Report From the TASC Conference. Attendee Sends in Their Notes,

Just in, an attendee at the TASC conference just held in Las Vegas has sent in their notes of what they felt was the highlights for readers.

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.


Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

TASC – THURSDAY

BOB LINDERMAN: GENERAL COUNSEL OF FREEDOM DEBT RELIEF

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: “THIS IS A CONSUMER CENTRIC, REGULATOR SENSITIVE, BUSINESS FRIENDLY ORG THATS GOING TO MAKE A CLEAN BREAK FROM THE PAST…”

TOMAS GORDON: CLEARONE ADVANTAGE – INTRODUCTION

WES YOUNG: GENERAL COUNSEL OF CENTURY NEGOTIATIONS.

“THERE ARE FRACTURES IN THE INDUSTRY: MANY DIFFERENT GROUPS REGARDING FEE BANS, TRADE ASSOCIATIONS, FTC EXEMPTIONS, BAD MOUTHING, ETC. – THAT HURT OUR INDUSTRY WITH REGULATION AND SALES. TASC HAS DONE A GOOD JOB WITH CREDIBILITY AND TRANSPARENCY.”

ANDREW HOUSSER: FREEDOM DEBT RELIEF

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: “TAKE IT BACK TO WHY WE ORIGINALLY GOT INTO THIS BUSINESS.. TO HELP PEOPLE AND EDUCATE THEM. “BECOMING AS MUCH A CONSUMER RESOURCE AS AN INDUSTRY”

MATT GUTHRIE DMB FINANCIAL

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: “TRY TO MAKE IT ONE OF THE STRONGEST ORGANIZATIONS IN THE INDUSTRY”

LINDA REMSBERG: NOTEWORLD SERVICING CENTER

  • THE POSITIVE SPIRAL: CUSTOMER LOYALTY (PPT PRESENTATION)
  • FLYWHEEL ANALOGY: WHAT IS THE FLYWHEEL FOR DEBT SETTLEMENT POST 10/27/10?
  • CUSTOMER LOYALTY STARTS WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CREDITOR.
  • THE CONSUMER INITIALLY BELIEVES THAT A DEBT SETTLEMENT CO HAS A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR CREDITOR.
  • “WE ARE A MCDONALDS WORLD” CUSTOMERS WANT RESULTS QUICK.
  • THEY FEEL WE ARE BETTER AT NEGOTIATING THAN THEY ARE. THAT’S WHY THEY SIGN UP WITH US.
  • THERE IS A LOT OF “IMPLICIT PROMISE” THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED TO SUCCESSFULLY GET THE FLYWHEEL TURNING.
  • BUSINESS SUCCESS: WHO ARE WE ENROLLING, WHO ARE WE DELIVERING, HOW FAST ARE WE DELIVERING RESULTS, ETC.
  • MANAGEMENT OF PERFORMANCE: ANSWERING PHONES FRIENDLY AND FAST, RETURNING CALLS, ETC.
  • HOW ARE CUSTOMERS REACTING TO US?
  • DO THEY SEE THINGS THE SAME WAY WE DID?
  • SURVEY CUSTOMERS UPON ENROLLMENT AND AT EXIT. “SURVEY AND TAKE ACTION.”
  • YOU NEED A RIGOROUS RETENTION PLAN.
  • IMPLEMENT A RETENTION SPECIALIST.
  • PRE 10/27 THE FLYWHEEL WAS MARKETING. BUT WE ALSO NEED DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANIES.
  • THE FLYWHEEL NEEDS TO BE THE REDUCTION OF DEBT BY SUCCESSFULLY DELIVERING THE IMPLIED PRODUCT.
  • MEASURE HOW WELL YOU ARE DELIVERING IT – THE ONY WAY TO KNOW TRUTH ABOUT YOUR COMPANY.
  • KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER. YOU CAN NOT BE RELEVANT TO YOUR CUSTOMER IF YOU DONT KNOW THEM.

ANDREW HOUSSER: FREEDOM DEBT RELIEF

NO WAY TO ELIMINATE THE CASH BURN PRIOR TO GETTING SETTLEMENT REVENUE. ITS ONLY A QUESTION OF CONTROLLING COSTS AND THE DEPTH OF THE TROUGH. YOU STILL NEED TO INVEST IN THE BACK OFFICE OF YOUR COMPANY MORE THAN EVER. SETTLEMENT DEPARTMENT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER AFTER 10/27. HOW DO YOU CUT COSTS WHEN YOU NEED TO INVEST INTO YOUR BUSINESS MORE THAN EVER?

