5 Reasons Good Deals Get Rejected

Whether its the negotiation of a bad debt, debt settlement or salary raise there are several ways to succeed and fail in the negotiation process. It’s one thing to lose a deal because you were just far too hard in the negotiation but sometimes the other side is even rejecting your reasonable offers.  When genuine attempts at negotiating in good faith are failing, you need a new approach. The key to success is understanding why people will sometimes reject even your best offers.

  1. You didn’t help them sell it to their partner

The person on the other side of the table might agree that your offer is reasonable, but they will still reject it if they can’t sell it to their spouse or partner. Your job is not simply to convince the person you’re negotiating with, but to help them be an effective ambassador for you when they are speaking to their partners, or others who have a say in what happens. Keep an eye on all of the people who can influence the negotiation on their side, and help build the case that will allow them to get the buy-in required.

If your talking to the husband then ask is he the one who pays the bills if he says yes you are talking to the decision maker. If not you have to help him sell it to his partner.

  1. The deal makes them look bad

People will often reject even fair and generous offers if accepting them will make them look bad.  For example, even a concession on your part that gives them something they would not have otherwise expected can help them declare victory to their side — or at least help them show that all sides had to give in.

By giving them more time or a bigger discount or paying the mailing costs you help them save face.

  1. You didn’t justify it

It’s not enough that you tell them what you want you have to explain why. No matter how reasonable your proposal may seem to you, if you fail to justify it, there is a good chance it will be rejected. Don’t let your offer speak for itself; tell the story that goes with it. If you want action today then tell them why something must be done today.

  1. You didn’t respect their boundaries

Sometimes the problem is that their hands are truly tied. They would be willing to give you more time to make a decision, but they are facing their own deadline. They would be willing to give you more money up front to seal the deal, but they have financial constraints.

The key here is flexibility:: the more currencies you allow someone to pay you in, the more likely you are to get paid. Find a way to discount this or add value in order to get the deal done.

  1. ABC | Always Be Closing

Why should they agree to one of your requests if this will not seal the deal.  If it is genuinely the case, it can help you to let them know that “this gets the deal done.” Or, offer more time if the person can sign an agreement to act in the future. Getting a pre dated payment fits this perfectly, the debtor can’t pay till the next payday by asking for the post dated check you get the deal closed and give the concession at the same time. The thing to remember is that you don’t always need to make a substantive concession in exchange for the concession you are asking for.

Lighthouse Consulting performs training classes for debt collection and debt settlement agents contact us for more info.

5 Reasons Good Deals Get Rejected

Whether its the negotiation of a bad debt, debt settlement or salary raise there are several ways to succeed and fail in the negotiation process. It’s one thing to lose a deal because you were just far too hard in the negotiation. But sometimes the other side is even rejecting your reasonable offers. When genuine attempts at negotiating in good faith are failing, you need a new approach. The key to success is understanding why people will sometimes reject even your best offers.

1. You didn’t help them sell it to their partner
The person on the other side of the table might agree that your offer is reasonable, but they will still reject it if they can’t sell it to their spouse or partner. Your job is not simply to convince the person you’re negotiating with, but to help them be an effective ambassador for you when they are speaking to their partners, or others who have a say in what happens. Keep an eye on all of the people who can influence the negotiation on their side, and help build the case that will allow them to get the buy-in required.
If your talking to the husband then ask is he the one who pays the bills if he says yes you are talking to the decision maker. If not you have to help him sell it to his partner.
2. The deal makes them look bad
People will often reject even fair and generous offers if accepting them will make them look bad. For example, even a concession on your part that gives them something they would not have otherwise expected can help them declare victory to their side — or at least help them show that all sides had to give in.
By giving them more time or a bigger discount or paying the mailing costs you help them save face.
3. You didn’t justify it
It’s not enough that you tell them what you want you have to explain why. No matter how reasonable your proposal may seem to you, if you fail to justify it, there is a good chance it will be rejected. Don’t let your offer speak for itself; tell the story that goes with it. If you want action today then tell them why something must be done today.
4. You didn’t respect their boundaries
Sometimes the problem is that their hands are truly tied. They would be willing to give you more time to make a decision, but they are facing their own deadline. They would be willing to give you more money up front to seal the deal, but they have financial constraints.
The key here is flexibility:: the more currencies you allow someone to pay you in, the more likely you are to get paid. Find a way to discount this or add value in order to get the deal done.
5. ABC | Always Be Closing
Why should they agree to one of your requests if this will not seal the deal. If it is genuinely the case, it can help you to let them know that “this gets the deal done.” Or, offer more time if the person can sign an agreement to act in the future. Getting a pre dated payment fits this perfectly, the debtor can’t pay till the next payday by asking for the post dated check you get the deal closed and give the concession at the same time. The thing to remember is that you don’t always need to make a substantive concession in exchange for the concession you are asking for.
Lighthouse Consulting performs training classes for debt collection and debt settlement agents contact us for more info.

