• Mary Shores

The Power Is in the Practice: Tips to Motivate Your Collection Floor

Updated: Sep 2



Imagine if you created the most amazing training that you knew could genuinely transform your collectors and even get consumers to pay in full.


You prepare the perfect training day that you’re sure is going to get your collectors’ buy-in and have them excited to get to work.


But when you finally deliver the content to your team, you get…


Crickets.


After all that hard work, imagine if no one was listening, no one was watching, and no one truly bought in.


It feels devastating and has you scratching your head wondering where you went wrong.


I’ve heard this story over and over from so many collection agency managers and owners who tell me how frustrating and defeating it can feel when their collectors struggle to engage with new information, retain it, and put it into practice.

I get it. Human behavior is hard to change.


You can provide all the training in the world. It means nothing if your collectors struggle to apply what they’ve learned.


Think about the new reality we live in as well. Working remotely has made it harder for managers to stay on top of collectors and reinforce training lessons.


The great news is, there are some steps you can take to ensure training concepts stick around to deliver results:


We learn in stacks – The human brain learns in stacks of information – we learn foundational information in the first stack and build on that foundation later.


Think about it like this: When you’re younger, you first learn to count to 10, then you learn to write numbers, next add, subtract, multiply, and divide. You couldn’t do any of those higher-level or more advanced tasks if you couldn’t first count to 10.


What this means for you as an agency owner or manager is, you always want your collectors to learn the basic concepts first, otherwise they will get information overload and become quickly overwhelmed.


When I created the Collection Advantage online training program, I purposefully designed the course so the lessons and milestones built on one another.


Collectors start by understanding the emotions that consumers are dealing with before the collection call even starts and then we move into the first few minutes of the call itself where collectors need to establish a level of trust that makes consumers want to engage with them further.


It’s also important to keep in mind that people learn best in small snippets of information. In the Collection Advantage, most video lessons are under 20 minutes long.


Embrace weekly challenges – On a recent coaching call with one of my clients, I encouraged their collectors to participate in a negotiation challenge. This spurred one of their collectors to collect a $2,400 payment moments after our coaching call.


When collectors are challenged to use training concepts and techniques in real time and they’re successful, they’ll want to do it again and again. It’s like a positive feedback loop.


I’ve also found that people are more successful when they have a set goal and challenge themselves to meet that goal as opposed to never really mustering up the courage or pushing themselves to try something new.


Important: We want to create challenges and goals that reward positive shifts in behavior and mastering new skills; this makes learning new concepts attractive and exciting.


On the other hand, “testing” collectors on the skills they’ve just been taught can create a ton of anxiety and feel like punishment to those who haven’t mastered everything yet.


The negotiation challenge, in particular, helps collectors overcome their anxiety and fear of asking consumers for large payments. As part of the challenge, collectors are encouraged to ask consumers for payment-in-full or higher monthly payment arrangements.


These and other weekly challenges stretch collectors just enough outside of their comfort zones.


Ride the wave of success by sharing the wins – Remember the positive feedback loop I mentioned? Celebrating positive behavior changes reinforces those shifts that turn into awesome call flow.


As part of the Collection Advantage online program, I encourage agencies to create a decorated celebration wall where team members write their “wins” down and display them – for instance, getting a “thank you” from a consumer.


Note: No “win” is too small to celebrate. I believe that if you start off celebrating the “small wins” in a call – like a thank you from a consumer – “bigger wins” like payment in full or a higher monthly payment arrangement will follow. At the end of the day, those seemingly small, daily shifts in collector behavior are what lead to the big wins.


So oftentimes collectors can feel defeated, especially when trying something new. Self-doubt begins to kick in and collectors can become paralyzed and never really change.


When every “win” is celebrated, it reinforces that behavior and collectors will be organically motivated to keep trying.


Final Thoughts


After making an investment in training, it can feel incredibly defeating when collectors struggle to apply what they’ve learned.


As a long-time agency owner, I knew all too well the pain of “information decay,” or when you teach new skills and it just decays over time. That is why the Collection Advantage program is designed for maximum retention.


To learn more about how the Collection Advantage can help collectors master their communication, critical thinking and negotiation skills so your revenue increases immediately, book a call with me here.

© 2020 by MARY SHORES COMMUNICATIONS.

Champaign, Illinois I United States