Are You the Flavor of the Month?

IC_FOTMEditorial

Are you being contacted by clients you have not heard from in years, or even clients you have never heard of?  There seems to be a scurry of inquiries about our services all around the nation lately.  Could this mean clients are becoming disenchanted with the forwarding model that took over not so long ago?  Have lenders finally figured out that with all the forwarding companies out there, regardless of which one they choose, they are still getting the same sub-standard cheap agents over and over again?

So let’s look at some of the different flavors:

Chocolate Chip knows to plan a daily route for all his contingent flat rate forwarding IC_FOTM_choc_chpfiles.  Chocolate Chip just drives by each given address, and with a little luck he will pick up one or two, give the clients bogus updates on the rest, then put those files on the bottom of his pile until the next trip that direction.

IC_FOTM_rcky_rdRocky Road hires anyone he can find on Craigslist, puts a multitude of contingent flat rate forwarding files in their hands, no wrecker or means of hauling anything, and hopes for the best.  Rocky Road once had a couple of nice trucks but he is now forced to work so cheap he can no longer afford the maintenance, much less buy new equipment.

Chunky Monkey is a fairly new flavor and he really wants to make points with the lenders and forwarding companies, so he IC_FOTM_chnky_mnkywill sign anything and work cheapest of all his competitors, because cheap is all he has to offer.  Out of desperation, Chunky Monkey will actually get out of his car and go to the door hoping they will voluntarily surrender the vehicle, just like he hopes it is not a standard so his girlfriend can drive it home.  But alias, the debtor calls the lender and pays current.  The lender is so happy, and Chunky Monkey never realizes he is anything more than a free field collector who is disrespected, mocked, used and abused.

IC_FOTM_jrry_grcaCherry Garcia just buys a Prius loaded up with LPR and waits for his turn to PAY for a hit.

Then there is old fashion Vanilla.  Vanilla has been around for generations.  Vanilla has a few ingredients the others dovanilla not, such as integrity, loyalty, professionalism and knowledge.  Vanilla often has an established background in credit and collections.  Vanilla does not accept assignments from the abusive lenders or forwarding companies because he knows his long-term bottom line.  Vanilla has survived recessions, the bubble’s that burst and massive forced changes to his daily operations.  Yet Vanilla has never requested a bail out and still stood tall and remained professional though it all.  Vanilla is not foolish and has generally forgot more about credit and collections than most of today’s newbies will ever know.

Most of today’s collection departments are too young to know what good recovery service once was.  Those days when collector and recovery agent worked together as a team for a common goal, and not like the enemies some have become.  Bonuses were implemented and dangled over collectors to keep recovery expenses down, which in turn destroyed the TEAM and created so much stress and discontent, that the ultimate goal of a low delinquency only went up, along with the charge offs.  I regretfully butted heads with a large vendor relations supervisor recently.  I just could not make any sense of her logic so I looked her up on Linkedin.  In her profile she herself stated that her job experience was “less than a year”.  Could there be a lack of expertise these days on both sides of the fence?

There are over 1000 flavors of ice cream in existence, yet the #1 flavor of all time is still vanilla.

Debra Durham

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