Collector - November 2017 - 35

that could have been theirs will be lost, in
many cases forever.
The Art of War speaks to sophisticated,
21st century collection marketing and
sales. Sun Tzu's strategy and tactics
can help you develop unique client
relationships and build a reputation for
responsiveness that becomes viral in your
vertical markets.
Sun Tzu says, "Nothing is more difficult
than the art of maneuvering for seizing
favorable positions beforehand." The difficulty
is in deciding to change, committing the
resources, bringing in the expertise and then
defering to the expert's judgment. For those
that do not, their competitors will be the ones
maneuvering for favorable positions before
they do. Future growth will go to agencies that
have better-trained salespeople with superior
tools, who get the support they need.
We must recognize that the "buyer of
yesteryear" no longer exists, and we must
adapt. Today's prospect has been through
agency changes and is inundated with
calls from agencies using seller-based sales
tactics that stopped working long ago.
As a result, most buyers have no desire
to speak with agency salespeople just
to hear that same old song and dance.
The salesperson with the best chance of
actually engaging with a buyer is the one
who demonstrates a true collaborative
approach combined with a higher level of
professionalism and knowledge.

THE CEO PERSPECTIVE
The key issue for agencies is that the sales
world outside their walls has shifted and any
reluctance to commit to change will only
make things worse.
The objective is to win, which means
sustaining continuous victories. Winning is
not achieved with a single victory, no matter
how large. You must win consistently, year
after year.
But getting a client and keeping a client
are two different things. The agencies that
ensure their financial future will be those that
delight their clients with the level of service
and cooperation they deliver. They don't just
make a sale, they work hard to understand
the client's definition of excellence-then
they deliver that definition of excellence in an
overwhelming way that guarantees not only a

COLLECTOR 11.17

long-term relationship, but referrals and viral
"good press" as well.
Lastly, failing to pull the trigger only
surrenders the victory to your competitors.
Once again, waiting for a little more time,
more funds, more prospects or more clients
is failure to realize that "a little more" is not
enough. While one agency is waiting for just
a little more, a competitor is focusing on
achieving a lot more. Don't stand still while
your competition is making moves. Organize
now for extraordinary achievement.
Combine the strategic and tactical wisdom
of Sun Tzu. Do not think tactically only-that
is short-term thinking. Strategic coherence
means investing in your future. Bring sales
management into balance with operations
management. Give your salespeople the
resources, training and support needed to
excel in the markets of today and tomorrow.
Focusing on collection management is
easier (despite all its challenges) because
most of the elements are within your control.
In sales management, everything outside
your walls is out of your control. That
requires a higher level of expertise than most
agencies are giving it.
Bring your agency into balance. If you are
unhappy with sales, employ the wisdom of Sun
Tzu. What could be worse than failing to act
and watching competitors leave you behind?

HOPE IS NOT A SALES TOOL
The future belongs to those with the will
to act. Collaborative "Insight Selling" is
the future. It's time to embrace change.
Provide needed structure and support
while moving beyond "how we've
always done it." Make hard decisions.
Remove obstacles. Provide real training
and then deal with poor performers.
Help salespeople adapt. Even for a solid
collection operation, long-term financial
security depends on successful sales.
Don't let the tail wag the dog. When it
comes to an agency's financial future, sales
is the dog.
Marc Trezza is president of Search Net
Corporation (www.searchnetcorp.com/
agency). He has been providing sales
management solutions to collection agencies
since 1990. He can be reached at snctrezza@
mindspring.com or (518) 263-3500.

KEYNOTES

1

Early adopters of a
new, more professional
approach to sales
management are just
starting to emerge, and
will be gaining significant
market share.

2

Rebrand your agency
based on relationship
building-selling who you
are, not what you do.

3

Don't stand still while
your competition is
making moves. Organize
now for extraordinary
achievement.
35


http://www.searchnetcorp.com/agency http://www.searchnetcorp.com/agency

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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