How Do You Pick Out The Great Negotiators In Your Staff? By Their Personality Traits Of Course.

What is it that makes a great negotiator? Why does one person always outperform the others in the staff? Its their personality!

Many articles and books have been written about how to negotiate more effectively but the advice they offer is often difficult to apply.

Research in personality traits provides help in predicting an individual’s ability to negotiate effectively but often the traits are both a benefit and a hindrance at the same time. That isn’t to say people can’t get better at it, but their success will depend on their ability to understand their own and the other party’s personality.

The most influential trait is emotional intelligence. Despite emotional intelligence’s relatively recent appearance in personality traits its one of the highest googled traits today. A recent study by Wharton and MIT professors states that people with higher emotional intelligence are more likely to create  positive mood states in their negotiation counterparts and leave them more satisfied with the outcome of the negotiation.

Emotional intelligence also translates into a favourable  outcome regardless of the objective result. Even more important, emotional intelligence is linked to higher levels of likeablity and self awareness a powerful combination when it comes to difficult negotiations.

Another trait that has shown a strong indication to negotiation skills is a higher IQ.  While one would obviously expect IQ to boost negotiation performance, the research also revealed a more surprising finding: People with higher IQs tend to approach negotiations in a more collaborative way, treating their negotiation counterpart as a partner and embracing win win strategies that lead to both parties satisfaction.

Self-centered people who believe they can “just be themselves” and disregard other people’s needs and desires of them are often praised for their confidence and self-belief. The reality is that those people will miss out on social clues, negative feedback, and the ability to connect. All of this will highly handicap them during a negotiation.

Machiavellianism, a dark-side personality trait associated with a tendency to manipulate and exploit others and behave in risky and antisocial ways, motivates individuals to initiate negotiations and predicts strong negotiation tactics. Evidence suggests that Machiavellians actually do worse in negotiations, perhaps for being overly aggressive.

In order to control our personality, we need to be aware of it, so it is pivotal to understand what our default negotiation tendencies are if we are interested in changing them, or at least inhibiting them during negotiations.

Being aware of your personality will enable you to leverage your own style in situations that are a good fit for it, for talent is largely personality in the right place.

These are all things I teach in training classes with advanced collection agents and lawyers. If you desire more info on the Lighthouse Training and Development Programs contact Phillip W. Duff at phil@lighthouseconsultonginc.com

Problems with hiring quality staff? This works like crazy!

As a consultant I have my finger on the pulse of the debt collection industry but even a layman can see that hiring staff is the biggest hurdle in the US today. The $12-$15 hourly employee in the US is a difficult group to hire and train. First they really don’t want an entry level job and they feel they already know everything so training is tough.

Many of my clients come to me to solve this issue and I tell them It’s a social issue not a business issue. I can’t fix the world, I can’t fix the way these employees grew up, but I can fix the problem.

Yes I can fix it by inserting a different culture of staff. Now your wondering where in the United States I will find a different culture than what seems to exist in every City and State in the US. Well the new dilute is not in the US it’s in Jamaica. These employees have none of the same sense of entitlement of the US staff. The staff in Jamaica are happy to have a job and want to be trained.

Lets back up some now. Call Centres are the second largest industry on the island of Jamaica. Vistiprint, Xerox, Fingerhut, AT&T, Verizon, Direct TV and hundreds more have call centres here. Why you ask, great labor rates, great staff and English speaking. Honestly its the ROI. So the idea of a call centre here is not a new idea and the staff have been working different campaigns for decades.

