The PACE Commercial Program is designed to improve the performance of those who collect past-due invoices and accounts ‘business to business’. If your interest is the Consumer program (collecting from individuals, please click here.
There are ten modules (details below), 5 books, on-line testing, assignments and a live final exam ‘collection call’ with an ICPC instructor.
The ten modules of the Commercial PACE Program:
Module 1 – Rules:
There are not as many restrictions concerning collection activity for commercial collections compared to the consumer collection field. However, there are important standards to follow and knowing the attributes of professionals will help to increase your performance as well as your comfort level in this often challenging profession.
Important too are the policies and procedures of your own company. If you do not operate by your policies, then the odds favor your operating by the policies of someone else.
Module 2 – Writing Effective Letters, faxes and e-mail:
Collection letters and more importantly emails are useful tools in commercial collections. This module provides students with a rich opportunity to develop their writing skills, increase the odds that their communications will be read and motivate the client to respond appropriately.
While visiting a client can be very effective, it may not be practical. A great deal of our program is dedicated to the two-way communication of the telephone, but writing does have its place. When one puts finger to keyboard in accounts receivable, you become a ‘professional’ writer, expecting to be paid for your efforts.
Module 3 – How to be assertive – without being aggressive:
We may have the most difficult balancing act in business: collect the money and keep the customer.
Being too aggressive may produce results that include unwanted complications. Not being assertive enough may not produce results at all. This module teaches students how to be assertive without being aggressive – how to efficiently collect on accounts with techniques that even work with an ‘F.O.B.’ (Friend of the Boss).
Module 4 – The Telephone Collection Call:
Next to your own imagination, the telephone may be your most important tool. In this important module, we cover how to Master the Three Phases of a Professional Collection Call.
It has been said that 90% of your success may be attributed to the first 10% of your telephone collection efforts. We want to start off on the right foot and stay that way.
How we listen to what the customer says (and does not say) may be nearly as important as what we say to them.
Where the rubber hits the road, how we respond to a customer when they say they cannot pay us in full today – but also, critical in commercial collections, how we respond when they say they will pay us in full!
Module 5 – Excuses:
The difference between success and failure in accounts receivable is how we overcome a reason (excuse) given by our clients and customers as to why they can’t or won’t pay the outstanding amount. They may go by a different name. It could be R.O.D. (reasons of delinquency), special conditions, excuses, sea-stories and much more. What they are called doesn’t matter that much, but if you are involved in collections – you know you are going to hear them – some reason as to why the customer can’t or won’t pay the amount due.
The professional collector will always be ready to effectively handle any excuse or reason for delayed payment that a customer may offer. We’re going to cover the unusual excuses too – those you have never heard before!
Please note that with your registration, you receive three months free access to the on-line Excuse Terminator.
Module 6 – The Special Collection Voice:
In accounts receivable as in most other areas of business, most people will speak on the telephone, using the same voice they would use if they were speaking to a customer across a desk. In almost all cases, this is a mistake. To say that most people do not give it a second thought is misleading. Most people don’t even give it a first thought.
One does not send messages with body language, dressing for success or so many other areas that are important in face to face collection efforts. The voice becomes more significant and needs to be more compelling to the person on the other end of the telephone. The suggested changes and practice in this module are not designed to have you be someone ‘other that you are’, but to be the ‘very best you can be’.
Module 7 – Tailor Made Collections
In your business you may be called upon to deal with accounts payable clerks, managers, owners of small business, the spouse of an owner, accountants, lawyers, sales managers, engineers and others.
While individual customers are different, in this module, students will learn how to successfully profile the customers they deal with and select and use the most appropriate techniques.
Module 8 – Working with the Sales Team
Some people in sales may refer to the credit department as the ‘sales prevention department’. In credit, sometimes we ask, ‘whose team are they on?’
On the same team? Sure we are, but one may not know it sometimes. The objective of professional collections is to increase sales – profitable sales – within the firm. This module teaches students how to better work with the sales and customer service departments within their organization – for the benefit of all.
Module 9 – Negotiating Techniques for Collections:
First, we teach the importance of ‘persuading’ rather than ‘negotiating’. Persuasion is easier, faster and cheaper. However, when persuasion does not work, one can walk away…or negotiate.
In the module we cover how to effectively use twelve important strategies for effective negotiations of accounts receivable.
Module 10 – Bankruptcy, legal and end of line
There are certain actions to take when bankruptcy has been filed or is being threatened. This module expands on a section lifted from negotiations, by focusing on B.A.T.N.A. (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) – if you can’t collect, what then? This may include legal action, assignment to third party or other actions.
While an account may be recognized as a serious risk, even written off from receivables, it does not mean that it cannot be collected.
In addition to a certificate like the one to the left, The International Centre for Professional Collections provides a special page on its site where a student, prospective employer or interested parties may visit to confirm graduation.
To view an example, please click here and enter this certificate number at the site: 1911723