Managing the Relationship Between Credit & Sales
The relationship between the credit and sales department at any company is a tricky one – especially in the construction industry where there is so much red tape. As a credit professional, you’re constantly trying to find the balance between working with all the customers brought in by the sales team while also keeping financial risk at bay. And, this sometimes causes some difficult conversations.
To help you better manage the delicate relationship between credit and sales, we’re bringing together a panel of construction credit experts to share how they’ve successfully worked with sales teams in a way that keeps both sides happy.
Join this live roundtable discussion to learn:
- Why issues often arise between credit and sales
- How to manage conflict with your sales department
- Ways to have positive conversations with sales AND with your customers
Lori J. Drake (00:02):
Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us today. As we discuss managing the relationship between credit and sales, a few housekeeping tips, just so you know, we are recording this. Uh, so within a day, day and a half, you’ll actually get a copy of the recorded version sent to your email that you registered with. Uh, we will be utilizing the chat box a lot during this one. We’re going to be asking questions and hopefully get you guys to interact, uh, while we’re doing different topics and the questions that you have just stick ’em in there. And we’ll try to get to them as we go to make this a little more collaborative and hello. My name is
Marissa Minter (00:41):
Marissa Minter. I am with the marketing team at levelset. No, I am not a speaker for today, but I’m just here to give a quick overview of levelset and what we do, and I’ll stay on throughout the webinar. If you have any questions about levelset. Um, so as if you’re on this webinar, you already know that in the construction industry, getting paid is not always the easiest thing. Um, levelset exists to make it easier for contractors suppliers to get paid, the money that they’re owed. Um, so we have subscription-based software that helps you with your lien rights management paperwork. We have legal services, materials, financing, and our website has tons of free educational resources, all about protecting your lien rights and just helping contractors get paid faster. Um, you can find more information on our website. That’s up on the screen and out through this webinar, we will also send out an email where you can request more information.
Lori J. Drake (01:36):
As we mentioned today, we do have a panel of some great experts that have been in their fields at least 15, 20 years. Uh, they have people that work under them, so they know what the training site is to teach them to deal with sales. They’ve had the experience to deal with sales, and a lot of them have been able to build and mend those relationships, you know, that unfortunately not everybody can handle. So they have some very good ideas and tips for you to share, uh, in regards to sales and credit, Rachel, would you want to start and just kind of introduce yourselves? Sure.
Marissa Minter (02:11):
Um, my name is Rachel sales and the senior director of credit here at SRS distribution. We are the third largest roofing distributor in the United States, and I have been here two years prior to that. I was, um, somewhere else. So I have 16 years experience in the roofing slash contractor based industry.
Lori J. Drake (02:38):
Thank you, Rachel, for taking time to join us today as well for thanks, Jackie, do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself?
Marissa Minter (02:45):
Sure. Um, so I, I was in the field of credit collections for about 25 years and I’m still in it, but I’m not a credit manager anymore. Now I’m more in the role of helping credit, um, in my role. Um, but I have a lot of great experience that will hopefully live itself to this conversation.
Lori J. Drake (03:10):
Thank you again, Lisa, do you want to tell us a little about yourself?
Marissa Minter (03:14):
Sure. I’m Lisa Gath and I’ve been in the credit industry about 14 years. Uh, I have, uh, been a credit manager on an individual contributor basis. I’ve been a part of a 12 person credit manager team. I’ve led, uh, credit teams up to six people at a time. I’m currently in a new role, uh, starting a credit department from the bottom, uh, and, uh, kind of making it my own. Um, my prior life was in the banking industry about 10 plus years, but you know, that banking experience has definitely helped me in the credit world, but I’m excited to be here with you all today.
Lori J. Drake (03:53):
Thank you again. And Sam, uh, he’s with Ferguson. Do you want to tell us a little about yourself?
Speaker 3 (03:59):
I am Louis, um, Ferguson enterprises. I’m the regional credit manager here in Texas, over the tech, the state of Texas for plumbing building HPAC, uh, been with Ferguson for about eight and a half years. And that is my extent in credit, a little, uh, hearing all those years out there, make me a little nervous that I’ll try not to let you out. You got fresh perspective.
Lori J. Drake (04:26):
All of you for taking time out today, do you want go onto the next side? This is what we’re going to talk about today. Like I said, as well as anything that you bring up in the chat, or that might stem off from some of the questions, but initially we’re going to talk about why issues often arise between credit and sales. Everybody knows that it’s always been an issue, uh, how to manage conflict with your sales department. And that goes back the other direction too. I know we have some salespeople on this call, but how to manage the conflict with your credit person as well, ways to have positive conversations between sales and credit and with the customers. If they know you’re on the same side, it definitely usually helps in all communication that goes with them. And like I said, taking audience questions throughout the presentation. Uh, if anybody wants to kind of kick us off just what you’ve seen or heard that are the top issues between credit and sales.
