It’s the most wonderful time of the year

I do love this time of year, as it seems everyone has a little more pep in their step and a smile on their face coming into the Holidays.  It is a time of giving and a time to be thankful for our families and friends.  Many people get to see loved ones that they may not have seen in a long time.

It is also a time to reflect on the, soon to be, year gone by.  It is a great time to see what you accomplished this year and to also plan for a great year to come!  As I reflect on the year gone by here at APR, I can’t help but smile and be grateful. Continue reading “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”

What a GREAT Industry!-Our Friends in The Lawn Care and Landscape Industry

We just got back from a great week in Louisville at the Landscapes 2018 and GIE+Expo.  We work with many different types of industries and some of those industries just happen to have a special place in my heart.  The Lawn Care and Landscape industry is simply one of my favorites.GIE Expo 2018 Collections agencies

These people are some of the most down to earth and easy going people you would ever want to meet.  The industry provides such a valuable service and I love how much they truly care about their customers.   I have to say that it was fantastic to see so many clients, some of which we have truly become good friends with.  It is somewhat like a family reunion!

We received so much positive feedback and to hear how well we have done for them definitely makes me feel great.  We have some of our highest recovery rates of any industry we work with.  We are nearing 1100 clients in the industry and have some fantastic partners such as NALP and Real Green Systems.

We are very grateful to be able to help these great companies and hope to continue to grow the number of companies we help in the industry.  Obviously, as we approach the winter months, their cash flow becomes even more important and we are proud to be a tool for these contractors to help them increase their cash flow and reduce some of their internal costs, time and strife.

Thank you to NALP for putting on this great event and thank you to all of our clients and partners, it was fantastic to see so many of you last week.

Want to learn more about how we can help your lawncare or landscaping company? Check out that page here.  

Spending time with our lawncare and landscaping clients

Our team took part in the annual National Association of Landscape Professionals GIE Expo this past week and I have to say…WOW!  That’s the best word to describe this show.  We have been coming to this show for 12 years now and this is, by far, the largest I have ever seen.  It has been fantastic to see so many of our clients and to meet so many prospective new clients this year. 

Over the past decade, we have met countless professionals in the green industry, both landscaping professionals, lawn care companies and others such as landscape architects and more. They work so hard for their clients and to grow their business. Their goals are like any business; to make their customers happy.

But there are those times when they don’t get paid for their hard work. They try to resolve the matter on their own, but are ultimately looking for collection agencies that specialize in landscaping and lawncare companies. And that’s where American Profit Recovery comes in with our industry expertise.

We pride ourselves on not just being a collection agency that collects money. We know the ins and outs of the green industry and the challenges that landscaping and lawn care companies go through. When we talk to these professionals on the trade show floor, we have an instant connection and it’s clear to them quickly that we can help them resolve their cash flow issues.

That coupled with all the other great educational advice these companies can gain from going to this event, and it makes for a fantastic couple of days.

If you are in the lawn care or landscaping industry, this show is a must.  I also love seeing my friends from NALP and catching up.  This is a great industry with great people in it, and I am very thankful that we can help so many of them with their accounts receivables as well as helping them to keep their customers.

If you want to learn more about how we do help those in the green industry, check out our Lawncare and Landscaping page. https://www.americanprofit.net/who-we-serve/lawn-carelandscaping/

 

When I grow up

Kids!  Aren’t they great?  “Mom, when I grow up I want to be a fireman”.  “When I grow up I want to be a police officer, a teacher, President, etc., etc., etc.”.  All of these, mind you, are noble professions with delusions of grandeur!!  Now, in all of my years, I don’t believe any of these kids have said “ Mom, I want to be in debt collections or I wanna work for a collection agency”  In fact, if that did happen, I would be curious to see the look on that parents face.  These other positions and aspirations, as you know, are noble and prestigious positions, so why would a child aspire to be in debt collections?  Well, let me share with you my thoughts and why I AM proud to be a 24+Year veteran in this industry. Continue reading “When I grow up”

Happiness and Balance

Here at American Profit Recovery, we encourage the constant challenge to improve yourself and your skills, and attending seminars and/or reading good material is a great way to do just that!  I recently attended a seminar hosted by the YES Network here in Michigan.  The speaker was a gentleman that I have seen before at the Michigan Bankers Association conference and I bought some of his materials back then. 

