Archive for May, 2012

I keep getting a lot of questions about what should go into an auto repossession company packet. What’s in your packet, besides the normal insurance certificate, bond, licensing, certifications and coverage area, depends on several factors. You need to look at the strengths of your repo business and highlight that in your packet.

Of course, if you have been in business for 25 years, then I would showcase that. However, you may not have been in business for a long time, so you won’t want to focus on “been in business for three years”. Another way to convey your experience in the business would be to count your years of experience working as a repossessor, rather than only being in business for 2 years. If you have some veteran repo agents and office staff members working for you, you will want to describe your employees as seasoned. When I had my company, I had personally repossessed thousands of vehicles, and my agents had done the same. I touted “thousands of damage, drama, lawsuit and violence-free vehicles repossessed” when talking to potential clients.

If you have never had an insurance claim, you should highlight that in your packet, and promise damage and problem-free recoveries. Be sure you let them know if you have never had a lawsuit. If you have a fleet of wreckers, you will want to showcase that. If you have only one, then of course, refrain from mentioning that. You should make it known if you have had previous law enforcement, investigative, or skip-tracing experience. Let them know if you worked in collections or for an auto finance company in the past.

Put the microscope on your strengths and fail to mention your weaknesses. Talk about your great customer service in your office and how you feel an update is just as important as a condition report on a repossessed vehicle.

Now, I am going to tell you what will be the most important content to have in your repo business packet to insure that you are going to be the company getting the lion’s share of the repo work in your area. Compliance is the key! We are about to go through an onslaught of repo company office inspections. From what I am hearing, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is currently conducting audits of many of the major lenders and their collection departments. This is going to force the lenders to use due diligence in selecting a repossession company as a contractor. If I were creating a company packet, my main focus would be laying out how I keep debtor’s data safe by truncating all but the last 4 digits of their social security number on a repossession order. I would explain how sensitive data is monitored internally through the use of passwords and audits on office computers, to locked file cabinets and office doors, to the shredding of all documents. I would talk about my office and storage lot security, and the cameras and electronic security systems I have in place. I would be sure to mention how I do drug tests and criminal background checks on my employees. Talk about the certifications that you and your employees have. Include details of on-the-job training you conduct with your repossessors and office staff. Most auto repo companies do not have a company handbook detailing the standard operating procedures of their company. If you do not have one, then you need to get one! You should make a note in your packet that you have a company handbook and include some key excerpts from the handbook, demonstrating how you protect your clients with your written policies. This compliance information will be the best selling point in your packet to potential clients in the coming months and years.

You have already invested a lot of money into an office, office equipment, auto repossession insurance, wreckers and other needed tools to operate a successful auto repossession business. Promoting your auto repossession business does not have to be as expensive as you might think. The repossession industry is a whole different animal than any other business out there.  You need clients, and you want to get your repo company noticed, but unlike other businesses, you won’t be advertising on billboards, the radio or on television. Of course, you won’t want to do anything silly like a K-Mart blue-light special, offering the first 5 repos at 20% off or other similar embarrassing promotions!

You might be wondering, “How can I advertise my repo business effectively?” Here is the company promotion list:

  • Plan a sales pitch. You will want to know what you are talking about and be able to confidently speak about your company by phone or in person at any given moment. No long pauses, stuttering or other signs that show a lack of confidence in your company.
  • Don’t have a website? Get one right away.
  • Set up a free internet business listing with;; and and be sure to include a link to your website and a description of your company.
  • Set up a business profile page on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, and be active on those sites.
  • Have a printer make up some professional business cards, a company packet, letterhead and envelopes. Always have business cards with you. You never know whom you are going to meet. I know of one repossession company owner that went to a fundraiser and met a man that was in upper management of a nationwide finance company. He never, in a million moons, expected to meet a prospective client at this meeting. If he did not have business cards with him, he might have had to write his contact information on a dirty napkin, and probably would not be picking up an average of 75 cars a month over the last 5 years from that finance company.
  • Pass out your business cards to everyone. You never know who might know someone in the auto finance industry.
  • Send your company packet to as many lenders as you can.
  • Have a Power Point digital packet created so you can send it via email.
  • Have a professional one-minute DVD made about your company with video of your office, equipment, storage lot and staff. Include a brief message from the owner, talking about the benefits of using your repo company. This DVD can be included in the company packets you send out, can be uploaded on Youtube, and can be sent via email.
  • Make sales calls as often as you can. Do not be afraid of the dreaded “cold call”, because they can’t kill you, they can only say yes or no.
  • Join professional business associations, such as groups like the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, or other civic associations. You are bound to make some contacts there, as well as get personal satisfaction from being a member of these worthwhile organizations.
  • Pay for online memberships of auto repossession industry directories.
  • Send out online press releases about your company.
  • Attend auto repossession, skip tracing, and other industry-related seminars. You can also offer to speak at some of these seminars, branding yourself as a professional in the repossession world.
  • Write an article for an online repossession industry-related website or hard copy publication.
  • Network with other repossessors online and in person. This industry could be great if we all learned to lend a helping hand to each other.
  • At all times, act accordingly and professionally in your business and personal life. You and your equipment can be your best and worst commercial! I know of one repossession company owner that recently got into a road-rage situation while driving his wrecker. He was quite depressed to realize he had flipped off one of the top members of the board of directors of a credit union that he did work for. He lost that account, which averaged 25 repossessions a month – that is pick ups, not repossession orders!   Not including transport and key fees, he lost nearly $9,500 a month in revenue. Now that is one expensive middle finger!!!

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