CREDITOR RELATIONSHIPS: CREDITORS ARE WILLING NOW MORE THAN EVER TO NEGOTIATE. THIS IS AN ONGOING BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP THAT NEEDS TO BE CULTIVATED, CREDITORS ARE AT THE FRONT LINE OF THOSE RELATIONSHIPS.

DO NOT LIMIT SETTLEMENT TERMS. YOU GET REVENUE EARLIER ON A TERM PAY SETTLEMENT BASED ON FTC FEE STRUCTURE REGULATION.

THIS IS A CUSTOMER SERVICE INTENSIVE BUSINESS. 80-90% OF ALL CALLS ARE ANSWERED IN 30 SECONDS OR LESS.

MATT GUTHRIE DMB FINANCIAL

HAS BEEN OFFERING NO ADVANCED FEE FOR 3- 4 YEARS. “WE NEED TO MANAGE THE CLIENTS EXPECTATIONS. THIS STARTS AT THE SALES, FLOWS THROUGH CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SETTLEMENT PROCESS… THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT IS GOING ON…”

THE MESSAGE TO THOSE CLIENTS NEEDS TO BE THE SAME FROM START TO FINISH.

DAVID FISHMAN: ARBITRONICS / DEBT BUSTERS

BEEN IN THE BUSINESS FOR 25 YEARS. PSYCHOLOGY OF SETTLEMENT: WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO MAKE THE CREDITOR AND COLLECTION AGENT UNDERSTAND. RESENTS THE “LAWYER COLLECTORS GREATLY” – TURN THEM INTO AN ASSETT, NOT A LIABILITY.

NV ALLOWS HIM TO CHARGE $400 UPFRONT RETAINER, $50 MSF AND SAVINGS FEE?? NEED CLARITY.

MORE PAYDAY LOANS. SPECIAL PROGRAM JUST FOR PAYDAY LOANS. PAYDAY LOANS ARE MOSTLY OFF SHORE AND A TOTALLY ILLEGAL LOAN TO BEGIN WITH BASED ON LAW, CAN ELIMINATE IT. AUTO CONTRACTS, AND CASH FOR KEYS FOR REAL ESTATE. NEW MARKETS THAT THE DEBT SETTLEMENT INDUSTRY SHOULD BE LOOKING AT SO WE CAN BROADEN OUR REVENUE SOURCES.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NEGOTIATOR AND CLIENT IS CRITICAL. “FROM THE MOMENT THE SALE IS MADE, THEY FORGOT EVERYTHING THEY SIGNED UP FOR 10 MINUTES LATER… THEY HAVENT A CLUE WHAT THEY SIGNED UP FOR… THE PROGRAM IS REEXPLAINED EVERY SINGLE TIME THE CLIENT IS TALKED TO..”

“WE ASK THEM FOR TWO THINGS: PUT THE MONEY IN THE BANK AND DONT TALK TO THEIR CREDITOR..”

TOMAS GORDON:

CUSTOMER SERVICE SETTLEMENT STRATEGY

CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS AND BUDGETING

“SINGLE-MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO IS ENROLL THE RIGHT PERSON” – THESE CUSTOMERS DEMAND RESULTS. OVER-COMMUNICATE. WE WANT TO REACH OUT TO THEM WEEKLY, DAILY, FOLLOW UP ON EMAIL. MAKE SURE THEY FEEL TAKEN CARE OF. THE BIG KEY TO THIS IS ANALYTICS AND DATA INTEGRITY. UNDERWRITE THESE PEOPLE. “WE HAVENT CUT COSTS – JUST REALLOCATED TO MAKE SURE WE ENROLL THE RIGHT PEOPLE”

ROBBY BIRNBAUM: ” ANDREW HOUSSER, MANY PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW HOW LONG IT TAKES TO BREAK EVEN WITH NO ADVANCED FEES?”

ANDREW HOUSSER: “I DONT KNOW – WE HAVENT REACHED IT YET”

AFTER DISCUSSING THE OBVIOUS SPREADSHEET LINE ITEMS, HIS ANSWER WAS “18-24 MONTHS” IT’S A NEW, CAPITAL INTENSIVE BUSINESS.

BRINBAUM: QUESTIONS THE PANEL ON DIFFERENT MARKETING STRATEGIES TO GET CONVERSION COST DOWN:

GUTHRIE: DIRECT MAIL FOR YEARS

TOMAS GORDON: “DONT LOOK AT ACQUISITION COST, BUT LIFETIME COST. A $200 CUSTOMER FALLING OUT IN 3 MONTHS ISNT GREAT. WE WOULD RATHER PAY A MUCH HIGHER ACQUISITION COST FOR A CUSTOMER THAT STICKS WITH IT.”