His name is Billy Riggs and I highly recommend seeing him if you get the chance.  His message for us was about “the Magic of Balance”.  He posed a question that I have heard numerous times and one that I find a lot of people can’t answer.  What would it take to make you be truly happy?  Think about that question for a minute.  No, really, think about that question for a minute.  It is not an easy question to answer….

The typical answers would be time with my family, time with friends, health…… etc., etc.  But the question really needs more thought than just that, because it is what makes us happy that we make a concentrated effort to do.  Billy went on to share his opinion on five areas to have balance.

Being strong in each of these categories will create balance and lead to happiness.

1)      Character – Without this, you will not truly be happy.  Each violation of your integrity will carry with you.  You can’t hide, it will catch up with you and lessen your happiness.  Do the right thing, even when people aren’t watching… because YOU will know.

2)      Relationships – One of the most important things to nurture.  The meaning of life will not revolve around your bank account!  People on their death bed will not discuss how much money they made or how much they have in the bank.  They will reflect on the people in their lives….. either with great joy, or sometimes with regret for not spending enough time with them.  Do not be the one with regrets!

3)      Achievement – People that are happier are ones that set goals and achieve great things!  This doesn’t necessarily have to do with work.  Do you have a bucket list?  How many things are on it?  How much time do you spend achieving the items on that list?  Make a list and review it often.  Do not spend your life as a wandering generality…. Be a meaningful specific.  Do great things and you will be much happier.

4)      Faith –  This can include God!  It is ok……. Whether that is politically correct or not.  It can also include simply devoting some of your time and yourself to a higher cause.  A good and meaningful cause… something higher than yourself.  Helping the homeless, helping abused children or women, habitat for humanity, world hunger, etc.  By giving yourself to a higher cause makes YOU feel better and happier.  There is a sense of joy and calmness that comes with Faith.

5)      Attitude – There are too many books and seminars and articles that address this, so I will not expand too much here.  However, there is a reason why attitude attracts so much attention.  Your attitude truly dictates everything in your life and the fact is, the more positive your attitude, the happier you will be!  Exclamation point on that one!

Keep in mind that each of us has our own definition of what will make us truly happy, but take some time to think about that, and then implement some of the tips and focus on what is important.  Here’s to you and to your happiness!

 

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.

 

Dorothy Needs To Get Paid Too…

Small Business Saturday is coming up this weekend on November 29 and this reminded me of small business owner I helped one time.

Her name was Dorothy, and she owned a flower shop.  She literally had an entire stack of work cards of people who owed her money.  As I showed her our diplomatic debt collection program, she cordially thanked me for my time and told me that she just did NOT want a collection agency to be contacting her customers.  I told her once again how diplomatic it was and how we can help her, she again politely thanked me for my time.

I packed up my stuff and headed for the door.  While on my way out, I picked up a nice, large floral arrangement and continued to head for the door.  Dorothy stopped me and asked “what are you doing?”.  I kindly informed her that I was leaving and that she was not interested in my service.

She said “No, what are you doing with the flowers?”  I stated that I was taking them.  She abruptly said “Without paying?”  I said “Yes Dorothy, that is exactly what everyone else in that stack has done to you, only I am going to save you the gas it would take to bring it to me!”

She paused for a moment and said “Sit down, what do we need to do?”  I signed up Dorothy that day and we did a phenomenal job of recovering her receivables!  She was very thankful to me for putting things into perspective that day.  I truly felt as if those people had stolen from her and I wanted to help.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and need to get paid for their products and services. As we approach this holiday season, think about the small businesses you can buy from.

And if you’re a small business struggling to get paid, we’d love to show you how we can help get that money in the door and keep your customers.

Honor and Courage !

