One of Aesop’s fables, The Ant & the Grasshopper, illustrates a rather interesting point for our industry. The story focuses on the lives and habits of these two small insects who approach life rather differently. The Grasshopper celebrates his summer days living merrily in the moment, while the Ant works hard each day – always with an eye for the future.
Eventually, the seasons change, and while the Ant finds himself with both food and shelter for the winter, the Grasshopper, in contrast, finds himself both cold and hungry – recognizing the mistakes he has made but at a time when it is far too late to do anything about it.
While the Grasshopper neglected the future out of a sense of laziness, I believe many in our industry neglect the future while they are hard at work. In many cases, individuals are driven more by what day of the month it is than by any forward looking vision or planning.
A focal point of your planning should focus on the future paper you will have to collect on. The sun may be shining today, but what are you doing to hedge against the risk of losing a major client? The collections industry is saturated with a lot of different agencies and one of the hardest things to do today is to get new business.
One of the tools we provide is analytics. An agency that is competent in prioritizing their business and then is able to explain a clear work strategy to the organizations they collect for will come across as (and will be) a lot more competent and is the type of entity that will garner additional attention.
The use of sharp and polished looking reports also can go a long way in showing your clients and prospects that they are dealing with a professional. Look to provide a report that not only shows your liquidation rate, but also what you are doing to obtain it.
How do you segment your business? How frequently do you work your accounts? What standard practices do your collectors follow? What do you do to collect on accounts that lack good contact information? Don’t just tell them a number and that you will be the best fit – show them how.
With Intelitech’s reporting services, you can go further to identify which markets you perform best in and how you compare to the industry at large in those markets. Where is your competitive advantage? Organizations that can provide this credible information, come across as much more dependable and confident – as they should.
Make sure you are not waiting for the winter before establishing an effective strategy for targeting new business. Planning ahead will put you on solid footing and will set you apart from so many organizations that place a low priority on any work falling outside of the here and now.