ANDREW HOUSSER: THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE WITH DEBT (SIGNIFICANT = 30K PLUS) IS LESS BASED ON MANY CREDIT LINES BEING CUT, THEREFORE A SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN CONSUMER POTENTIAL. BIGGEST IMPACT HAS BEEN ON SALES SIDE. ITS BEEN VERY EFFECTIVE THAT THE SALES PEOPLE HAVE BECOME COUNSELORS. SET THE EXPECTATIONS UPFRONT. THE BIGGEST BANG FOR THE BUCK IS ON THE SALES PROCESS BEING THAT WE DONT CHARGE AN ADVANCED FEE.

DAVID FISHMAN: “DEBT DENIAL IS STRONGER THAN DRUG DENIAL, ALCOHOL AND GAMBLING.” HAS FULL TIME BLOGGERS AND SOCIAL NETWORKING TO DRIVE PEOPLE TO THEIR WEBSITE. FORCES CUSTOMER TO TRACK EVERY PENNY ON QUICKBOOKS AND MANAGE EACH AND EVERY PENNY SPENT ON A WEEKLY BASIS. (NEED MORE CLARITY)

********** BREAK **********

MARK WILLIAMS: EXTREME BRANDING

  • BIRTH OF A NEW INDUSTRY AND A NEW NAME FOR TASC CHANGING THE WORDS YOU USE WILL IMPACT YORU BUSINESS MORE THAN ANYTHING. HOW YOU TALK ABOUT THINGS CHANGES THE WAY PEOPLE LOOK AT IT.
  • “THE CLEAN AIR ACT WAS ANYTHING BUT…”
  • THE MOVE TO “NO ADVANCED FEE” DEBT SETTLEMENT IS A HUGE BOOM FOR THE INDUSTRY.
  • FOCUS GROUP IN SAN FRANCISCO: “ENGAGEMENT SESSION”
  • RECRUITED PEOPLE IN DEBT SETTLMEENT PROGRAMS AND HAD TO BE SUCCESSFULLY MAKING THEIR WAY THRU THE PROGRAM, BUT HAD NO IDEA ABOUT THE NO ADVANCED FEE ISSUES:
  • VIDEO OF CONSUMERS FROM FOCUS GROUP.
  • THE [CONSUMER’S] CRISIS DOES NOT OCCUR OVERNIGHT. CALLING A DSC HAPPENS AFTER YEARS OF STRUGGLING. VERY OFTEN THESE PEOPLE ARE VERY SMART. THEY ARE OUR NEIGHBORS AND OUR FRIENDS, THEY HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY. THEY ARENT DEADBEATS AND THEY ARENT BLAMING THEIR CREDITORS.
  • THEY ARE BATTLING FOR CONTROL. THEY KNOW IT MAY GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER. THEY ARE WILLING TO UNDERGO AGGRESSIVE EXTREMITIES TO GET OUT OF DEBT.
  • THEY SEE THEIR DEBT SETTLEMENT PARTNER AS A HIGH-QUALITY, PAID SERVICE.
  • IRONICALLY, THEY DEMAND RESULTS JUST LIKE ANY CONSUMER BUYING AN EXPENSIVE PRODUCT.
  • AFTER UNSUCCESSFULLY STRUGGLING WITH DEBT, EVENTUALLY SOMETHING CLICKS.
  • KNOWING THE CONSEQUENCES OF BANKRUPTCY ARE DAMAGING, THEY ARE WILLING TO TAKE MEASURES THEY MIGHT NOT OTHERWISE CONSIDER.
  • DEBT OFTEN RUNS IN THE FAMILY. INTERESTINGLY, OFTEN WE GET REFERRALS FROM CLOSE FRIENDS AND FAMILY
  • SAY: OUR PROGRAM IS A COMMITMENT, THERE IS RISK, ITS AGGRESSIVE BUT IT WORKS.
  • FEW PEOPLE HAVE TIME OR UNDERSTANDING OF THE CREDIT INDUSTRY TO EFFECTIVELY NEGOTIATE THEIR OWN DEBT.
  • CONSUMERS: FLEX YOUR SPENDING POWER. EVERY ADULT KNOWS MUCH IN LIFE IS A NEGOTIATION. BUT WHEN YOU ARE DEEP IN DEBT IT FEELS LIKE YOU HAVE NO LEVERAGE. LIKE YOURE AT THE MERCY OF THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES AND BANKS THAT COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT YOU.
  • DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANIES GIVE YOU LEVERAGE. DEBT SETTLEMENT PROFESSIONALS REPRESENT YOU AND USE THEIR EXPERTISE TO DELIVER A FAIR RESULT TO ALL PARTIES.
  • THE DEBT SETTLEMENT INDUSTRY HAS BEEN UNFAIRLY SLANDERED BY SOME CONSUMER ADVOCATES AND CREDIT COUNSELORS. NOW NEW LAWS ARE IN PLACE.
  • DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF BY BEING A MEMBER OF TASC AND BE A PART OF THOSE WHO PLAY BY THE RULES. YOU CANT JUST CHANGE YOUR NAMES AND BE WELCOME TO THE RANKS OF LEGITIMATE SERVICES.
  • WE NEED NEW WORDS:
  • NO ADVANCE FEE DEBT SETTLEMENT
  • PAY FOR PERFORMANCE
  • OUR TARGET IS EASILY CONFUSED ABOUT DEBT SETTLEMENT BUT ARE LOOKING FOR AN AGGRESSIVE NEGOTIATOR TO REDUCE THEIR DEBT.
  • TWO TYPES OF DSC’S: GOOD AND BAD.
  • THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES AND BANKS NEED US. BUT THEY WONT GIVE US HELP WITH MARKETING OUR SERVICES. DONT POKE THE BEAR OR THEY WILL REALLY FOCUS ON WHAT WE ARE DOING…
  • PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE WORDS OTHERS USE WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT DEBT SETTLEMENT. IT MAKES SENSE TO POSITION THIS SERVICE AS THE LAST STEP BEFORE BANKRUPTCY.
  • WE NEGOTIATE A BETTER DEAL WITH THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES – WE CHAMPION CONSUMERS IN THE STRUGGLE FOR A SQUARE DEAL.
  • WE ARE ADVOCATES.
  • WE ARE BRINGING A FAIR DEAL TO THE TABLE.
  • MOVE FROM SETTLEMENT OT ADVOCATES- EXPERTS IN BRANDING NOW THAT YOU NEED TO GO FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP.
  • TASC IS NOW KNOWN AS “THE AMERICAN FAIR CREDIT COUNCIL” OR THE AFCC.
  • FIGHTING FOR FAIR CREDIT PRACTICES. IF THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES WERE ROE FAIR THEY WOULDN’T NEED US.
  • WE ARE A VIABLE OPTION FOR TROUBLED DEBTORS.
  • A NEGOTIATOR, AN ADVOCATE AND THE BORROWERS CHAMPION IN THE FIGHT FOR FAIR CREDIT.

