The Lesson

People who listen effectively are perceived to be great communicators, and in collections being anything less than a great communicator simply isn’t an option for anyone with hopes of being a top performer. Ask any collection manager for a list of their collection secrets and without a doubt listening skills is always at the top. And for good reason, too.

The listening process is a tool to build trust, develop rapport, and convey a message of openness. Through effective listening, collectors can identify a consumer’s intent and underlying motivation, values, attitudes, and desires — all of which are an important part of the negotiating process.

The wisest collectors know that being a great communicator means listening to not only what the consumer is saying, but also to what he or she isn’t saying. IN fact, even the “Father of Modern Management” Peter Drucker, once pointed out that, “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”

The Challenge

This week, your challenge is simple: Listen to what the consumer isn’t saying.

The Reflection

1. What type of background noises are cues that cause you to adapt your approach?
2. How do you redirect a consumer who constantly avoids answering a question?
3. What three things do you listen for that aren’t being said?


Gary Jensen
Editor | collector mentor

To download companion worksheets to use with The collector mentor Challenge™, please visit

About collector mentor
Published bimonthly, collector mentor is a quick-read publication dedicated entirely to delivering articles and practical advice that teaches credit and collection professionals how to increase collection results, enhance productivity, improve teamwork, and become better stewards of the industry.

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