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!

 

By Dave Yenglin :

I was fortunate enough to attend this conference along with three other members of the APR team.  I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, as I hadn’t attended any conference of this sort in many years, but immediately boredom came to mind.  It couldn’t have been further from the truth, the speakers for this conference did a wonderful job of presenting the material.

It wasn’t your typical presentation of someone just reading from a booklet what someone else wrote.  They were very good at getting everyone involved and being very interactive, obviously this makes sense given the title of the conference.

One of the first things that I learned from this that I hadn’t really put much stock in before now was that money isn’t always the primary motivation of employees being happy at a certain job.  Sure for a lot of people money is a big motivating factor for working for someone, but you would likely do better without those people on your team with that sole focus.  What I think makes for a great team and a great leader is being able to get people motivated and committed to a vision by way of getting them involved, getting them to be invested, and getting them to feel like what they are doing and what they are contributing is making a difference in the vision.

Most people want to be heard, they want to make a difference they don’t just want to get a paycheck.  When they are making a difference and being heard they are happier employees and more effective employees.  With that, being a great leader means being open and communicating with your team.

Don’t just tell your team what to do and that’s it, explain why you have come to your decision, elicit input or feedback from them to get them on board with a process, possibly improving the process based on that feedback.  People typically don’t like being told what to do all of the time, we already have a mother we don’t need another.

Getting them involved and explaining why things are done the way they are gets them better invested in the process and ultimately the vision of the company.

It feels good knowing that the team at APR has been heavily invested in this way of team building and leadership since the beginning and is just one of many things that makes us different from other collection agencies.

It’s times like these when I feel so proud to be part of American Profit Recovery. As we enter another year of helping local families during the holidays with our Adopt a Family Program, we can go into our own holidays and the New Year knowing we have done our part for even a few people this season.Ashley F - Diamond - Allie1

Many people say if you can just touch a few people in your life, you’ve made a difference and I believe we have done this. It has now been six years since we decided to buy gifts for struggling families in the communities we work in.

In the past six years we have as a team, purchased over 300 gifts for local families and raised almost $6,500 for these families in need. And not once has our team here at APR hesitated to do what they needed to do to make this happen. We have also partnered with several agencies to help us identify families in need so it’s been a true partnership.

This year our team purchased over 75 items for these families including toys, household items and so much more. They also raised and donated over $1,300 to help them even further.

In total, over the years we have helped 14 families have a better holiday season because of the dedication and generosity of our staff.

When we look at our company tag line, You’ll Profit from Our Difference, it means so much. It not only says that as a company or consumer that you will benefit by dealing with us, but when times are tough for members of our own community, time and time again, this team has shown that we can decisively dispel any myth that we are just another collection agency looking to grab as much money as we can.

Our team has heart, they have morals and we have a team that has a deep interest in helping others.

Whatever you celebrate this season, we wish you the very best and a Happy New Year.

I was given the opportunity to attend a one-day seminar on leadership presented by Skill Path Seminars. Going in, I wasn’t sure what to really expect. Were they going to ask me questions about myself, the company I work for, what is a normal day like in the office? After the introduction given by two speakers, I realized the principle behind this was to educate employees in leadership positions, as well as employees aspiring to leadership. The focus wasn’t solely on the people attending, but also the ones back at the office. In other words, everyone contributes in one way or another, and not to overlook them.

The presentations were held in two rooms simultaneously allowing you to attend what interested you the most throughout the day. I chose the topics I which were less familiar with the hope of gaining knowledge about development and teambuilding. The speakers put groups together for activities allowing you to feel like you were involved rather than just sitting for an hour at a time listening and taking notes. Each session went by quicker than I expected, and with the amount of information given out I felt like it was at least three days-worth of material we covered.

We were told, “Don’t always plan on talking without listening.” This applies in or outside your work environment since so much of the information given could apply to both work and home. The situations we come across in everyday life are so similar to those in our careers. The ways we invest our time in our personal lives mirror the way we manage our time at work. Both have an effect on the people in our lives, and it is our focus and positive attitude that make us successful. In the end, it was a great learning experience, and I feel my co-workers and I walked away with some knowledge we may have never gained elsewhere.

 

Everyone Learns Different

On December 4 I attended a conference here in Farmington Hills on Leadership Development and Teambuilding. As the admin team work leader, I work side by side with our manager Melissa and assist with our admin team here at American Profit Recovery. We have a great admin team here who works extremely hard every day.

It was a very informative conference that lead me to take away many good take aways. The biggest take away for me was  – each and every individual doesn’t learn the same way as you do. So when working with different individuals, you may need to pay more attention as to how you may be wording explanations for a better take away. And even though I may learn certain things at a certain pace – doesn’t mean doesn’t mean everyone else learns the same way. I also learned that listening is an integral part of being a manager/team leader.

Without listening, there is much that can be  misconstrued or miscommunicated. When teaching or communicating, asking good questions to your team is a great way to know if what is being discussed was understood. Supporting your team and their learning styles along with personality styles will only help your team grow and work better together.

 

As a Collector at American Profit Recovery I have been presented with several opportunities to improve my skillsets and gain knowledge on our ever-changing industry. Having attended these events I’m always struck by the number of people who seemed to be zoned out on their cell phones, counting the number of minutes until the next break. I assume these individuals were just looking for a day away from the office or were “voluntold to attend. No matter how vast your knowledge is on a certain subject matter there is always more to learn and different opinions to consider. So, at every event I attend I like to have at least one takeaway that will benefit me.

