Archive for October, 2011

Some auto repossession company owners will never get a “yes” or a “no”. That is because they do not take the time to pick up the phone to call any potential lender clients. I know you are all busy repossessing cars, making keys, dealing with debtor’s property, talking on the phone with your current clients, and managing your employees. If you own an auto repossession business and just read the above “too busy to call potential clients” list, I am sure you can add a thousand more reasons! However, if you are not always building your lender client portfolio, then you will eventually lose ground. In the future, one or more lenders will stop using your repossession services. This will happen regardless of the wonderful service you are providing them. I have talked to countless auto repo company owners that have lost clients for whom they did work for many years. These clients loved them and they had long relationships with them. They lost them as clients due to mergers, a collection manager retiring, the lender making the decision to go the forwarder route, etc.

I know of one owner that saw his best client vanish when a bank president’s son decided to go into the collateral recovery industry.  When I had my repo company, I received calls every week from lenders looking to give me business. I was making a lot of money and had more than enough work, and could have sat back and taken the new work when I got the calls. Luckily, I knew that a business that was not growing was dying. I made it a point to sign on new lenders every month, even if it was just one. How did I do that? I decided to call a certain number of potential lender clients every day. Some of the calls I made were first-time calls and others were follow-up calls to the lenders that were not looking for new agents. Set yourself a goal to call and TALK to five possible clients every day. I capitalized TALK, because leaving five voicemails does not count. Dial clients until you have spoken with five and are able to get them your company packet either by email, fax or snail mail. If a lender declines your services, tell them you would like to check back with them in a month or another time that they agree to. Also get their name, direct line (if they have one), an email address and a fax number. Anyone that has been in this business for any length of time will tell you about a time they spoke with a collection manager that seemed interested in using them and were never able to get them back on the phone again. Your services will be declined by many, and you need to contact them again in the future with a follow-up call.

As your “no” list grows, keep making your five, fresh calls a day and add one to three follow-up calls to your daily sales routine. I keep hearing owners telling me that they do not have time to make sales calls. If you are thinking this as you are reading this, then you need to make a commitment to make time to grow your business. I have been in the business and, besides working hard, I spent a fair amount of time horseplaying with my agents and staff, drinking coffee, taking long, long lunches, visiting with friends, and even watching TV in my office. I had a lot of good times running my company, but I had to prioritize my time. We can always find time for the things we enjoy doing. I enjoyed being successful and making money, so I made time to make that happen. Do not get discouraged when you are making your sales calls. Remember, each “no” is one step closer to your goal!

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How can the word “no” motivate you to build a successful auto repossession business? If you are going to be an entrepreneur, you are going to hear the dreaded “no” word a lot. The first “no” you are going to hear is when you ask the people you know if they think it is a good idea to get into the auto repo business. I remember when I was thinking of buying the repossession company I was working for, I asked some people in my life if they thought it was a good idea. 99% of the people I asked told me “no”. Listen, if you are going to succeed as a repossessor, you need to take the word “no” as a personal challenge. When I was told, “No, it is a bad business move”, I thought to myself “Really? Watch me!” and I bought the company. From day one, you need to get into the mindset that a “no” can NOT stop you. Once you decide to get into the repo business, be prepared to hear the word “no” a few more times and plan your reaction. You will hear “no” when you seek business financing. You will hear “no” when you apply for a loan for a wrecker. You might hear “no” a few times when you try and secure auto repossession insurance. You will hear “no” a hundred times or more when you try to sign up clients. Experiencing “no” so many times is going to be some great training for you! Debtors are going to tell you “no” day in and day out when you try to get them to turn their collateral over! You have to be able to conquer the word “no”! You need to resolve this issue in your mind if you want to be the owner of a successful auto repossession business. When you hear the word “no”, you have a decision about how to interpret it. If you are told, “You can’t do that”, you can take that in and believe it and say to yourself, “You’re right, I can’t”. In every conversation, there is a buyer and a seller. If you are “selling” me that I can’t do it and I “buy” it, then I can’t do it. On the other hand, for me, I would take you telling me I can’t do it, and turn that doubt into racing fuel. Hearing that “no” fuels me and challenges me to conquer the “no”. Hearing that “no” is actually a positive motivation for me and, as a business owner, you need to have that spirit as part of your makeup. You need to make a change within yourself if that is not one of your attributes. One way to do that is to look at the people that are telling you “No, it is not a good idea”. How successful are they? Is their life the kind of life you would be delighted to have? Do not take advice from someone who has not done it and done it successfully. If you talk to some of the auto repossession industry “greats” that are truly successful, they will rarely tell you that you can’t do it. It is always the failures in life that will tell you that you cannot do it. I talk to auto repossession company owners every day. There is one thing very different from the successful ones and the ones that are barely making it. It is not cash flow, underfunding, not having enough trucks, employee problems, a lack of clients, or the evil forwarders I continually hear about. It is simply the word “no” and how each owner reacts to that word. Learn to positively react to the word “no” and turn it into fuel that will drive you to reach your goals. If you do, NOTHING can stop you from having a successful auto repossession business.

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