April has been designated as Financial Literacy Month. It’s designed to help educate anyone on the practical ways in which we all need to manage our finances. It’s also meant to educate those struggling with various issues of debt and how to navigate their responsibility to those they owe money to. In the video with this post, we have a number of tips that can assist a Financial Literacy on Orange Puzzle.consumer when trying to resolve an issue with a debt collector. It comes straight from one of our veteran collectors and its worth sharing with anyone you know who may need assistance.

As business owners and those charged with the task of accounts receivables, we all know how important it is for consumers to pay for a product or service on time. If not, the business suffers and in some cases, has challenges meeting their obligations; a domino effect.

Each and every one of us has had to pay a debt at some point in our lives. But it’s the manner in which we meet our financial obligations that builds a solid foundation for our financial lives. And as you can imagine as a collection agency, our team deals with a whole host of situations when it comes to late and non-paying consumers.

The short answer when asked how to work with a collection agency is to communicate. When a consumer is willing to communicate with the creditor and work out a resolution, in most cases, the issue is resolved without any further action. And that is a win, win for both the business and the consumer.

We have a number of great suggestions by one of our veteran collectors on how to increase the chances of a successful outcome when working with American Profit Recovery or other collection agencies. Take just a few minutes to view the video but more importantly, share this with anyone you know that may be struggling to meet their financial obligations.

Another great resource in which we highly recommend and endorse is the website Ask Doctor Debt, http://www.askdoctordebt.com/ which is an incredible consumer resource for anyone who has questions around how to get out of debt.

Financial literacy is a combination of saving money, spending wisely and meeting our obligations. And with the proper discipline and focus, anyone can be smart about money.

Sales 1%’ers !

We attended a great seminar last week from the Yes network!  The speaker was a gentleman named Michael Hoffman, who was very entertaining and full of good information.  His seminar was regarding how to become a top 1% sales professional.  Although the seminar was geared towards sales, I think the material applies to all of us in life and communication.  We all know that sales touches all of us in one way or another….. selling your kids on doing homework, friends on where to go to eat, etc., etc.  Some of the main takeaways for me where as follows:

To be a top performer is not something you are born with!  It is something that you become over time and we control our destiny a lot more than some people may think

Top 1%’ers do 3 things well….

  • 1) They are constantly learning – they are reading and learning and growing as a professional.  Open to new ideas and open to  yes.
  • 2) Smart and Adapt – They top performers are not expecting to be spoon-fed and constantly look to adapt and find ways it will work for them
  • 3) Apply – They are action people….. do not procrastinate, apply what you learn right away.  Always asking how can they improve today?

They have a process

  • Sell yourself first – Build rapport, get to be someone who they can know, like and trust
  • Ask questions – it is all about THEM… not you.  You can’t just start selling a one size fits all.  Once you know their story, the solutions become easy
  • Present Solutions – build value, build value, build value.  If you build enough value, in their best interest, you will have a new client
  • Ask for the order – amazing how many sales people do not actually ask someone for the order.  As a professional, IF you feel what you offer will be a benefit to their business, then you are doing them a disservice to not ask them to become a client
  • Remember… it is all about them and what they need, not about YOU and what you need or think they want.  Treat every person individually and do not assume they want the same things as you, or as everyone else.
  • One size does NOT fit all, and the better you are at customizing your product or service to their specific needs/wants, the better you become.  Use their words and power phrases and incorporate them into your presentation or conversation

Para-language

92% of your communication is NOT the words

It is the tonality, the smile, the physiology that makes a great communicator.  You can say the right words, but without the excitement or passion, they are just words.  Try saying the same phrase in a mundane, boring tone and you do not get the same message as an excited and passionate tone will bring

Business and communication is all about people, not just the product or service you provide.  It is all about solving problems for THEM… not YOU, but THEM!!!

It really hit home and re-emphasized the message that American Profit Recovery strives for every day.  If you help enough other people get what they want, you will in return get what you want…. A saying I got from the late and great Zig Ziglar.  It is a way of life and not just for sales.

 

There was a time, early in my career, where I measured success strictly by the numbers. Number of overtime hours I worked per week; number of consumers I successfully contacted and collected from; the number of dollars I collected; and the number of times I assisted a fellow Collector collect.

Not too long after my career in Collections at American Profit Recovery began, my career in Collections management did too. As a young manager I knew the value of goal setting and leading by example, but I still assigned success to numeric performance outcomes alone. The number of quality Collectors I could recruit, interview, hire, train, and maintain in any given calendar year; the number of net monies my team could collect in any given month; the number of phone numbers we dialed, accounts we skip traced, and hours we were on the phone on any given day.