So how do you take advantage of this labor pool without having to figure out the new culture and a new country to do business in? Lighthouse Consulting Jamaica can provide a turn key solution to you as cheap as $10 hourly including labor, technology and support. Yes for just $10 hourly you can get;

An employee

Computer station

Hi speed Internet connection

Cubicle

Chair

IT support

HR support

So thats an all in cost of just $1600 a month per seat. So that collector has to collect just $1600 in fee to break even. I bet your number in the US is 3X to that number or closer to $5000.

All this and the staff are really more trainable and more willing to work. This is how you solve your staffing problems.

Now your saying “but my clients won’t let me outsource to another country”. Well its not outsourcing the way I help you set this up its your office, you own it. Lighthouse is just your landlord, IT and HR support. The office is in your name, Ill show you how to set up everything you need to open your satellite office in Montego Bay or Kingston, Jamaica.

Call Phillip W. Duff now for more info at 305-853-8773.

My Life in Jamaica Continues

Well its been another month in paradise and here is what is going on with Lighthouse Consulting Jamaica and Phillip Duff its CEO. It was a wet week in May on the island which lead to heavy flooding. Most of the interior of the island received hurricane volumes of rain for a 4-5 day period causing many roads to be washed away and lots of flooding. Montego Bay and Kingston were the least effected areas. There was no hurricane it was just a tropical storm with lots of rain.

Following the biggest day of rain in which the entire island was getting inches an hour my internet and TV went out at my residence. The company that I and most of the island get service from is FLOW, think of them as Comcast. I have learned patience from the island already so I waited a couple of hours for service to get restored and then called FLOW to find out what might be the problem. I got the following message;

“Due to heavy rains the Montego Bay area Flow’s service has been interrupted. We apologize for the inconvenience, Also due the inclimate weather in the area many of our service reps were unable to make it to work today so unless your need is a life and death situation please call back at another time.”

Life or death? Internet and TV service that is life or death? HUMMMMMM. Well my service was restored later that night but that was an interesting message.

So the last week of May has been challenging as I had 1 new collection agency client in Kingston training 24 collectors to work on their system and at the same time had 5 guys in Montego Bay as prospects. The two cities are a 2.5 hour drive apart. Thank God I have a strong partner and team, Karl my partner was able work with the new client in Kingston while I entertained the prospects in Mo Bay. Both of us did make the trip back an forth to see the other but it went very well over all.

I was able to experience a new thing on the island by flying to Kingston and back to see the new client. The experience was a great one and this will be a common travel method for me. The flight was on a 24+/_ seat Inter-Carribean Airlines Turbo Prop plane that made the trip in 22 minutes a great improvement. It allowed me to meet with the new client and have lunch before I headed back to Mo Bay to sleep in my own bed that same night. The trip was easy and I will repeat it many times in the future.

While the new client training was happening in Kingston I had 5 executives from a large collection agency in the US at Half Moon the most wonderful resort on the planet in my opinion. Half Moon in Montego Bay has hosted every US President since the 50’s and every British Prime Minister as well. Jackie Kennedy wrote her will at Half Moon on Half Moon stationary. There are images of many famous people in the lobby such as Richard Branson, Prince Harry, Prince George, Usain Bolt and many more.

The prospects fell in love with the island and were ready to do bussiness here even before we went and visited the call center in Mo Bay. I know the CEO of this company very well and told him the 5 day visit “would change his life” and it did. He found a way to turn off the cell phone and relax in the private villa with a pool and a maid and butler. He also clearly saw the opportunity of doing business here. The great English language skills, their understanding of the US culture, the low cost of start up, the overall ROI, the reduced cost and the ability to have staff that want to work. He signed on the bottom line to start with 88 agents, 🙂

As this business is growing at a pace faster than Usain Bolt I have had to completely give up my US residence and be on the island 100% of the time. I have 10 new prospects a month and 5 of them are signing contracts so I have to be here to make my clients and myself successful.

If your reading this blog your interested in either just want is happening or being part of it, let me suggest you come to Jamaica and let me show you what you can do here. Let me show you just how easy I can set you up to have your own office collecting your debt in Jamaica at half the cost your paying now. “Come to Jamaica, you’ll do business in Jamaica.”

Lighthouse Consulting Goes International

PRESS RELEASE June 1, 2017

Phillip W. Duff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lighthouse Consulting, is pleased to announce the appointment of Karl Graham as Vice President of Caribbean Operations.

Mr. Graham has a long history of Call Center success in the United States and the Caribbean having worked in executive positions for major US Fortune 500 companies and also working in Jamaica for the last 10 years as Vice President to the Caribbean’s largest call center.

