Collector - November 2017 - 33

A

ncient Chinese military strategist
Sun Tzu said there must be balance
in your approach and among your
forces. Imbalance creates weakness, which
leads to defeat.
You can apply this principle to your
business by looking at your expertise in both
collection and sales management.
Using a 10-point scale, if there is more
than a two-point difference between your
collection management performance and
your sales management performance, your
agency is out of balance and sales will suffer.
In the last six issues of Collector magazine,
I've explored how the timeless advice in
Sun Tzu's The Art of War can help collection
agencies transform their approach to sales.
Now we're going to tie everything together
to help you enrich your sales methods and
get more business.

STRATEGIC COHERENCE VS.
INCOHERENCE

Editor's note: This is the last
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.

COLLECTOR 11.17

The best performing collection agencies
have a strategic coherence between
their vision and performance. Strategic
coherence is measured by the degree of
alignment among the agency's
strategy, capabilities, client
service, marketing,
collection performance
and sales performance.
Strategic incoherence
between operations and
sales has been rampant
for decades, because the
operations nature of most
agencies creates a management
imbalance that literally blocks its
ability to improve sales.
At the end of my presentation on this
subject at ACA International's Annual
Convention & Expo Conference in July,
Tom Stockton, IFCCE, CEO of The
CMI Group, asked a great
question: "The industry
acknowledges that
you're the
expert

in marketing and sales, and no one in this
room disagrees with anything you have
presented, so why are so many agencies that
are not happy with sales still not doing what
you advise?"
My response? There are essentially three
reasons:
* Even when unhappy with sales,
agencies are not willing to change
what they are doing, and buy or build
a solution that will implement real
change.
* Agencies generally see money spent on
operations as an investment and money
spent on marketing and sales as a cost,
so they are unwilling to pull the trigger
even though they have been unhappy
with sales for a long time.
* Agencies keep hoping that doing
the same thing over and over will
eventually get a different result.
Recognizing there is a problem is not
enough. Knowledge doesn't mean anything
unless you're willing to do something with
it. The critical importance of closing the gap
between thinking and doing is absolute.
No single metric can measure coherence
or capture alignment among the multiple
elements necessary for a successful sales
effort that delivers significant, sustainable,
profitable growth. We've covered many of
those elements in the previous six articles of
this sales series.
Here are four questions you should ask
yourself to shed light on your agency's
strategic coherence:
1. How well do your marketing and sales
plans fit together with the realities of
the marketplace?
2. How well do you manage sales
compared to how well you manage
collections?
3. How clearly is your value proposition
(why you instead of even the most
qualified agencies) expressed to
prospects?
4. How does the professionalism of your
salespeople significantly outshine that
of the competition?
If you give each of those areas a
maximum of 25 points, how close to 100
points are you? If I don't get my clients
to at least 90 points, I'm not
doing my job. If your score

33



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

Upfront
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Making the Right Choice
Getting Your Ducks in a Row
Highlight Reel
Putting it all Together
Calendar
Honor Roll
On Call
Hire Purpose
CFPB Pursues Two Student Loan Servicers
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - November 2017 - Cover1
Collector - November 2017 - Cover2
Collector - November 2017 - 1
Collector - November 2017 - Upfront
Collector - November 2017 - 3
Collector - November 2017 - Industry News
Collector - November 2017 - 5
Collector - November 2017 - 6
Collector - November 2017 - 7
Collector - November 2017 - Best Practices
Collector - November 2017 - 9
Collector - November 2017 - FYI
Collector - November 2017 - 11
Collector - November 2017 - Collection Tips
Collector - November 2017 - 13
Collector - November 2017 - Making the Right Choice
Collector - November 2017 - 15
Collector - November 2017 - 16
Collector - November 2017 - 17
Collector - November 2017 - Getting Your Ducks in a Row
Collector - November 2017 - 19
Collector - November 2017 - 20
Collector - November 2017 - 21
Collector - November 2017 - 22
Collector - November 2017 - 23
Collector - November 2017 - 24
Collector - November 2017 - 25
Collector - November 2017 - Highlight Reel
Collector - November 2017 - 27
Collector - November 2017 - 28
Collector - November 2017 - 29
Collector - November 2017 - 30
Collector - November 2017 - 31
Collector - November 2017 - Putting it all Together
Collector - November 2017 - 33
Collector - November 2017 - 34
Collector - November 2017 - 35
Collector - November 2017 - Calendar
Collector - November 2017 - Honor Roll
Collector - November 2017 - On Call
Collector - November 2017 - 39
Collector - November 2017 - Hire Purpose
Collector - November 2017 - 41
Collector - November 2017 - CFPB Pursues Two Student Loan Servicers
Collector - November 2017 - 43
Collector - November 2017 - Compliance
Collector - November 2017 - 45
Collector - November 2017 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - November 2017 - 47
Collector - November 2017 - Last Word
Collector - November 2017 - Cover3
Collector - November 2017 - Cover4
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