A year as a Collection manager will teach you many things: the importance of always recognizing contributions, of inspiring a shared vision, of challenging the current process to always be improving. Another lesson is the value of building relationships and putting your team above all else. Ahead of ancillary tasks and routine duties; ahead of your own calls; ahead of your own collections; ahead of anything else that may preoccupy your time. When you’re never too busy to field a question, never too busy to take a difficult transfer call, and never too busy to make it your responsibility to be genuinely interested in what kind of individuals make up your team, well, success follows by default.

After a few more years as a Collection manager there was another shift that occurred. The mark of success became determined by how many people I hired who become leaders in their own right. Leaders, not just those who have been promoted to management and now have the title, those too, but also those who are looked up to, those who are models of the way forward, those who go out of their way to help other Collectors succeed. The lesson is learning the difference and similarities between and within management and leadership; and learning the difference and similarities between and within training & development and coaching people up.

Two and a half years now as V.P., Collections and there are lessons to be learned still. I cannot quite pinpoint when it occurred, but there was a realization that hit me not that long ago. As important as the numbers are; as important as it is to lead by example and not expect from others anything you’re not willing to do yourself; as important as recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training & development, and goal setting are; as important as always recognizing contributions, of inspiring a shared vision, of challenging the current process in order to always be improving; as important as it is to never be too preoccupied; as important as it is to being genuinely interested in others and coaching individuals up is, what’s also tantamount to great leadership is service management. Service management extends from inter-office and intra-office communications, to conversations on the phone with Consumers, and to the clients whom those Consumers owe.

In my current position I have the advantage of exercising my service management skillsets by working with every department in the company: from IT and Admin, to Customer Service and Sales, to Collections and Compliance. This doesn’t mean everyone always gets the answer they necessarily wanted to, but it does mean working together to make decisions that make sense. The key being the willingness to make decisions and not being indecisive (this can paralyze a department, a company, a relationship). When you pledge to helping your fellow cohorts you find that it’s both rewarding and mutually beneficial. Service management, like a positive attitude, benefits everyone.

What Clients Ask Us

We realize there are many collection agencies out there trying to get your business. And we understand that in many cases, it can be a big decision to bring in a collection agency and have them start contacting your customers. After all, you worked hard to attract your clients and you don’t want to lose them.

If you are a current client of American Profit Recovery, you have probably seen firsthand just how different we are when it comes to recovering the money owed to your business and the way we treat each and every consumer.

So when our team sits down with potential clients struggling to get paid on time, we are asked many questions but there are a few that always seem to come up. The answers to these and other questions define how American Profit Recovery consistently operates. Those include:

How successful will you be in recovering my money? How will you treat my customers? How will I know what type of progress there is on the accounts I submit to you? What type of training do your collectors go through?

One thing you’ll find refreshing is that everyone you speak to here is open, honest and dedicated to helping your business get paid and keep your clients.

Take 90 seconds and see what one of our owners has to say. The short video with Matt Moskowitz outlines what we hear every day from business owners and how we ultimately show them we are just the right fit for your collection needs.

 

 

Time To Take The Plunge

I am glad that say that for the third year running APR will be sponsoring the Special Olympics of Michigan Polar Plunge. This year we will have a team of six employees taking the plunge at Sylvan Lake. The Special Olympics will always hold a special place in my heart. When was in high school, one of swim teammates had a disability. He came to every practice and worked as hard as anyone else, all he wanted was to be on the team. He was an inspiration.

Please join APR this weekend, Saturday the 28th at 12 pm, at Sylvan Lake community center. I hope to see you there, if you can’t make or just want to donate, the link for donations is http://www.firstgiving.com/team/280915

FYI – For anyone who saw the article on CNN about the new health craze of exposing yourself to temperatures of -220 F and are wondering if Sylvan Lake will be that cold when we plunge, it will not be!

We wanted to take a few minutes and introduce you to some of the most understanding, kind and thoughtful people we know. And guess what? They are some of our collectors here at American Profit Recovery. That’s right, debt collectors…

Being kind and respectful helps both the client that hired us to help them get paid and it also helps the consumer that needs to catch up on their financial obligations. In fact we believe being kind is the only way to resolve a past due account.

Our tagline if you haven’t noticed is You’ll Profit From Our Difference.” Both client and consumer profit from the way in which all our team members conduct themselves; with kindness and respect. We’re here to do one thing, bring people together and resolve outstanding debt. How do we do it?

We Help. In the case of our clients, we bring a higher level of understanding of your business, your challenges and we help you understand your options.

