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How To Create An Effective Collections Training Program: Part 2

How To Create An Effective Collections Training Program: Part 2

A few weeks ago, I released Part 1 of a 3-part blog series called "How To Create An Effective Training Program." Today we're moving right along to Part 2.

In case you missed Part 1, go ahead and read it here.

If you're familiar with me, you know that I'm all about collector development, which is exactly why I created this series for you. I know that if you implement what you learn in these 3 blog posts, you'll give your training a solid foundation, which will help your business grow.

The success of your collectors is directly tied to the quality of your training program. The collector’s voice is the most powerful asset but is often the least invested in. I’ve been in business for 22 years, and one thing I really want you to know is in order to make your collectors highly successful, they’re going to need to practice over and over again.

Have you ever been super excited about a new collector, only to have them show up full of fear and anxiety and even come up with every excuse not to get on the phone? Or perhaps they just ghost you and quit without notice?

I call this the fear of the freak-out and if you have ever had a new collector leave after the first few days and never return I am willing to bet they were uncomfortable at the very thought of asking for money.

This fear will cause collectors to speak passively to a consumer, they may avoid asking for payment, speaking in circles subconsciously waiting for the consumer to interrupt them to offer a low payment arrangement or end the call.

Passive collectors get in the friend zone because their language is nice and sympathetic, which is great because the consumer finds the collector easier to deal with, which on one hand is great. The problem is that this connection makes it very difficult for the collector to ask for money or use direct language because they feel bad for the consumer. This could be because they feel the consumer's pain or they can relate because of their own personal history with debt.

The friend zone is a problem because the call doesn’t move forward and often just ends without any payment plan or any plan for that matter other than the collector agreeing to check back in with the consumer in a couple of weeks only to repeat the same conversation.

The friend zone sets a collector up for failure.

When I discovered this issue at my agency, I knew I needed a way to help my team members practice asking for money. The best way I knew how to do this was through roleplaying.

Roleplaying works when done right, especially because once you identify a problem you’re trying to solve. You can set up a roleplay that directly addresses the issue. For example, showing a collector active phrasing versus passive phrasing and actually having them practice over and over, doing it the right, way will address the issue effectively.

So you are in luck because, in today’s blog post, I'm going to show you how to set up roleplaying challenges that work and can even be done virtually and independently.

Let me tell you about my student Amanda. Amanda was struggling to collect money, and I was so frustrated because I felt she wasn’t taking the job seriously. I put her through a week-long challenge to get 3 no’s on every call with every consumer. She literally said to me, “Oh, that’s all you want me to do?” And just like that, in a short time, she became the top collector.

Pretty impressive right? Okay, so now that you know what's possible, let's get to it.

The Power Of Virtual Roleplay

In 2022, remote work is common, which means we need options to train and develop our remote team members. So, how do we implement roleplaying in the digital age?

What I came up with a few years ago is something I call virtual roleplaying challenges. These are fillable PDF documents with specific activities for collectors to complete within a week. The challenges range from teaching collectors to use specific language to empowering collectors to adopt strategic negotiation skills.

Virtual roleplaying challenges are powerful for a few reasons.

  1. Your collectors can use them while on the phone with consumers.

  2. Any content you train your team on can be transformed into a roleplaying challenge, which means your team will be more likely to retain the content through repetition.

Now that you know what a virtual roleplaying challenge is and how it can benefit your team, let's dive into how to create one.

How To Create A Virtual Roleplaying Challenge

Before you can start creating challenges, you need to know what content you specifically want your team to practice. For example, I create a challenge for every concept my team members learn in my online training program, The Collection Advantage. You also want to make sure you know what areas your team members struggle in the most so you can have challenges ready to test and strengthen their skills. And finally, if there's a new much-needed skill in the industry, make sure you're creating challenges around that. After all, the best use of a challenge is instilling skills in your team members.

I encourage you to make a list of content you want to create challenges for before you start creating anything. That way, you'll have a much narrower scope to work with, and you won't feel overwhelmed. (Hint: This list should correspond with the outline of your training content.)

Once you have a list of skills and content you want to create challenges for, it's time to start the fun part: creating the actual challenge.

To begin, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the ultimate goal of the challenge?

  2. What does the collector need to know the most to meet this goal?

  3. How can you incentivize reaching that goal?

Let me walk you through how I answered each of these questions to create my 3 No's Challenge:

  1. What is the ultimate goal of the challenge? To encourage collectors to increase their payments in full.

  2. What does the collector need to know to meet this goal? How to ask for payment in full multiple times in different ways, despite any stalls and objections that may arise.

  3. How can you incentivize reaching that goal? Put the collectors' names in a raffle to win a small prize if they complete the challenge in one week.

Do you see how just by answering those questions, I now have a basis for a challenge?

From this point forward, you want to work on the specific details of the challenge, such as writing instructions for the collectors, designing a document (I recommend creating a quick document on Canva and adding fillable portions for collectors to use as they complete the challenge), and determining when to roll out the challenge to your team.

Just by following these steps, you'll have a challenge for your team members to use in no time, which gives you the roadmap to create additional challenges in the future.

Remember: Challenges are supplemental to your training program. You need to have the content of your program built out before you can create effective challenges.

I have great news for you: if you need a place to start with your collector training, The Collection Advantage online training program may be a great fit for your team. The program includes 6 weekly challenges, along with 20+ videos. If you're interested in getting started, book a call with me today so we can discuss your options.


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