How many hats do you wear each day? Are you focused for the hunt? Before beginning work on any skip we must clear our heads of all of the daily distractions. Each of us wear many hats during our everyday lives. We are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, business owners, managers, accounting experts, mechanics, conflict resolution experts, and the list goes on… Skip-tracing is the one job where we must stay totally focused on the task at hand. You see, you are hunting the most elusive creature on the planet: MAN. Your prey has the ability to reason and think, so your hunt requires the kind of focus that a professional brings to the game. To understand more on how to apply the different hats wear may I suggest each of you read “Six Thinking Hats” by Dr. Edward de Bono this book will help you get on the right path
Many years ago I developed a simple exercise that will help you clear your head of any distractions and free the mind to focus on this task that we call skip-tracing. Ask yourself these three simple questions:
- What would you do?
- Where would you go?
- With whom would you stay in contact?
I do not believe there is a skip that cannot be found. In my adult life I have only seen or heard of one true skip, and that was a gentleman by the name of D.B. Cooper who in 1971 hijacked a Boeing 727, ransomed $200,000.00, and at 10,000 feet above the wilderness of Oregon, jumped from the airliner that was travelling at 200mph—never to be seen again. Now that was a skip!
Humans are social creatures, so we all keep in contact with someone from our inner circle. Take the famous case of Unabomber Ted Kaczvnski: he eluded capture for more than 20 years, living as a hermit with no power, water or cable–yet he couldn’t resist the pull of his inner circle of contacts (review Question 3 above.) Once a month he traveled to town to purchase supplies and mailed letters to his mother and brother, who subsequently noticed the similarity in the writing style of the Unabomber. They notified federal authorities, leading to Kaczynski’s capture and conviction.
We are all creatures of habit and, statistically, we each will react in the same manner under the same circumstances. What I am asking you to do is place yourself in the shoes of your debtor and use your God-given gifts of instinct and imagination. If you will do this, you will find you are correct more often than not.
We must continue to strive to broaden our net in skip-tracing, by talking to more people who know or may know our subject until we find that one party that has the info that we need to capture our prey.
Follow me down the path to better skip-tracing!
Be Blessed, Be Safe and Happy Hunting
Alex Price is a nationally-recognized expert on the Art of Skip Tracing and author of Skip Tracers National Certification Program with over 25+ years of experience in skip-tracing, collections and public speaking. Alex began his career with Barnett Bank as a field representative collecting past-due accounts. He then moved to World Omni Finance, where over the next ten years he worked in all aspects of collections and handling the nationwide charge-off skip portfolio.
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