When it comes to the consumers we call on, we help them resolve their debt by working it out. We bring a level of kindness and respect that not many associate with our industry.

We are firm believers in the approach that helping others only makes you more successful and clients and consumer alike have thanked us for the way we have helped both parties when it comes to resolving debt.

Take two minutes to view the video and hear it straight from the people who call on consumers every day and provide help.
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Our mission here at American Profit Recovery is to provide our clients excellent financial services, as well as our employees with a worthwhile career. Such excellence speaks for itself through results. We must also always strive to do our best in helping our consumers to solve their financial problems. Here at APR, we hire the best people, teach and hold them to high standards, and we learn from actions while avoiding complacency. That helps everyone.

We model excellence in our leadership and management’s actions. Our Ownership and management team work together to model excellence, build trust and play an active part in the collection industry and our communities. Our motto could be “Achieve the Honorable!”   Our commitment to honesty, integrity and trust worthiness will always guide our actions.

See our commitment to honesty in this short video.

 

 

I recently attended a seminar entitled Tactical Communication by Dan O’Connor. I attended with a few of my coworkers.   Dan’s latest book entitled “Say This –NOT THAT!” embodied a lot about what was communicated at the seminar. Understanding the nature of phrases and how some can be considered danger phrases (things to avoid saying) and power phrases (things we should say). Have you thought about things that you may say that could result in a negative response?   For example, if you are working with someone with a concern and you say a danger phrase such as “calm down” versus a power phrase as “I understand” you can quickly understand the potentially different response you would receive back. In a collection agency, we have to understand how we word things because the words we choose may impact our ability to connect with the client or person.

Not only are there these types of phrases there are many types of positive phrases we can use in different types of situations that help connect thoughts and keep conversations going smoothly. For example, strong phrases to use in a transitional way could be “That reminds me….” or “By the way….”

Another great tip he discussed is using freestyle scripting to assist in speaking in a casual open way yet with direction. Using key phrases will help jog our memory in a way which allows us to touch on all of our points, but without reading from notes or a script. He used an example of doing a toast at a wedding or saying a few words at a funeral. By having a few keys phrases you can easily speak to all of the points that one would say. All you need to show on your notes are the following and anyone could fill in the blanks.

Good ……

As we all know…..

We all…..

I’ve…..

So let’s all….

By using these quick phrases you can see how you can easily say something like Good evening, as we all know we are gathered here today to remember the life of John Smith. We all have shared many experiences with John ….and I’ve been privileged to know him in his journey of life so let’s all bow our heads and pray in memory of John.

I appreciated attending this seminar as it provided me with some simple tips on ones use of phrases and the impact they can have in speaking in various ways from a sales presentation to a simple public announcement.

By Kaylee:

As a CSR at American Profit Recovery I am always trying to improve my communication skills. Last week I was excited to attend a great seminar on tactful communication. One of the great benefits about working at APR is the opportunity to attend the “Yes Network Seminars.” Last week Dan O’Connor spoke about how to get what you want through words, phrases and persuasion. I feel that our ability to communicate with our clients effectively is essential to APR’s success. Most people when they think of seminars think of power points, big white boards and dull and boring information. This was quite the opposite; Dan was able to make his presentation very engaging and entertaining!

One of the many things I found interesting was the different sides of the brain and how we use them. The right side is the emotional side and the left is the logical side. Most people only pull from one side but with different communication techniques you can pull from both sides and become more effective. I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take on or learn new and different things to jump on it! Your brain is a sponge – absorb it!

So, New Year’s has past and you have seen just about every article and social media posting there is about how to make and keep your New Year’s resolutions. We all know the common ones: lose weight, exercise, get up earlier, make more money, etc…

What goals have you set for your business? Well that last one we mentioned, make more money, might be easier than you think. In fact, many businesses are leaving huge amounts of money on the table. You either don’t know it or you choose not to pursue it for any number of reasons. Now is the perfect time to resolve to make more money by making sure you’re getting the money you are already owed.

At this time of the year, you as a business are already closing the books on last year, getting ready for a new year, and if you’re savvy, taking a good look at all your business practices, internal procedures and other items that make your business tick; asking your team, how can we do things better?

This presents the perfect opportunity to review your procedures around late and non-paying customers. We believe there is always room for improvement in any business, any area of a business and its procedures for getting things moving in the right direction.

Take a few minutes and view the video below on ways to improve your accounts receivables program, get paid faster and in the end, make more money.

Here’s to a great 2015!

 

The information available on this web site is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain legal advice.



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