- A positive attitude
- Good listener
- Asks great questions
- Seeks referrals
- Strong self-esteem and a big ego
- Disciplined and focused
- Effective time manager / self-manager
- Knows how to overcome objections
- Has written goals
- Monitors metrics, results and outcomes
- Persuasive communicator: spoken and written word
- Works well with internal and external customers
- Is constantly learning; i.e., reading, listening to CDs, etc.
- Maximizes relationships
- Networks within the industry
- Technology competent
- Knows how to identify and strategize opportunities
- Open to new ideas
- Willingness to change / upgrade
- Effective at follow-up
- Honors commitments and deliverables
- A strong values base
- A positive reflection of (or ambassador of) their company
- Not easily discouraged
- Knows how to deal with business rejection
- Knowledgeable, yet has easy access to resources for other stuff, etc
I got this list from an article by Jeff Blackman and posted by Vistage. There are several of these factors that I feel need to be strengthened in the ARM industry.
Collectors turned into managers in the collection industry often are not good listeners. Debt collection tends to close ones ears in my experience.
Debt collectors seem to have strong self-esteem and egos but usually too big egos. Many managers in the ARM space or not well organized or spend their time reading. Most collection managers do not read at all much less read self-improvement books.
Few CM,s network except in their local community but this changing some with groups on LinkedIn. Collectors are often not open to new ideas and often do not have the strongest values.
Any lastly few CM’s have a mentor to call on from the industry.
How are these and other factors affecting the industry? I see the lack of some of these important qualities as a big part of the issues facing the industry. The solutions are apparent but the agencies and law firms affected cannot see the forest for the trees. The ARM companies that will spend their profits on training and development of the entire staff will be the ones to come out on top in a couple of years.
The problem is the agencies and law firms who take on this mentality will have fewer profits while they develop the staff, as development takes both time and money. This is what is stopping most agencies and law firms from hiring a consultant or high paid training manager but this also the demise of the agencies that do not INVEST in staff development.
When I entered the collections workforce in 1979 even though computers were not being used the industry yet my employer was devoted to improving the company through staff development and training. I entered GC Services and was put into the MT (management training) program, which was designed to make you a manager of a unit in 3 years or less, then to be an assistant manager of the site and then a manager of a site in 5-7 years.
As a manager it was your responsibility to have two trained and ready replacements for your position at all times if you wanted to have any chance of promotion because if there was an opportunity to move up the ladder and no replacement was available in your group there would be no promotion.
This meant at all times at all levels there were trained and ready replacements for the corporate ladder. Maybe you can remember back to the ‘One Minute Manager” and how this ladder is supposed to work. We need this mentality in the ARM industry today, as it will provide us with collection professionals not debt collectors from off the street.
This a call to the industry to embrace staff development no matter the cost in order to save the industry.