Training Bytes

Episode 1: Negotiating a Payment Plan

In this episode, Mary Shores — creator of the Collection Advantage program — walks through the components of an effective negotiating strategy when on the phone with a consumer.

Episode 2: How to End Calls With a ‘Thank You’ From the Consumer

Seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? But it’s not. By doing things like making sure the consumer feels like he or she has been heard and understood and eliminating negative language, collectors can end calls with consumers on a much more positive note.

Episode 3: The Art of Asking Questions

It’s not enough to tell collectors to be empathetic. You have to show them how to do it. Empathy, when used correctly by asking the right questions, can open up any conversation between a collector and a consumer.

Episode 4: The Biggest Secret in Collections

The person on the other end of the phone is not the enemy. For collectors, it is important to view the conversation as collaborative and not a win-or-lose situation.

Training Bytes #5 – The Things Consumers Wished Collectors Knew

Consumers have dreams and desires. If collectors keep that in mind, they will approach their conversations with consumers differently. While they may not have intended to go into debt, consumers often do not possess the financial literacy to help themselves. Helping relay information can be a powerful tool to help collectors.

Training Bytes #6 – The Four Traits That Level 10 Collectors Possess

Are you creating a connection or conflict? Level 10 Collectors are connectors, who are great at using positive language and empathy to talk about solutions, not problems. By focusing on the outcome, collectors can begin with the end in mind and have more successful collection calls.

Training Bytes #7 – How Practice Can Help Motivate Your Collectors

Generally, things that are sticky are not things that are sought after and desired. But when it comes to practice and training, that needs to be sticky to be effective. Because how many times have you set up a training session for your collectors, watched them walk back to their desks and use it for a few calls, only to go back to doing it the old way by the end of the day?

Training Bytes #8 – What Do I Say When …

Collectors may think they have heard every question in the book, but now and then, a consumer asks a question that they have never heard before, and the collector is stumped. To help address these unique situations, Mary Shores walks through a series of steps to help agencies train collectors, especially newer ones who might not have a lot of experience, in answering questions they have never heard before.

Training Bytes #9: Training Transformation

Episode 10: Focusing on the ROI

If a consumer calls your office seven different times and speaks with seven different agents, will he or she have seven different conversations? In this episode of Training Bytes, Mary Shores and Greg Nowicki of Capital Accounts talk about the importance of consistency and the ROI that can be had by implementing a robust training program.

Episode 11: Old School vs. New School Training Techniques

The old school way of training new collectors by having them shadow and sit next to experienced collectors is not standing the test of time. In this episode of Training Bytes, Mary Shores and Katie Keich of Statewide Tax Recovery talk about the value of new school collection training and how employees are responding.

Episode 12: Creating a Positive Environment on the Collection Floor

Any payment may seem like a win to a collector, but that doesn’t mean they should just ask how much a consumer can afford to pay right off the bat. In this episode of Training Bytes, Mary Shores and Hayley Sherman from Datamax talk about the importance of asking for the balance in full, before looking to negotiate a lower payment. Speaking in terms of solutions can dramatically lower the number of escalated calls within a collection agency.

Episode 13: The Importance of Weekly Challeges

Collectors tend to be very competitive. And that offers companies an opportunity to tap into that competitiveness to drive improved performance. Using weekly challenges, companies can help improve results and collector confidence. Challenges are also great tools for developing consistent work habits. In this episode of “Training Bytes,” Mary Shores is joined by Roxie Olivero-Winfield, the head trainer for Midstate Collection Solutions, to talk about the best ways to implement weekly challenges into an office. 

Episode 14: How Collections Has Changed During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Collecting with empathy and collecting compliantly are not mutually exclusive in that dialing up one side does not mean dialing down the other. In fact, using more empathy during collection calls can actually improve compliance. In this episode of Training Byes, Mary Shores talks with Judd Peak from Capital Accounts about the importance of listening to consumers and how that can help an agency be more compliant while collecting more money at the same time. 

Episode 15: The Five Zones of a Collection Call

The goal for any collection call is to have an honest and productive conversation with a consumer about an unpaid debt. The last thing that a collector wants is a call that is not constructive. So how can collectors make sure their calls are heading in the right direction? By understanding the different types of calls and conversations. These “zones” as Mary Shores calls them offer collectors a guidepost to help assess a conversation and what can be done to move the call in the right direction.

Episode 16: Hiring Trends and Opportunities

Because most people do not grow up aspiring to work in the debt collection industry, it is important for companies to demonstrate the service they provide to consumers — and to the economy — to help give employees a sense of purpose. In this episode of Training Bytes, Mary Shores speaks with Tracy Montour of Arbeit about how to accomplish that, while also providing the opportunity for employees to have the work-life balance they are looking for.

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