How to Control the Conversation, Even While Listening
What can you obtain while on a call with a debtor?
The expression “out of the mouths of babes” is applicable to many conversations with debtors. Listen carefully and you’ll uncover pearls of information from debtors including information you can use later to collect the debt, such as after you’ve obtained a judgement and are looking for assets to attach.
You want to pin down your debtor, getting a commitment for a specific payment by a specific date. But you’re also seeking information to help you evaluate collectability and identify the debtor’s assets.
Good listening can help you uncover:
- Where the debtor banks: “That bank of mine, Comerica, refuses to loan me more money.” This information can be used for future garnishments.
- Who owes your debtor money: “As soon as I get my money in from Ford, I can send you a check.” This information can also be used for future garnishments.
- Whether the debtor can borrow money to pay you: “I’ve got an application in to the Small Business Administration for a loan to pay you and other creditors.”
- Information that explains why you haven’t been paid – and whether you’re likely to be paid: “I fell off a roof and haven’t been able to work for six months, and all my employees left me to work for others.”
Although you want to pick up all the information you can that’s relevant to collection, a conversation with a talkative debtor can quickly spin out of control. When that happens, try to bring the conversation back under control.
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