Mr. Graham will be tasked with managing call centers and creating partner relationships for the clients of Lighthouse Consulting. Mr. Phillip W. Duff the CEO of Lighthouse Consulting stated “As our clients are more and more using the options provided by Lighthouse Consulting we saw the need for quality management and I was able to convince Karl to come on board.”

Mr. Graham stated “The offer from Mr. Duff to help Lighthouse Consulting manage their seats in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean was one I did not have to consider very long. This is a great opportunity for me, Lighthouse Consulting, their clients and all the Caribbean people we will bring quality jobs to.”

Lighthouse Consulting would like to announce the opening of its new International offices in Jamaica, West Indies. In an effort to meet its client’s needs, Lighthouse has opened offices that will handle all Caribbean operations and allow Lighthouse to better serve its International clients. Business offices in both Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica have been recently opened. Lighthouse Consulting is helping International companies to reduce labor rates and increase levels liquidation. The initial interest has been from ARM companies, debt buyers and creditors but Lighthouse Consulting is also servicing first party clients.

Lighthouse Consulting provides near shore consulting and seat management for its clients looking for reduced labor costs. By managing the island labor as a value added service for its clients the ROI stays high and the clients stay satisfied. As profits get squeezed in the US near shore labor becomes a better option for many businesses but managing the process is a learning curve straightened by Lighthouse Consulting and it’s near shore operations.

Listen long enough and you will hear a solution

Owners and managers of Collection agencies are just like the collectors that work for them and in most cases they got it honestly. They just don’t listen. When I do collector training 50% of the training is listening skills I teach the collector to listen long enough to get some offer of payment. Owners and managers who probably started as debt collectors have similar issues regarding improvements to the collection process.

As a consultant I am constantly sending emails like this or writing blogs that provide Solutions or at least hint at the solutions to today’s problems in the ARM industry. But just like the collector that doesn’t listen long enough to get a commitment of payment which will start the negotiation process the owners think they already have all the answers and turn their minds off two other solutions. When I started consulting 15 years ago I worried that finding better solutions would be difficult I quickly learned that what is difficult is getting the persons by-in to a new process. Most people do not like change and therefore just ignore improvements.

The face of the debt collection industry it Is changing and becoming much more electronic. As this change occurs everyone in the industry must embrace those changes and be willing to make the proper improvements. As we move to a self cure collection strategy how we use our live agents becomes even more important. More and more consumers will choose to self cure as the electronic options become more consumer friendly and available. Self cure liquidation rates will only be driven by the strategies used to drive consumers to that website or IVR. Once the consumer is logged in to your payment portal only the strength of your portal Will collect the bill.

The biggest gains in liquidation rates Will be driven by the inbound and outbound call strategies. As the self cure options reduce the number of inbound and outbound calls the quality of those calls becomes more important exponentially. Owners need to listen to experts like myself who are able to provide solutions that can blend self cure with call strategies that maximize both the timing of the contact, the type of contact and the strategy behind that contact method.

Emails, Texting, IVR’s, Manual calls, Letters, Payment sites and inbound calls all need to be blended not only for a effectiveness but also for compliance. As we move to a multichannel collection process including all of the methods listed above we will need to track Communications not only for compliance, Best practices and the results we will also need to understand what drove the consumer to pay. Was it the letter that drove them to the payment site, or was it the message they heard while on hold at your call center? We need to be able to track all of those consumer interactions to be able to create best practices.

If you ever heard what I am saying and you are ready to hear more I would love to talk to you. Please call me at 904-687-1687 to discuss.

Phillip W. Duff

CEO Lighthouse Consulting

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You can hear every word stated about your business on Social media. Lighthouse Reputation Beacon is a service that automatically sends a review request to your company or the CEO’s cell phone, scoring new reviews for your business directly on Google and Facebook.

Lighthouse Reputation Beacon aggregates your reviews from top review sites. See what consumers are saying about your agency or law firm, in real-time.

With Lighthouse Reputation Beacon, your business can manage negative reviews with easy-to-use tools to address customer feedback quickly.  Your companies great reviews are collected from major sites are indexed by search engines for higher search ranking

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Lighthouse Reputation Beacon will generate and download ROI reports showing growth in reviews, ratings, traffic and ROI to support business decisions.

