Six Stage Negotiation is a tried and tested approach for collecting outstanding debts. The approach was developed by Henry Mehta, the course instructor, while he was Head of Credit Management at Welsh Water. He took the company from one of the worst performing cash collection companies to one of the best in 2 years and then maintained that position for the remainder of his tenure.
This course introduces the foundations of good Credit Management policies and provides an approach for Handling Objections in a debt collection environment. With this background, it dives into the detail of the Siz Stage Negotiation approach.
The target audience for this course is any Sole Trader or small to medium sized business where you need to collect outstanding debts or any customer centre adviser in a larger company that has responsibility for collecting cash. This course gives you an approach which works.
This course has over 2 hours of video and lecture notes. Quizzes are interspersed within the videos to ensure students have gained understanding. It is important that students practice the approaches in real life. Like a great athlete, repetition and practice will drive muscle memory to ensure you can implement the approach seamlessly on a daily basis. With that in mind, the course should not be rushed. Repeat the video modules having practiced the approaches to ensure you're following the approach correctly.
Why take this course? Because it is easier to collect an outstanding debt than make an additional sale. This course will help you improve your profits by bringing in more cash.
This is an introduction to the course. It introduces Henry Mehta, the instructor, and gives some indication of his credentials.
After this article students will know Henry Mehta's credentials.
This is a video introduction to Henry Mehta, the instructor, and gives some indication of his credentials.
Uncollected debts are a big problem and a huge cost to the business. If you make 100% margin on your sales then for every debt you don't collect, you have to make another sale to break even. If your margin is 10%, you have to make 9 sales for every uncollected debt just to break even.
This lecture outlines the bad debt charge problem that businesses face.
After this lecture students will understand the impact of bad debt charge on the company and therefore the need to collect outstanding debts.
Here we outline the benefits of six stage negotiation, namely that it is a structured approach that removes the problem of not knowing what to do next.
We outline the six stages at a high level so students know what to expect in the future.
After this lecture students will be able to name the six stages of this negotiation approach
This short quiz will check your understanding of the problem caused by bad debt and where the six stage negotiation fits into your credit control processes.
Preparation should already be in place for every account and is simply part of good credit management policies. Being prepared is not part of the 6 stage process; it is part of everyday business practice.
At the end of this lecture students will understand why they should always have their accounts up to date and be prepared for a conversation about a customer's account.
This lecture introduces some of the fundamental information you want to have available for every account to ensure you can be confident you are taking the right actions when talking to a customer about outstanding payments.
At the end of this module, the student will be able to ask themselves 7 questions which will tell them if the account is ready to be chased.
This module provides a high-level overview of how to set a Credit Control policy and how goals fall out of that.
At the end of this module the student will know where to look for information in order to set a credit control policy. The student will also be aware that for the remainder of this course we will be assuming our goal is:
A short quiz on Credit Control Policy
If you're not ready for objections they'll catch you off guard. As the scouts would say, BE PREPARED.
In this module we introduce some objections you may come across when trying to collect outstanding payments and we layout the reason for needing to be able to handle different objections which we have not anticipated.
We all dread objections because they're seen as a barrier. What would you do if you were paid by objection raised? Say you got a bonus of £500 for every objection a customer raised. What would you do? My guess is you would try to get the customer to raise objections pretty early in a conversation. Kerching! Can you hear that money coming in with every objection. Now let's turn that around; if we've got the objections out in the open we can deal with them and thats' what we need to do.
In this lecture will reframe the way we look at customer's excuses and objections so that we treat them differently.
In this module we discuss closed, open and hypothetical questions and how we can use them to gain basic facts, generic facts and then use this to postulate what we need to do to gain commitment from the customer.
After this module the student will know when to use the three types of question and will need to practice to gain competence.
In this module we discuss a process for handling customer objections. We learn the need to stay neutral and show empathy and then describe how to question the objection to either remove it, refine it or rephrase it to get to the underlying problem.
After this module the student will understand the process for handling objections with customers but will need to practice the approach to become competent.
To avoid endless objections we use the Forward Review with a Closed If question.
At the end of this module the student will know the approach to follow to use the forward review.
This module is a quick review of the handling objections section and provides the student with a reminder of the content covered.
In this module we review the Six Stage Negotiation approach and set the scenario we'll be using for the remainder of this section.
At the end of this module the student will have reviewed the six stages and know the scenario to be used for the remainder of the course.
Why is this expectation important? If we don't expect full payment it will come across in our attitude and actions and this will lead to a lower payment. Anyone wanting to avoid payment will pick up on our indecisiveness and take advantage of it.
How do we communicate the expectation? Assertively! Let's give some assertiveness tips here
Why are we refusing the first offer? Think about a negotiation. You do not start with your best and final offer (BAFO); you start with something you expect to have to improve. We need to recognise this with our customers and look at how we can encourage increased payments. What are the tricks and tactics to use?
What are we achieving by summarising the agreement for the customer? How do we do this to get the best possible benefit?
Make sure we're saying if you do this for me, I can do that for you. It is a two way street and both need to be contributing to the deal. Do not give something away for free.
This step is really important because the customer is taking ownership for the agreement. By getting them to state the steps they'll take you are making it harder for them to break the agreement because to do so would now make them a liar. People do not like to be liars.
Take the agreement payment. Take bank details for future payments. Repeat the agreement for a third time so that it sticks. Repetition leads to remembering.
BUT - if circumstances change you must call again!
This is a very quick recap of the course. Go back to ant relevant sessions if you need to review the detail.
Henry Mehta was Head of Credit Management at Dwr Cymru Welsh Water for 10 years. During that period, he took the company from one of the worst performing Credit Management departments in the UK Water Industry to one of the top performing companies. Debtor days and write-offs fell by 33% within 2 years and then maintained top tier performance for the remainder of his tenure.
During this period, Henry was also instrumental in establishing the Association of Credit Professionals within the Credit Management profession in the United Kingdom and Ireland, writing numerous articles for Credit Management Industry magazines and presenting at Credit Professional conferences.
The Water Industry has some specific constraints in Britain, most importantly a law preventing them from withdrawing the service if customers fail to pay their water charges - companies have to supply potable water and remove sewerage whether the customer pays or not! Given this issue Henry was instrumental in setting up the Water Industry Debt Strategy Network which brought lead Credit Management professionals from all water companies together to discuss industry, technological and professional trends as well as maintaining an eye on potential legal changes to help companies maximise performance. Henry chaired quarterly meetings of the group for the first two years and obtained a seat on SCOR (Standing Committee on Reciprocity) while introducing Credit Scoring and Credit Data sharing into the water collection processes.
Currently, Henry is also: