Good Clients, Bad Debts

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New Denver based collections business is changing the way accounts receiveable management is perceived and with impressive results.

When it comes to the collections business, most people think of it as a necessary evil designed to elicit payment at almost any cost. Those drawn to the industry are likely to be perceived as aggressive, unsavory, and perhaps uncouth. But one man is determined to change that.

Christopher "Chris" Avery, recently opened an accounts receivable consulting business in Denver. Although he's more likely to be described as a teddy bear than a tiger, his collection methods are setting new industry standards and his results are almost unheard of. One division of a Fortune 500 company for whom he has worked, had a bad debt ratio of less than one-quarter of one percent on $62 million. The industry standard is 1%.

"Pleasant persistence is the key," Avery said. "The days of phone calls filled with threats and demeaning language are over."

Avery maintains that enlightened business people now see systematic account receivables management as both a cash flow enhancement opportunity and an integral part of on-going customer/client relationship management.

"Rather than being the last act in a business relationship, accounts receivable management closes and completes one transaction and holds the door open for future business," he said. "It's an approach that monetizes credits and sustains the hard-earned, profitable client/customer relationship.

Avery believes that most clients truly want to pay their bills and he works with them to develop a payment plan that restores their confidence and self-respect. "Yes, there are certainly 'wise guys' who believe it is clever to chisel and cheat others, but this is not true for most clients."

"What they need instead is a creative approach to resolving their debt in a way that is both face-saving and, most importantly, mutually acceptable to both the creditor and the debtor. Maintaining an attitude that the client wants to pay is a crucial part of the process. "

Avery's newly launched company offers a number of accounts receivable management services designed to fit the needs of his clients.

"Retiring an outstanding debt, no matter the size, requires that the creditor and debtor look at the outstanding balance from the same perspective and work together toward resolution. Simply demanding payment doesn't always work," said Avery.

"Debtors will take calls from those who treat them with respect. By the same token, as pleasant as collectors may be the debtor doesn't want to hear from them again and again," he said. "The debtor needs to know that progressive follow up will continue if he fails to act as promised. If the debtor stops taking calls and stops actively working toward resolution, it is time for a less personal and perhaps, more uncomfortable approach."

Avery's approach of pleasant persistence is yielding impressive results. "The firms I have worked with have never lost a client due to the collections process and I have never had a complaint from a debtor. Treating people as valued customers throughout the process is the key."

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Christopher Avery

(303) 216-2989
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Christopher Avery

(303) 216-2989
Email >