As we approach Veterans Day, I wanted to throw a few feelings down about why this is such a great day.  First, my Grandfather served in the US Army and second, my Dad served in the US Navy on the USS Forrestal.  Both were and are great men!

A display of many American flags with a sky blue background, comI think about the courage that a person has to have in order to make a commitment to serve our country.  Knowing that they could possibly make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedom that we all some days take for granted.

We absolutely live in the greatest country in the world, and I know that we probably do not truly understand just how great we have it.  I voted yesterday….. yes, I voted.  Too many countries do not allow their people to have that option.  I can choose who I would like for school board, Supreme court, Congress, Senate, Governor and President.  I can choose and be heard on a number of issues.   Our voice does actually matter.

These brave men and women commit to protecting that right and our way of life!  I want to say thank you!  No, I mean really … THANK YOU for what you do and for preserving what America stands for.  For protecting my wife and kids…… thank you!  I know words can’t always completely describe our gratitude, but thank you!  When we see a Veteran let’s all shake their hand, salute them or just give a big hug, for they are true heroes.

Lastly, another special part of this day is that it is my Dad’s birthday….so Happy Birthday Dad!  You have always been there for me and I want you to know I appreciate and love you.

Happy Anniversary APR !

It is amazing to think that we started this company 10 years ago.  On one hand, it seems like yesterday and on the other, it seems like a lot longer than that!  I distinctly remember the day we first walked into an empty office space having just left our jobs.  The day was September 13th, 2004…..

I remember because it was my wife’s birthday that day and I got to tell her that her husband is now unemployed and starting a brand new business from scratch.  Happy birthday, honey… we have no income !!    She knew, as did I, that there was no doubt that we would do great things with this company.  It was exciting and scary at the same time.  The reasons I knew we would be successful are as follows:

1)      Great partners!  We all had a level of success in our previous positions and knew what it takes to get there.  We all had a commitment that, in my opinion, was unparalleled.  We also had the principles that this company has held closely ever since.

2)      Three principles that we would instill and preach for as long as this company shall live!  Work Ethic, Positive attitude and Integrity !!

3)      Do the right things!  For our employees, for our clients, with our vendors and in the community.  You have heard it before….. do the right thing even when no-one is looking.  We have constantly looked for ways to improve our company for everyone.   And, we constantly look for ways to give back.  You can read numerous blogs on how our employees have generously donated their time, energy and money to help those in need.

4)      Hire the right people.  And we have!  We give all the credit to the hard-working, dedicated, and quality people that we have on our team.  This company has come so far because of the efforts of our employees.  We try, but don’t know if we can ever thank them enough for sharing our vision and passion in what we do.

I know I could come up with more, but these are some of the main reasons we have become a great company!  I am anxious and excited to see how far we can go together in the next 10 years.  We thank all of our clients for putting their faith and trust in us and the service we provide.  We love helping them in their business!

Happy Anniversary APR…. cheers !

There’s Creativity In All Of Us

I recently attended the Kentucky Bankers Association annual convention. I wrote about the wealth of information and knowledge many of us walked away with last week in our blog.

One of the best presentations I attended was on creativity. Yes, creativity!

There was a riveting presentation by a gentleman named Erik Wahl.  His presentation was labeled UNthink.  We were enlightened with some brilliant artwork and insights on how to not lose your creativity that we all had as kids.  Over time we all become less creative and more conforming in the way we conduct ourselves and our lives.  From school k-12, we are taught to do things the same way and as we enter the work force, even more so.

Take the time to break out of the norm from time to time and enjoy some art, music, dancing or whatever trips your trigger!  A great example of this is when Erik asked the audience who can draw….. pretty much NOBODY raised their hand…… he said if he asked a high school group, he would have a few hands…… if he asked a grade school group, everyone in the room would not only raise their hand, but with ultimate excitement !!!  How true is this?

Also, in today’s world of advertising, it is ever more important to have TRUST.  A big word and one that has lost a lot of meaning over the years.  We all need to know, like and trust people in order to feel comfortable to do business with them.