MARK GUIMOND: NATIONAL POLICY GROUP, BOB LINDERMAN, WESLEY YOUNG ON CONSUMER PROTECTION BOARD & FTC

WESLEY YOUNG

********** LUNCH **********

ROBBY BIRNBAUM / MARK GUIMOND ON “HYBRID MODEL”

WHEN YOU MIX DMP WITH SETTLEMENT, ONCE YOU GET THE PLAN APPROVED WITH THE CREDITOR, YOU JUST TRIGGERED WHAT THE FTC REQUIRES TO GET YOUR FEE FOR THAT DEBT.

TIM WILKINS: HUMOR AND CANADA

(FRIDAY)

MICHAEL HENDRIX CEO GLOBAL CLIENT SOLUTIONS DEDICATED TO DEBT SETTLEMENT – CORE COMPETENCY MOVED $6B IN DEBT SETTLEMENT THROUGH 7 BANKS.

  • HAS 100 EMPLOYEES IN CUSTOMER SERVICE DPET
  • 23 EMPLOYEES FOR CONSUMER ADVOCACY/RETENTION
  • LOWEST COST SERVICE PROVIDER
  • GOT AN INVESTEMNT BY THE FOURTH WEALTHIEST PERSON (KAISER) IN THE WORLD – “WE HAVE VERY DEEP POCKETS”

BIRNBAUM: ANNOUNCEMENT

CA IS A SINCERE CONCERN FOR OUR INDUSTRY ASKING FOR MONTHLY COMMITMENTS FOR CONTRIBUTING TO CA LOBBYISTS

TASC IS GOINGN TO BE OFFERING A “CASH BURN FINANCE STRUCTURE” IN A FEW WEEKS.

TAMI: JOEL WINSTON ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF BUREAU OF CONSUMER PROTECTION AT FTC

JOEL WINSTON: TSR VIA SKYPE

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46 thoughts on “Report From the TASC Conference. Attendee Sends in Their Notes,”

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