Ask for What You Want

The strategies that were used pre-COVID will not work post-COVID. With so many challenges in the industry, collection has become more tough than ever before and as the economy continues to struggle, so will your agents who are not properly equipped. Let’s discuss some basic steps to equip your agents with their calls. 
First, we, at CBS, always teach to “Ask for what you want.” This is the basics for negotiation. If you don’t ask for what you want, you most likely will not get it. Asking for what you want, which is typically the Total Amount Due, becomes the starting place for negotiation. Expect a “no” and be prepared with the next questions. Note, we should have questions, not offer lower amounts.

This leads to the next tip, “Take time to listen”. Those who are good at negotiating listen effectively to what the person is saying or not saying. If you are effectively listening, you are not prejudging. Thus, you listen with an open mind, and you listen for understanding. Many times, you will hear what is important to the person and you can use that to help in the negotiation process.

Next, “Be empathetic”. As stated above, don’t prejudge or judge. Don’t allow your emotions to control the situation. Express empathy and not sympathy. Recognize bad things happen to others and though it is easy to tell someone what they could have done to prevent the situation, it is not helpful to do so.

“Provide acknowledgement”. This lets the person know you are listening and that you have a level of understanding of what they are saying. Don’t confuse this with understanding because you have been there but understanding because you have effectively listened and can hear the concern or emotion that is being conveyed.

Now, just because you listen and are empathetic doesn’t mean that you forget what you asked for initially. Thus, the final step is to make a plan for the remaining amount due. Think of it this way, if you really care to help the person, help them get out of the financial situation all together by making a plan for the remaining amount due. Not discussing this remaining can devalue all of your efforts up to this point. What did you hear that can help you in this part of the discussion? What were some motivators for the customer that you heard? How can you use your empathy skills to help the customer create a plan for the remaining?

These steps are helpful to be successful in negotiating – not just during difficult times, but during all times. Contact us for more information on how we can help you and your people weather this financial storm.