Indiana Jones & the Credit Trilogy
The Last C.R.U.S.A.D.E.
By Robbie Burch
Dr. Henry Jones: “Archaeology is the search for fact…not the truth. If it’s truth you’re looking for, Dr. Tyree’s philosophy class is right down the hall.”
Sometimes managing debt and coming out unscathed can feel like Indiana Jones and his father on a tiny plane (with no protection) shooting machine guns to escape the Nazi’s, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve taken the time to implement A.R.C., and have understood D.O.O.M in order to make informed decisions, you should now have a proper credit policy and philosophy as it relates to your sales and bottom line. Executing the last C.R.U.S.A.D.E. will help identify problem customer’s before suffering losses, and what to do when all in-house efforts have been maximized and it’s time to break out the “big guns.”
Customer requests for additional time and/or new payment terms is indicative of a financial issue – You need to determine if it is something quickly remedied or if a larger problem is looming. Beware of the customer who says they need time to find an investor, or they are seeking loans, as this could indicate a potential asset sale or closure of a business: You may need to move swiftly to protect your interests.
Repeatedly breaking promises to pay, and/or avoiding contact, and stalling are very common practices when the customer has run out of resources and does not know how to effectively deal with their own internal issues. These are your signs to be proactive — Show them a way out by negotiating acceptable terms YOU SET IN WRITING!
Understand your options as not all scenarios are the same therefore adjusting to the situation and circumstance will make you more successful in recovering money due. If you have positioned yourself correctly you will have contracts and agreements that will help leverage your ability to get paid, even if the account has become troublesome.
Salvage what can be salvaged. Rather than alienating the debtor through empty threats, or “tough talk,” take the time to find out where the delay is coming from. Assure your customer that you are there to help even if promises have been broken.
Assess the ability and willingness of your customer to climb out of a bad situation. Take appropriate measures which may sometimes require professional help, and know when to ask for help as waiting too long only inhibits your ability to recover funds.
Determine what options are available to you through PICB as soon as an account becomes a problem. Even if you decide to leave the account in house, our experienced staff can help you avoid mistakes by walking you through the collection and legal process.
Early intervention is crucial. If you have a sound credit policy and philosophy, identifying problem accounts before they’ve become unmanageable is more than feasible, it’s expected.
Don’t let your credit policy turn into a last minute escape. While a credit philosophy is helpful, the facts of any situation are important to make the best possible decision when it comes to delinquent accounts. Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and trust in your process when you take the time to follow the steps we’ve laid out. Every company has the ability to manage debt, with the least amount of risk possible, by following the steps we’ve provided. Make every CRUSADE for successful credit management count.