Receiving a collection call sucks. We’ve got 3 tricks to handle them.

The last one’s the best.


For most of us, making collection calls ranks near the top on the list of things we don’t like to do.

However, being on the receiving end of collection calls sucks as well.

When you are the one receiving the collection call, it feels crappy. Sometimes it is because of a simple oversight or small mistake. Sometimes the call comes because of conflict. Sometimes the call comes because cash flow is tight. Let me let you in on a little secret… this stuff happens to all of us.

Even though it feels like these issues must somehow never happen to anyone else, it does…. Even when that trouble is coming from tightness in cash flow.

If cash becomes a problem and paying vendors and subs is difficult, the collection calls start coming. It helps to know that this happened to all of us and to remember what it is like to be on the other end of the call.

So, what do you do when you are on the receiving end of collection calls?

  1. Keep a log: It can be overwhelming to receive multiple phone calls, and quite frankly, it gets confusing. Keeping a log allows for multiple people in the organization to field calls and also keep track of payment status. It is also good to note how you were treated. There are nice people that call and there are jerks. For our version of the call log, you can get it in our Build Your Own CFO training, which teaches you or someone in your company to become a construction CFO. Click here to learn more.

  2. Know your subs and vendors: There are a handful of vendors and subs that are critical to the success of your company. And then there is everyone else. In most organizations, once you get past the top 10-20 vendors and subs, the remaining are important, but less critical. If you have a great relationship with your top 10-20, your business runs that much easier. Who are your top vendors and subs?

I said I’d save the best for last. This last tip is one that people try to avoid, and it just makes it worse. People are smart.

  1. Tell the truth: No one likes getting the run-around. No one likes being lied to. Seriously! Telling the truth does not mean over-telling—but keep it simple and truthful. When I’ve been on the receiving end of the call, I was amazed at how many callers were thankful for the truth, even if they didn’t like it. The truth builds the relationship, as long as you say the right thing. A carefully crafted message allows for respect, trust building, and less confusion.


Bonus tip: Managing cash flow is a necessity for construction contractors. Want more help? We’ve got a course on improving cash flow in your construction business. You can learn more here.