This week’s blog has been inspired by three people, Clive Mulligan of Simply Consulting and Mark Son of IOT, both are who I would classify as “Professional Salesmen” and Mrs Sandra Field my collections manager at Deanem Collections Ltd.
What do I mean by “Professional Salesmen” and by the way a “Professional Salesman” can be male or female. A dictionary defines professional as “A person who engages in an activity with great competence”. While I define it as someone who takes the time to insure that he or she provides the best service or care that they can.
What makes Clive & Mark stand out is that they were both trained in the art of being a salesman, they have knowledge of not only their products and services but also the products and services of their competitors.
I still find it strange that eyebrows were raised and questions asked when I appointed Sandra Field as my collections manager. Sandra is a lady of mature years but over the course of those years she has acquired an encyclopaedic knowledge of debtors and debt collection. This knowledge has enabled her to overcome many objections that less knowledgeable people wouldn’t have been able to counter.
This week was a prime example of how her calm and professional approach defused a potentially difficult situation when Sandra was confronted by a debtor who was determined not to pay, because “He disputed the debt, as the work was not authorised”. Our client, runs a property maintenance company and he carried out some remedial works on a roof and windows on a block of flats in January. His terms are 30 days, but like many he didn’t want to upset his “client” by asking for his invoice to be paid. Eventually John* asked if we could collect his overdue invoice and six months after it had been raised it landed on Sandra’s desk.
When Sandra spoke to the debtor, they first claimed they hadn’t received the invoice and then after Sandra sent them a copy, they claimed that the invoice had not been settled because the windows leaked when it rained “last week”. Sandra calmly explained that if the windows hadn’t leaked until that point and had survived the winter snow etc, the work was hardly substandard. They then claimed that could not find a copy of the signed order. Obviously a copy was emailed and the “debtor” then started the usual game of chase the person. This is where a debtor will say “Oh I’m sorry Mr / Mrs Smith who signs the cheques isn’t in today, or in a meeting etc” After a day of this, Sandra spoke the debtor’s Managing Director and explained very calmly that if the debt was not settled our client would return to the site and remove his goods, as this included lead flashing, the tenants wouldn’t be very pleased when it next rained.
The gentleman then started to bluster that our client couldn’t do that, Sandra explained that according to our clients’ terms & conditions (which we created for him) he could. The gentleman then asked to see a copy as he could not recall reading them, even though they were printed on the reverse of the order form, which he had signed when he engaged our client. A half hour after receiving them, he phoned, apologised for his rudeness and said he would arrange an immediate BACS payment.
What happened next was fairly common as the debtor phone me and said “I’m very impressed with Sandra’s calm and professional attitude and would I like to come and have a chat about Deanem Collections looking after our credit control”.
Professional people like Sandra, Clive & Mark do not have to shout to make them selves understood or use empty rhetoric to get their way, they use the knowledge they have acquired.
If you would like to find out more about David andDeanem Collections please do not hesitate to contact them either by telephone +44 (0)208 446 7720 or email them at email@example.com or visit the website www.deanemcollections.co.uk.