Great credit managers are essential to achieving great collections and A/R results. Perhaps more importantly, credit managers can pave the way to (and maintain) healthy, lasting relationships with customers. Below are a few qualities to look for when hiring credit managers.

Learn more: What does a credit manager do?

1. Financial Literacy

Understanding the basics of construction finance is a must, for several reasons. Collections for large companies is complex, especially when managing dozens (or hundreds) of accounts. Financial understanding provides greater context to a credit manager’s job of collecting on individual accounts, and enables more informed decision-making.

An understanding of finance (and Accounts Payable specifically) provides insight into customers’ perspectives on A/R – A/P interactions, and will yield similar advantages.

2. Resourcefulness

Credit and collections requires creativity in helping customers resolve their debts. A resourceful manager will go above and beyond to assist customers with obstacles on their end, which in turn will facilitate smoother and faster payment.

Collections is more than just phone calls and letters. Receiving payment can easily evolve (or devolve) into a cat-and-mouse game. Good collections requires a careful balancing act and orchestration of different communications.

Learn more: How to become a better credit manager

3. Charisma

Collections is about relationships, and credit and collections managers are at the front lines. They’re the ones who communicate with customers on a daily basis—by phone, email, and perhaps even in person.

Charisma is therefore an essential personality trait for a credit manager, especially because A/R and A/P do not naturally generate the most exciting relationship. It’s tough to ask for money (and be asked for money) repeatedly on an ongoing basis.

A personable, charismatic manager will navigate the moods and personalities of their counterparts in Accounts Payable. They will transform a touchy business—asking for money—into positive interactions. They will even form positive, lasting relationships with customers that will support better business and A/R.

Thea Dudley teaches credit & collections

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4. Flexibility

This goes for any position. You want someone who is willing to learn and to adopt new practices in order to improve themselves and to improve the business. This is especially important in the construction industry, which generally falls behind in adopting new technologies and practices.

Summary

Credit and collections is about more than dialing phones and asking for payment. You want a credit manager who is interested in a customer’s well being, who knows when to ask for payment and when to ask how somebody’s child is doing. That credit manager will go much farther than a staunch dialer who pressures people into payment.