Responding to Common Stall Tactics
Is your debtor stalling on their payments?
When people can’t or won’t pay what they owe, they trot out all sorts of excuses. Here are some of the most common stall tactics and what you can do to overcome them:
- Stall Tactic 1: “I don’t have enough money on hand to pay you in full.”
- Solution: Remind the debtor of possible untapped sources of funds: money can be borrowed from lines of credit, credit cards, advances, or even the old standby, friends and relatives.
- Stall Tactic 2: “Even if I had the money, I wouldn’t pay you because I don’t owe you the whole amount.”
- Solution: Work toward dispute resolution.
- Stall Tactic 3: “I have a problem with some of your invoicing; the numbers don’t make sense to me.”
- Solution: Review each invoice, or explain how your invoicing system works until you relieve the customer’s concerns.
- Stall Tactic 4: “I had a problem with some of your goods and services and my customers aren’t happy; and because they aren’t paying me, I’m not going to pay you.”
- Solution: Break down and resolve the specific concerns behind this statement.
- Stall Tactic 5: “Your account is so messed up; I have no idea whether I owe you a penny.”
- Solution: This type of statement is a classic attempt by the debtor to make the account “fuzzy” and irresolvable. Keep discussing the specifics until the “messed up” account is fixed.
Whatever your debtor’s reasons or excuses for not paying on time, make your objective clear to the debtor: You need payment in full by a specific date. Otherwise, the collection process will move on to the next level, and continued nonpayment could result in a lawsuit.
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