Just last week I had the pleasure of attending the “Leadership and Teambuilding Conference” presented by Skillpath. The all-day seminar consisted of several interactive sessions with topics ranging from communication skills to working effectively with different personality types.  While all these sessions had valuable information my biggest takeaway came from a discussion about the value of mission statements. The speaker suggested developing your own personal mission statement. Something you can live your life by. I’ve heard of companies developing mission statements, but have never thought about the idea of creating a personal mission statement. I thought it was a great idea. Since the seminar I’ve had some time to think long and hard about what I value most in life and have developed a personal mission statement. I have it written down and truly think it will help with my mindset, improve upon my attitude, and create a more driven focus.

So, next time you’re away from the office at a conference I suggested you try and find at least one bit of advice to apply towards your life. Have an open mindset and treat it as an opportunity rather than an obligation. It may just end up being very beneficial to you.

bptw-2014-winners-wreath-smallThis could be a really short blog post. American Profit Recovery is a great place to work; Period! We know this because we have been named just that for seven straight years. Best Places to Work in Collections is a program spearhead by industry publication InsideArm.com and Best Companies Group and we’re proud to be on the list again.

There are many reasons why we are continually recognized as a great place to work. But, I’ll focus on one. Culture.

Yes, we are a great place to forge a career. We pay well, we offer great benefits and we always help our team members grow, both professionally and personally. We really are a family here.

But our culture is one of respect. First, we truly respect each other here because we feel that is the key to a rewarding working environment. We all contribute at all levels of the organization and we often implement ideas from all parts of the staff.

But we all understand that it is our responsibility to respect the consumers we are contacting. That is what makes American Profit Recovery different and what ultimately makes this a great place to work. We have a mission here and it’s to collect debt with diplomacy. Everyone here knows this and it’s what brings us together in many ways.

Our team wants to do the right thing every time. And they do the right thing because they all understand what we stand for and they are treated as part of this team.

Yes we are debt collectors and if you watch any type nightly news magazine, you would think this is a bad industry to have a career. That might be true at some companies but not here. We’re celebrating our ten year anniversary this year and we have employees that have been with us since day one. That should tell you something.

What does your company do to be a great workplace? We’d like to know!

The Payoff Principle

By: Jason Holowecki

Over the last year and a half or so I have taken an interest in personal development and have noticed the impact it has had on my life and also affected the people around me in a positive way. On November 18th we were given the opportunity to attend the latest seminar put on by The Yes Network. The keynote speaker was Dr. Alan Zimmerman and the session was titled, “The Payoff Principle.” During this seminar a lot of the focus was placed on how improving your attitude and taking action can motivate you and give you the strength to overcome any obstacles you may find yourself facing. These obstacles can easily be found in both your personal life and also your career life. However, the way we respond to these obstacles can determine the outcome, now whether we want the outcome to be positive or negative is entirely up to us.

Something unique that I noticed about Dr. Zimmerman’s teaching methods is that he is very interactive and encourages participation. There was an exercise where he had us stand face to face with the person seated next to us. Once we were facing each other one of us would stretch our arms out to the side and then the other person would place their hands on our wrists and try to push our arms down to no avail. My partner in this exercise was probably about half my size, there was no way he was ever going to be able to get my arms to collapse. At least, that’s what I initially thought; the second part of the exercise was to again face your partner, however this time your partner was instructed to make derogatory comments towards you prior to pushing your arms down. Some examples of the comments were, “you’re a bad person, you’re a loser, you’ll never be successful”, immediately after making those comments your partner was told to attempt to push your arms down again.

To my surprise after hearing these comments directed towards me, my arms felt like they were made of cement and couldn’t have fallen to my side any faster. The most powerful example of this exercise was when he asked one of the attendees to step outside of the room. While she was out of the room we were instructed that when he brings her back into the room anytime he asks her a question about where she is from we are to think to ourselves, “she’s a jerk” and then when he asks about her job we are to think, “She’s great.” He brought her back into the room and anytime he would ask about her job her arms would not move but the minute he asked about where she was from her arms would flop to the side. She was baffled by this as I think were many of us; the point was to prove that the way that people think about us can have a negative effect on us if we allow it.

On a side note we all have the power to be stronger than the obstacles that try to bring us down, all we have to do to not let it affect us is think positive thoughts. The exercise was done one more time with all of us thinking positive thoughts to ourselves while our partners once again made derogatory comments, the result this time was that our arms stayed outstretched no matter how hard our partners tried to push them down.

To wrap this up I’ll give you Dr. Zimmerman’s Payoff Principle Formula:

Purpose + Passion + Process = Payoff

Some highlights of this formula are:

  • Understand the critical importance of a purpose-driven life and career
  • Clarify and write out your purpose statement
  • Make sure you’re living your life and working your job “on purpose”
  • Choose to “act” rather than “react”
  • Build inner drive and spirit
  • Deflect negative influences that could drag down your passion
  • Understand how an inadequate self-image blocks success and a strong self-image guarantees success
  • Defeat self-doubt and maintain self-confidence in challenging situations and around difficult people
  • Neutralize self-defeating thoughts that block goal achievement
  • Determine, set, and write out worthy goals that define your success
  • Begin to live and work outside your comfort zone … where all greater success is to be found

In closing I’ll provide you with two powerful takeaways that Dr. Zimmerman delivered:

You’ll have more success in the next two months when you take the time and show a genuine interest in helping people, than you would in the next two years trying to get people to like you.

If you only had six months to live, what would you do, where would you go, who would you talk to? The answers to those questions are your purpose, and who says you have six months? Tomorrow is not guaranteed don’t take it for granted!

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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