Difference makers are everywhere.
We can point to the stars of the latest World Series championship team, the San Francisco Giants as fresh proof. Players like Edgar Renteria smashing a 3-run homerun to win the series in just 5 games over the Texas Rangers comes readily to mind. And then of course there’s “The Freak” and, “The Machine” – true difference makers in pitching their team to the ultimate measure of baseball success.
Then, we have the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces: true difference makers in securing our freedoms. We honor and thank them this week and especially on Veteran’s Day, the 11th of November, 2010 for their service and sacrifice on our behalf.
Sometimes, however, difference makers may not be so obvious. But they exist – present in every community, every family, every industry and in every company. People who care deeply about making good things happen, and being the best they can be. And yes, there are difference makers in the debt collection industry as well. People doing extraordinary work, helping clients achieve amazing results, in sometimes difficult, even uncomfortable circumstances.
This past week we visited with three difference makers from Optio Solutions who shared some terrific stories of their work with customers in the debt recovery process. These difference makers are: Vincent Mazza, Client Relations Specialist; Linda Michieli, District Sales Manager and Christy Davies, Independent Sales Consultant.
Here are some of the strategies they’ve been involved with that can really make a difference for clients’ success in debt collection.
Submit Early for the Best Rate of Recovery
As a client relations specialist, Vincent is involved in working with new clients. He helps them get off to a good start with their system setup, then trains and coaches them on guidelines for success. One of the key points he makes with clients that can make a big difference in collection results is to submit delinquent accounts early – within 30-60 days – and not to wait 6 months or longer.
Christy points out how the Strategy 1, first party approach with live connect and Talking Statements speeds up recovery when delinquent accounts are submitted before they get too old. She told the story of a recent conversation with a prospective client:
Client: “You know Christy; we just don’t turn many accounts over to collections.”
Christy: “What do you consider a delinquent account?”
Client: “An account that hasn’t paid for 6 months or so.”
Christy: “What if I talked to you about a first party approach that would assist you with accounts going over only 45 days where you could still keep those clients and keep that money coming in? Would you be interested in hearing about that?
Client: “Well yeah, that doesn’t sound like collections that sounds like a solution to problems I’ve got.”
What kind of recovery rates is possible with a strategy of early submission? Linda recounts the experience of a pool service business that had a lot of balances and had been working with another agency with only marginal results: “Once our system was implemented the calls from debtors making payments started coming in the very next day, and this customer is now seeing a 96% recovery rate!”
Keep Control but Lose the Burden
It falls to many business owners to not only bring in new business, but also to collect on old debt. Christy told the story of one client who was on the phone trying to collect on money that was owed for 6 months when, unbeknownst to him, a prospective client was waiting just outside the door overhearing the entire conversation. Whoops! The burden not only becomes the debt, but how to turn off collections and turn on producing new business without compromising either one.
Recently, Christy identified a problem and proposed a solution for a customer who was very busy servicing clients in her practice but losing ground on outstanding receivables. Once the solution was proposed and agreed to, Christy’s client, feeling immediate relief remarked something to the effect of, “You know what? Even if you don’t collect a dime this is a relief to me because it’s out of my hands. I don’t have to worry about chasing this money down anymore because I know you’re doing it for me, and I can focus on servicing my clients and building my practice.” And now, according to Christy, “she’s been very pleased with the results, when an account goes over a certain amount, she just drops it into the system and knows we start working on it right away.”
Can these Strategies Make the Difference in your Receivables?
We hope this gave you some insight on a couple of strategies gleaned from some of our key players that are helping make a big difference in the field of debt recovery.
To sum up the key takeaways: Don’t wait too long before turning over accounts because you can get a great recovery rate with the right approach in a relatively short amount of time. Follow suggested guidelines and trust the system to work on your behalf. Doing so removes that burden of collection and keeps you in control of growing your business and maintaining productive client relations.
One of the collection industry’s difference makers is Optio Solutions. Our approach to debt collection will allow you to submit early, maintain control and preserve your valued customer relationships.
And hey, how ‘bout those Giants?