need to formally demand payment. This shouldn't be a hostile approach, but it makes it clear that the money is definitely owed to you and you expect to be paid either immediately, or according to a payment plan that must be agreed upon now.

Being Persistent

This still may not be enough, but if the debtor generally has difficulty in paying you because of extraordinary circumstances at their end, you need to get them to prioritise your account. In short, you need to convince them to pay you before they pay anybody else. In this case, persistence will be important, with a regular connection – or several connections – through email, letter or telephone.

Why You Have To Act

Certainly, this process is far from enjoyable and may damage your potential relationship with this entity. However, don't forget that the money is rightfully yours. You could put your organisation in financial trouble if you shy away from this type of task.

Getting Professional Help

Of course, if you really don't like the thought of this structured approach either, then you can engage a professional debt collection agency, who will do the donkey work of reaching out and collecting the funds due to you.