I’ve had it! It’s been 90 days since I sold a product to this big corporation and I haven’t seen any money. When I call them I get a “human resources” person who claims to be waiting for a check to be cut by another department. On top of that she has an attitude like I’m bothering her or something. In the meantime, I’m getting ripped off. What do you suggest? (signed) “Almost Postal”
Hey, “Postal,” I understand. I’ve been there! But the way you signed off on that question bothers me. You need to remember to never overreact. The person who keeps their cool is always the winner in these games. Very likely her attitude isn’t genuine. She is trying to intimidate you or make you angry. That keeps her in charge.
So first, keep your cool. Attack the problem with facts. Get to the department, which cuts the checks and get hold of the supervisor. Let him or her know that you will be working closely with them to conclude this transaction. Remember that bad attitudes or run-around games can easily be ended by asking for the name of the person’s supervisor. Get the name - and the contact information.
Write out your opening pitch: why you’re calling and what you’ve done to try and solve the problem up to now. Example:
“Hi Gary. I’m glad I got a chance to speak with you because I’m getting really frustrated. Almost 90 days ago we shipped 10,000 Thingamabobs to your company and we haven’t been paid. I’ve talked to Jean in Human Resources several times and she just says the check is coming soon. And let me tell you, that story is getting old! I’m calling you today as a last resort - looking for you to mail a check today to prevent legal action on this matter, because that is going to be the next step we take. And I should tell you that you would be named in the suit. Will you help me out today?”
If that person gives you mumbo jumbo about why the bill hasn’t been paid don’t get angry, ask them what they will do to get a check out that very day. If you get a negative answer don’t let them off the phone until you find out where the hang up is. Go as far up the corporate ladder as you can and document every conversation. Add each of these to the verbal history in your pitch. You want to come across as stern but in control.
I know having to go through all this is a real pain but since you have to do it try and enjoy it, knowing that you’re giving these people a real dose of justice, collections style! Good luck!