This service is very affordable, to learn more call Phillip W. Duff at 904-687-1687 X 101.

Is Your Payment Website going To Penalized By Google?

Google wants the web to be traveling over a secure channel. That’s why in the future your Chrome browser will flag unencrypted websites as insecure, displaying a red “x” over a padlock in the URL bar. If your payment site is not secure your site can be labeled as non-secure by Google and this could stop your revenue stream.

Lighthouse Consulting provides marketing services to many companies in the ARM industry and we have many programs to make sure your technology is advanced and able to handle todays consumer actions with ease and securely. This is why we felt it important to notify the rest of the industry as we now most of you have no idea of these types of changes till they have been impacted by the changes.

With this upcoming change in Chrome, Google makes it clear that the web of the future should all be encrypted, and all sites should be served over HTTPS, which is essentially a secure layer on top of the usual HTTP web protocol.

Starting in January with Chrome 56, password or credit card form fields on non-encrypted sites will be labeled “not secure.”

In following releases, those warnings will be extended by labeling HTTP pages as “not secure” in Incognito mode, where users may have higher expectations of privacy.

Eventually, all HTTP pages will be labeled non-secure, and the HTTP security indicator will change to the red triangle/exclamation mark that Google uses for broken HTTPS.

If your current website host or marketing team needs a professional edition then call Lighthouse Consulting today and ask for Phillip W.Duff at 904-687-1687 X 101.

Hey Phillip, How do I become successful in the collections field? This was a recent question posed to me recently.

Years ago that was easy for me  to answer and hard to do, now its hard to answer and even harder to do. But there is a clear path to success in 2017 in the debt collection industry its just a big wide, steep road with lots of pot holes that can swallow your whole company so pick the correct lane and do not just follow the car in front of you.

So as a consultant to the ARM industry people ask me often why I do not open my own collection practice and the simple answer is people. Managing people is the biggest problem of every client I have ever had with more than 2 people. But I do believe I have the blueprint to  be successful in 2017 in the ARM industry as a collection agent.

The first thing imperative to success is the people, second is the technology and lastly is the consumer experience. Yes, the debtors experience dealing with your agency or law firm is very important these days.

The People

The staff in a collection operation are very important even though in most cases they are not highly paid. The staff that are actually talking to the consumers are task with producing all the revenue in the old collection strategy. A company of 20 had 12 collectors who had to generate all the revenue to pay the 20 staff, overhead, vendors and the owners profits.

In a newer strategy the collection staff are still burdened with producing most of the revenue but now there is a silent collector who ask for no wages, the payment website. (More about this in Technology)

The collection staff are also task with compliance which is a big task these days one that technology can help immensely. But the support staff are very important in the new and old strategies as every dollar spent by the support staff must be recovered 5 fold by the collection staff and technology.

The biggest problem I see with companies is a lack of training and development programs by the company. The second biggest problem is a person with a golden umbrella within the organization. This can fall into two categories 1) the person is a relative, friend or some connection that the owner refuses see all the faults in and even when confronted with the damage they create still refuses to even discipline the person, much less fire them. 2) Or is a person who is making much too much money due to the length of service to the company. This is stopping the company from hiring 3 new hires, or buying new technology, or just making money.

All the above equal people problems.

The Technology

This is now the new compliance officer and the silent non commissioned collector. If you have a modern software package you should be using it to create compliance by only showing accounts to staff when it is proper to call them, to count contacts, limit letters, to create automation of many tasks and much more. Technology from collection software to your IVR all all now very important to the multichannel collection strategy required in todays electronic world.

You must be sending emails, texts, voice mail drops, calling, letters, IVR and pushing the consumer to self cure at your payment site with every channel. So technology becomes the 24/7 collector as the pay site gathers revenue at Midnight and beyond.

The Consumer Experience

This is a part of the business that is overlooked or over focused in recent years. This includes both the clients experience and the debtors experience dealing with you. As you see from the technology section we are trying to drive that consumer to self cure at our payment site so that consumer experience is very important. You must build a comprehensive pay site that is easy to authenticate for the consumer and then easy to navigate to payment, usually a <6 click navigation.

Also the tone and look of the letters, pay site, voice mails, callers, company website and emails have to create a positive consumer experience.

If you can get the right people, working the right technology and creating the right consumer experience you will succeed in the ARM industry, if you need a guide please call me.