Hello…. My name is Hal Burke and I’m a partner and debt collection consultant at Scheer, Green and Burke - a 70 year old law firm in Toledo, Ohio. Thank you very much for joining me on my Winning the Cash Flow Game Webinar today.Over the next 30-35 minutes, I’ll be presenting five simple and effective tips for accelerating cash flow within your business.[ADVANCE SLIDE]
I’ve been practicing collections law since 1998 after earning my Juris Doctorate from The University of Toledo. I’m a member of the Toledo Bar Association, Ohio Bar Association and Lucas County Bar Association. I’m also a member of the National Association of Retail Collection Lawyers, the American Collectors Association and the Commercial Collection Association. As I mentioned at the start, I work at Scheer, Green and Burke, a full-service, contingency-fee based collections law firm., who, for more than 70 years, has been providing collection and debt consulting services to businesses. The firm was originally founded in the 1930s by Sydney P. Green and Harold Scheer, attorneys who specialized in Collections Law. Collections is all we do. We understand the importance of cash to a company’s bottom line and, ultimately, a business’s ability to operate effectively and effectively.[ADVANCE SLIDE]
Here is a quick look at what we’re going to cover - Five simple and effective debt collection tips that every business should use:1) Accelerate cash flow by utilizing a flat-fee percentage approach2) Collecting past due accounts is a balancing act3) Focus your attention on recent delinquents4)Make sure your reputation is protected5) Put Fair Debt Collection language in your applications and paper work6) BONUS TipBefore we get into the presentation, I want to take just a few minutes to answer a few questions that I’ll have you share at the end. If you would, please, get a scrap of paper and something to write with and mark 1, 2, 3 down the left-hand side and put your answers to the following three questions…Question #1 – “I would be doing a BETTER job of collecting on past due accounts, if ONLY, I was doing a better job of: ______________________.”Question #2 – “Living with this issue, UNCORRECTED, over the last 12 months has cost my business roughly $_________ in lost revenues that I may or may not see.”Question #3 – Next to the number “3” on your paper, I’d like you to consider the figure you wrote down for number “2” and, using a scale of 1 to 10 where “1” means “not at all an issue” and “10” means “A really, really BIG issue”… put down a number that reflects how IMPORTANT fixing the problem of the magnitude you wrote down for “2” is for your business at this time.O.K. everybody done. Let’s put that aside for now and I’ll come back to it at the end.[ADVANCE SLIDE]
Accelerate Cash Flow by Utilizing a Flat-Fee Percentage ApproachWith a flat-fee percentage approach you pay a percentage on only the money that has been collected. Paying only for results accelerates cash flow as it expedites the amount of cash flowing into the business, while minimizing expenses that draw cash out. This approach also allows you to invest more of their profit back into the business.
Collecting on Past Due Accounts is a Balancing ActIt is imperative to have effective collection process while balancing the reputation of your business. Each collection activity should be aggressive while making sure people are contacted appropriately.
Focus Your Attention on Recent DelinquentsAs past-due accounts age, the probability of collecting, even a small percentage of the total, plummets. Recent delinquents (30-60 days past due), on the other hand, have a higher probability of being collected, so start there. Customer information is typically more accurate and the service that you provided is still fresh in the customer’s mind.
Make Sure Your Reputation is ProtectedThe way you go about collecting on past due accounts says a lot about the brand of your business. Just because someone is past due does not mean you have to lose that customer forever. Remember to protect your brand at all costs. In today’s world of Social Media, overly aggressive collection practices and/or borderline harassment will spell disaster for your brand over the long term.
Put Fair Debt Collection Language in Your ApplicationThe Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) creates guidelines under which debt collectors may conduct business, defines rights of consumers involved with debt collectors and prescribes penalties and remedies for violations of the Act. By adding FDCPA language into your dental practice’s credit application, you communicate to the patient that you care about their rights and follow fair debt collection practices.
Some businesses have slow-paying customers or past-due balances because they didn't "train" customers in the beginning. It is important that customers know your credit policy and/or terms of payment before they become customers. Taking just a few minutes to review your collection language at the start of a client engagement could pay huge dividends down the road.
O.K. Let’s go back to the three questions I asked you at the very beginning…Question #1 – “I would be doing a BETTER job of collecting on past due accounts, if ONLY, I was doing a better job of: ______________________.”Question #2 – “Living with this issue, UNCORRECTED, over the last 12 months has cost my business roughly $_________ in lost revenues that I may or may not see.”Question #3 – Next to the number “3” on your paper, I’d like you to consider the figure you wrote down for number “2” and, using a scale of 1 to 10 where “1” means “not at all an issue” and “10” means “A really, really BIG issue”… put down a number that reflects how IMPORTANT fixing the problem of the magnitude you wrote down for “2” is for your business at this time.Do I have any volunteers to give their answers? I don’t ask these questions to embarrass anyone. I ask them to get you thinking about the impact that collecting even just a portion of your outstanding accounts receivables can have on your business operation.[ADVANCE SLIDE]
Over the years, SGB has developed a systematic, process-driven approach to collections. As I hope you’ve experienced throughout today’s Webinar, Collection education is the core of what we do. Our 6-step process focuses on teaching and consulting businesses on effective methods for: * Decreasing slow pays and no pays* Handling accounts receivable* Accelerating cash flow[ADVANCE SLIDE]
Free Money! Five Simple and Effective Tips for Accelerating Cash Flow