One way or another, I figure I have been dealing with excuses for most of my life. My business is financial collections, I’ve been married for just about forever and I even worked for a company called DYLEX* whose name was based on overcoming excuses.
It seems to me, when you get right down to it, the business of life, successful management, but in particular financial collections, is to overcome excuses.
Don’t get me wrong. While often an excuse is an attempt to lessen or dance around the blame, on some occasions it is a valid and reasonable explanation, the check ‘may’ be in the mail and the dog may have a bellyful of algebra homework. Yet, it has been my experience in accounts receivable, marriage and a life-long attempt to improve myself, that we may find more success if we are better prepared with knowledge and techniques about how to overcome excuses rather than their presentation.
- Basic definitions of excuses
- The psychology, culture and language of excuses
- History of excuses
- Best and worst excuses of all time
- Best excuse for starting a war
- Best excuse for ending a war
- The Donald Trump (very effective) method
- Getting professional help
Peter Drucker, one of the most successful consultants and authors in business knew that. He said, “Getting the right answers is a matter of asking the right questions.”
We start with the questions, and provide solutions too!
Well, what’s your excuse for…
- What is your excuse for being here? (At this seminar, reading this book. Odds are, you didn’t select the ‘profession’ of accounts receivable, so why are you here?)
- What is your excuse for not learning how to be the most successful individual in your profession in your organization…and earning a salary and/or commission accordingly?
- What is your excuse for not knowing (by number and percentage – numbers and $, why your customers and clients are not paying on time?
- What is your excuse for not asking to be paid? (Note: Many people ‘think they do this, but you may be surprised..)
- What is your excuse for not setting the ground rules, terms and payment ‘clearly’ to the customer?
- What is your excuse for not making contact and taking the ‘appropriate’ action on time, based on age of delinquency, balance of account and risk?
- What is your excuse for not using the most effective contact method (write, visit, call)?
- What is your excuse for using the same voice on the telephone as you would to a customer sitting across from your desk, when with just a few minutes of practice per day, you could have a voice that is more compelling to the listener and easier to understand?
- What is your excuse for not setting a game plan?
- What is your excuse for not being an ‘excellent’ listener?
- What is your excuse for not having a list of the ten excuses you will hear 95% of the time – and the best questions for each of them?
- When persuasion doesn’t work, we must negotiate. What is your excuse for not being a ‘Master’ of Receivables Negotiations?
- What is your excuse for not having read the five top recommended books on Receivables Management – and then having a copy of each of them at your work location?
- What is your excuse for not having developed a ‘profile’ of your most difficult client?
- What is your excuse for not earning a salary and/or commission/bonus that is commensurate with your ability as a top-notch, seasoned accounts receivable professional?
Let’s get personal.
What is your excuse for not picking up the telephone right now or sending an email to get started on a program to help you be (much) more successful by overcoming the excuses heard in your organization?
*DYLEX was one of Canada’s largest retailers in the 1970’s and 80’s. The acronym DYLEX was based on: Damn Your Lousy Excuses.