Collector - September 2020 - 48

LASTWORD

Client Outreach
This interview is an excerpt from a recent episode of the ACA Huddle discussing how to maintain your sales pipeline.

W

hen current and prospective clients
are mainly focused on keeping
their businesses afloat, how can
you sustain your sales pipeline? That was the
topic of a recent episode of the ACA Huddle,
an online conference series. Here, Robb Augg,
vice president of business development and
marketing, Renkim, and Jay Gonsalves,
president, Action Collection Agencies, discuss
how they are shifting their sales approach
during the coronavirus pandemic. This is an
edited excerpt from the conversation.
Gonsalves: I think it's important to
remember that it's not always about us.
[When talking to clients,] the temptation
may be to go into this big long diatribe about
our product or service, but being mindful of
what the client really needs is important. I
think we need to recognize that despite the
incredible challenges and very unusual times
we're in, as salespeople it's about finding out
our clients' needs and how we're best going
to apply what we have to meet those needs.
A lot of us are looking internally at things.
We're looking at our marketing materials,
our technology and how we can retool some
things and make improvements during this
time. We've done a lot of that at our company.
But on the external side, our clients have
also found themselves kind of behind the eight
ball from a resources standpoint. We do health
care, and many hospitals have furloughed
a lot of people. Their resources have been
diminished so they need the services that
companies like ours can provide to them.
Look at things you can do internally as
far as the services that you offer and how

48

you can help clients through this time. I
think, as always, challenging times present
opportunities for industries such as ours.
Augg: [When the pandemic started,] we
had to put our arms around ourselves first.
Once we got our company situated, we
asked: Now what? What do we do? Our
prospects don't want to hear from us now-
they are trying to get everyone remote and
take care of their business. We said: let's
take care of the existing partners we have
and figure out how we can help them.
So, we started reaching out to our
partners. Not only about issues from a
communications perspective, like letters,
but how can we help them get ready for
the future? This would be things like text
messaging and e-notices. We started really
peeling back the layers and looking not
only internally at the solutions we have, but
externally at things that others partners have,
like SndRight, a text messaging solution, and
Papaya, a payment app that we're seeing a lot
of in the first-party medical space that we're
trying to introduce in the bad debt space. It
was a time of slowing down, so it was a good
time to be analyzing everything.
Gonsalves: A lot of what we do in the
collection industry, and in sales in particular,
is very relationship-based. I think during
this time with the challenges we've had it's
important to maintain contact with clients in
whatever way we can. But you need to have a
softer touch during this time.
The other thing we need to look at are
the relationships: Either how we can enhance

them, maybe through different pricing, but
also to look at client profitability. Really
analyze your clients during this time.
We do health care and some of our
clients have told us they've seen as much as
70%-80% drops in their revenue because
elective surgeries and things like cancer
screenings have not been occurring. As a
human that concerns me. I think one of the
consequences of this pandemic is that people
have forgone preventive health care.
We are hearing that we may have to step in
and help clients with follow-up work because
they had to reduce their staff. I think you're
going to continue to see more of that.
To listen to the complete interview, visit
www.acainternational.org/products/
the-huddle-6-24-2020.

Title: Selling in the World
of COVID-19
Participants: Robb Augg, vice
president of business development
and marketing, Renkim; Scott
Little, COO, Pay N Seconds; Jay
Gonsalves, president, Action
Collection Agencies
Air date: 6/24/2020

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.acainternational.org/products/the-huddle-6-24-2020 http://www.acainternational.org/products/the-huddle-6-24-2020 http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector - September 2020

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