Collector - July 2017 - 36

SALES

Fixing What's Broken
Here are some tactics you can use to retool your interactions with buyers.
By Marc Trezza

A

re you happy with sales?
If your answer is no, then
everything going forward depends
on the decisions your agency makes about
what to do about it. The choices are simple:
* Accept that there's a reason it's not
working and make a real commitment
to positive change.
* Double down on what's not working.
* Keep doing the same thing and hope for
a different result.
If the second and third options are
unacceptable, you have to develop a new
strategy and tactics that will stack the
odds in your favor. When you commit
to change, understanding strategy and
tactics is step one. Applying the wisdom
of a master strategist and tactician like
Sun Tzu is an excellent place to start, but
we have to apply it to collection sales in
the real world.

36

In the June issue of Collector magazine, we
said the ideal strategy is that which works
best, and implementation is a powerful
component of strategic rollout.
Once you accept that the old paradigm is
broken, you can initiate steps to fix it. First,
consider why it's broken. In almost every
instance, it's because the process is sellerbased instead of buyer-based.
Think about what it would take to get
you to accept a collection sales call if you
were the buyer. To do that, you have to paint
the right picture of the situation (Sun Tzu's
assessment of conditions, including morale,
weather and terrain). The buyer:
* Is happy or at least not unhappy enough
with its agency to be actively looking.
* Has a department to run with
many responsibilities in addition
to collections, making collections a
relatively low priority.

Editor's note: This is the
second in a series of seven articles
examining innovative sales techniques
based on The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
Read the first article in the May issue
of Collector magazine.
* Is hesitant to change agencies. It can
be a lot of work with no guarantee of
improvement.
Now, in terms of what justification
there is for the buyer to consider a
change, apply the typical agency sales
approach to that situation. Agencies often
promote their experience, references,
federal and state regulatory compliance
and insurance and bonding.
For any mid- to large-size buyer, none
of these seller-based features distinguish
you from the agencies they already have,
or the other agencies that also want
their business. So unless you understand
what will actually make a difference to
the buyer, you are really only selling to
yourself.
Imagine that pitch happens over and over
and over again, day in and day out, month
after month, year after year. If you were the

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - July 2017

Upfront
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
What’s in Your Policy?
State Licensing Laws: What’s New and Trending
The Question of Rule 68
Calendar
Honor Roll
Healthcare Data at Risk
ACA Members Meet in D.C. to Advocate on Behalf of Industry
Fixing What’s Broken
Credit Listening Considerations
U.S. Supreme Court Hands Collection Industry a Win in ACA-Supported Case
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - July 2017 - Cover1
Collector - July 2017 - Cover2
Collector - July 2017 - 1
Collector - July 2017 - 2
Collector - July 2017 - Upfront
Collector - July 2017 - Industry News
Collector - July 2017 - 5
Collector - July 2017 - 6
Collector - July 2017 - 7
Collector - July 2017 - Best Practices
Collector - July 2017 - 9
Collector - July 2017 - FYI
Collector - July 2017 - 11
Collector - July 2017 - Collection Tips
Collector - July 2017 - 13
Collector - July 2017 - What’s in Your Policy?
Collector - July 2017 - 15
Collector - July 2017 - 16
Collector - July 2017 - 17
Collector - July 2017 - 18
Collector - July 2017 - 19
Collector - July 2017 - State Licensing Laws: What’s New and Trending
Collector - July 2017 - 21
Collector - July 2017 - 22
Collector - July 2017 - 23
Collector - July 2017 - The Question of Rule 68
Collector - July 2017 - 25
Collector - July 2017 - 26
Collector - July 2017 - 27
Collector - July 2017 - Calendar
Collector - July 2017 - Honor Roll
Collector - July 2017 - Healthcare Data at Risk
Collector - July 2017 - 31
Collector - July 2017 - ACA Members Meet in D.C. to Advocate on Behalf of Industry
Collector - July 2017 - 33
Collector - July 2017 - 34
Collector - July 2017 - 35
Collector - July 2017 - Fixing What’s Broken
Collector - July 2017 - 37
Collector - July 2017 - 38
Collector - July 2017 - 39
Collector - July 2017 - Credit Listening Considerations
Collector - July 2017 - 41
Collector - July 2017 - U.S. Supreme Court Hands Collection Industry a Win in ACA-Supported Case
Collector - July 2017 - 43
Collector - July 2017 - Compliance
Collector - July 2017 - 45
Collector - July 2017 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - July 2017 - 47
Collector - July 2017 - Last Word
Collector - July 2017 - Cover3
Collector - July 2017 - Cover4
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