If you look at my bio,
you’ll notice that I spent 20 years in the debt collection industry and I’d
like to think that I was pretty good at it. One of the questions that I would
ask prospective clients is, “Why don’t you just do it yourself?” I’d typically
get one of three answers.
“I don’t know what to do.” Many small business
owners don’t anticipate a deal going bad. They assume that because they’re
honest, everybody’s honest and when a customer turns out to be dishonest, the
business owner gets emotional, takes it personally and loses control. Even if I
told them how to collect the money, they probably couldn’t do it.
“I know exactly what to do, but it’s my busy
season and I don’t have time to deal with it.” Let’s face it, when it’s your
busy season, you usually have a hard enough time keeping up with filling
orders. You don’t have time to send letters, make calls or go to court.
Finally, it didn’t make good business sense. Bad
debt was a very small percentage of sales. The company was good at finding
business and delivery. Why throw good money after bad by chasing small money.
Think about it. Which would you prefer, to write the bad debt off without
putting any time or resources into collection or to put significant time and
resources into collection and still not collect it? So you still have to write
off the whole debt.
As I think about outsourcing sales, I can’t help but wonder,
“Don’t you have to answer the same question?” and aren’t your answers going to
be similar? I wrote “Collection
Problems = Sales Problems” almost exactly six years ago. Many of the links
in the post are no longer valid, but if you try to DIY sales and you’re not
good at it, you lose twice!
One more thing, our ego sometimes tries to convince us that
we can do something that we have no business doing. If your ego is telling you
that you can sell, but you’re not sure, contact me for an evaluation. It takes
an hour and you’ll know for sure.
Thanks for reading!