In the modern collection world we develop strategies to be an effective collector. One of those strategies are based on effectively determining the personality type and collecting according to that type. These types are based on cultural tradition, race, and social status. Each one of these basis are how our consumers determine financial decisions in the collection industry. In this industry it is important to know how to spot the types and to cater to the needs of each type.
There are 4 types of personalities of consumers that are easy to spot when you know what you are looking for. There are 6 financial spending types that when combined with the 4 personality types, you as a collector have a powerful collection tool. As any good collector will tell you, knowledge is the most powerful tool in collections.
The analytical consumer in collections and sales look for facts and figures. People with this personality type are known to research the agency before contact. They are not someone that is going to make a split-decision to pay the debt, most likely they will want to first verify with the client or their insurance that the debt is owed. They will focus on verification of the information and what their options are before making any decision or even discussing a decision.
Try to present facts, your knowledge about the debt, like date of service, if the insurance was billed, and what it is the provider does. If the consumer needs more information refer the consumer to the insurance company. In non-medical debt give the consumer information about the services. If they need more information offer to get the consumer the information they need. Remember, this type of consumer will not just pay this debt, without first analyzing the information first.
Have you ever had a consumer that only wanted to talk to you when they called in? The amiable consumer is respectful, sociable, and trustworthy. They are more interested in building rapport and establishing trust with other professionals. The success of collecting a debt with this personality type depends on how you value their interest in relationship-building. Without this interest, this type of personality will give you the cold shoulder quickly, and most likely not pay the debt.
Address their need of building rapport with you, as well as being honest, respectful, and sociable. This consumer needs to know that you are trustworthy before they will make a deal with you to handle their account. Ask questions that include a personal touch to them, this makes them feel important in the scenario. Allow them to share personal experiences to build that extra relationship with them. You will win them over and close the deal.
Have you ever had a consumer that when presented with facts, they’d prefer to share their own perspective rather than ask for additional information. This type of personality uses most of their creative side to voice out their opinions on a particular topic. Similar to those with an amiable personality, they give importance to relationships. They value the welfare of the people who can be affected by their choices. The difference is that they will make fast decisions. Another difference their ability to make everything about them. Watch out they will control the conversation and you may not get the information out as quickly as it needs to be delivered.
Tell your own stories relevant to the subject to help them understand an issue related to the collection of a debt. Focus on what you as a collector can do to help the consumer and what they will gain from the transaction. Connect with them by establishing a deeper level of relationship by tapping into their emotions. These are the consumers that sense of pride will tip the conversation in the right direction. Use positive pokes at their pride not negative pokes. For example, “I know that you are a responsible financial person that always pays their bills, and I am sure this was just a mistake that happens, let us help you fix this wrong so you can go back to your good standing.” Do you know anyone of this type that would point out to you that they make this mistake all the time and not feel the need to correct this mistake just out of pride?
Have you ever had a consumer that tries to control the conversation and the direction that the conversation is going, by manipulation or other means? The driver finds pleasure in manipulating a pitch that identifies them as reasonable and authoritative. The driver wants immediate answers and expects the answers to be delivered in the fastest way possible. The driver personality is self-centered and opinionated.
Get to the point, tell them exactly what the debt is about with only the basic required information. If objection arises give clean crisp responses and return to the matter at hand how to handle the debt. Always direct this type of consumer back to the matter at heart. Highlight what benefits they stand to get by taking care of it now. Do not introduce anything more that what is need, remember speed is key.
Types of Financial Spending
As mentioned above there are 6 types of financial spenders that you can spot and give you more information and cues to work with in collections. Knowing both the personality type and the financial type will greatly improve your ability to effectively collect the debt. The personality types help us learn the debtor so we can make it to the closing of the debt, which is the reason for calling, to get the debt paid. The financial type is used to determine the ways to get the debt paid.
The Anxious Investor
The anxious investor type is someone that is extremely generous, not necessarily wealthy but must have some sort of status anxiety. They are the ones that always offer to pickup the check when out dinning. They are also the ones that constantly check their accounts i.e. bank or investment. As a collector these are the people that look for the bargains, the people that will settle a debt because they do not want to look bad and can’t resist a bargain. They will spend money on things they don’t need just because they are on sale. The anxious investor will give clues in the conversation as you try and negotiate the debt. If you offer a settlement and they ask questions about that bargain you are talking to one of these type. You peaked their interest because of their spending disorder.
The hoarder is a tough nut to crack. Just as the term sounds hoarders stash cash away and money is security. In order to get the debt paid by this type you have to make it urgent. There must be importance established for them to let go of their security stock pile. Maybe that importance is their credit, an offer to keep it from their credit or to remove it depending on the type of debt. Make sure you set a time limit cause they will want to plan this embargo well into the future rather then give up part of their stash now.
The Social Value Spender
The social value spender is a person that loves to shop to make someone else happy. They are the people that by stuff for people just because or always go over budget at Christmas or other holidays. This type of spender you have to make them feel good about paying the debt appeal to their sense of pride and how good it make them feel about themselves to finally have it taken care of. For example, “You will feel better once this is resolved and not held over your head any longer, and if not for yourself do it for the client, they have waited quite sometime to finish this deal.”
The Cash Splasher
The cash splasher are individuals that use spending as a way to make other think more highly of them. The splasher’s are motivated by a desire to be admired. This type of consumer should be appealed by targeting self worth in a positive manner. Appeal to the consumers sense of pride and how admired he would be if he was rid of this debt the shadow of completely debt free. You can locate these people by their open better than thou attitude on the call.
The Fitbit Financier
The fitbit financier check their online bank balance and track their spending as often as someone training for an extreme sporting event measures their calorie intake, resting heart rate and sleep quality. They obsessing over credit card points, they probably like to use comparison sites and download apps that track their budget or remind them when to remortgage. These are the type pf people that will want to work out a budget of payments that fit within their budget in their eyes.
This consumer is one that would rather bury their head in the sand than deal with the debt. They are the ones that ignore calls and if you get them on the phone they will hang up. At times though they call in about the debt to find out information. If you get them on the phone and want to resolve the account do not apply pressure ask them to tell you how they would like to take care of the matter.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know the 4 personality type and the 6 financial types you have a strong background knowledge of the consumer that can help you understand whats going on in their mind to give you the resourced needed to collect the debt. When you master the personality types and are able to determine them on the fly you will become a better collector for sure.