Marissa Minter (05:17):
Well, I’ll start, start, start us off. So, you know, let’s, let’s break down the cells and credit like simple simplify it. So the sales, uh, professionals responsibilities pretty much to gain new business, uh, managed your existing customers. When they have an interest in a product, you go sell it. Uh, you try to sell them all your, um, products available in your portfolio. And then you’ve got a credit professional. I’m just gonna simplify our job because there’s so much that we do as well. We evaluate the risk and decide can we afford sell this customer? So when you have those, those two dynamics going on certain, uh, situations arise or certain issues arise because you’ve got a sales professional, I have passion credit person with their passion and that sometimes issues arise out of that. Sometimes lack of communication can also be an issue that could arise, um, not understanding each other’s sense of urgency.
Marissa Minter (06:14):
Sometimes I think it plays a role in that as well. Uh, panel. What about, uh, any other issues that you think come about that relationship between sales and credit? I think, um, another issue is definitely, um, not only understanding the urgency, but not even having a full understanding of everything that they’re being asked to do or that we’re being asked to do. So sometimes there’s competing directives. Um, I know that in different, you know, situations we’ve had, the sales team has asked to go out and get as many credit applications as they can. So they’re digging under every single rock. They can find somebody and then we get them and we’re like, well, we can’t, you know, they just don’t meet the criteria that we’re looking for. So it’s hard because they’re being pushed, you know, volume to get a volume. Um, but we’re being told, Hey, you know, watch, you know, make sure we’re not extending credit, you know, to people that obviously have, you know, issues with payments.
Marissa Minter (07:16):
And so I think that’s some of it competing objectives. I think another thing that I’ve seen in my, um, different areas that I’ve handled is that sometimes they have a really bad experience with a previous credit team or credit manager. And then they project that onto the new person, you know, that they haven’t even dealt with yet. They just have this preconceived notion that it’s just not going to go well. So those are some of the things I’ve seen. That’s true. Um, also we just can’t, we speak two different languages, right? So unless we figure out, um, to Lisa’s point, how to communicate better, uh, it’s really hard to resolve any issues. Um, and, and, um, a lot of times we’re asking them for something they don’t even understand. They don’t even know what you’re talking about. They don’t, they don’t know. So sometimes at the risk of, um, you know, sometimes they feel like you’re being condescending, but really, I always try to preface it by saying, Hey, I’m not trying to become the study and a tool on you, something you already know to stop me, you know, cause I don’t want to be insulting, but they want to make sure they understand clearly why we’re asking them specific questions.
Speaker 3 (08:36):
Yeah. And I think what, what I see a lot is two very different perspectives on the same thing, right? When you look at it from a P and L perspective, you have sales who are going after top line revenue while credit tends to be more so concerned about bottom line profitability when we all should be looking at in the middle, because, you know, at the end of the day, there’s risk associated with doing business on credit and we’re not going to get paid on everything. So I think an understanding of us living in that gray and the sales associate understanding that we need to go into the transaction with the assumption that we want to be paid. So, um, there’s that middle ground we need to meet in for us to have that successful relationship.
Lori J. Drake (09:18):
Yeah. Brian, would you want to join in a little bit and let us know if you have any things that you’ve actually heard with people having issues dealing directly with credit since you’re coming from the sales side, maybe he’s not on right now. Okay. Well we’ll just go on from there. Um, what are some things that you’ve done to help kind of keep the peace between credit and sales kind of like a over the top sort of thing instead of, you know, specific issue?
Marissa Minter (09:51):
Well, I’ve, I do a lot of one-on-one conversations with my sales professional. Um, I make sure they understand that I’m there to support them. You know, it’s my job to find a way to make the sale happen or this deal, um, uh, to happen. So that’s kind of how I try to have, uh, to manage that conflict between, um, you know, if anything arise. Um, I do my best to support everything that they do. I make sure they understand also what’s how do I operate? You know, how, you know, if I get an application or a job, she, how long is it going to take me to handle certain things? Oh, if it comes to me having to hold the order out, I’ll deliver the message. You know, I want you to be the good person, the good guy in front of the customer. Let me be the bad guy, let me deliver the difficult news handle, the difficult conversations. Um, but long as they know, my passion is the same as them. We, we all want the same things. Uh, let’s just kind of communicate together and work together, uh, to make things better. So those are kind of some of the ideas of what I’ve done, uh, to kind of manage that.
Marissa Minter (11:02):
I wouldn’t agree with you, Lisa. I think it’s key to make sure they, um, the salespeople know that we’re on the same team. We want the same thing. Part of our jobs as credit professionals is to grow that business and get paid for it. You know, we all want the same, the same end goal. Uh, so I think for our part, um, one thing I always tried to do was make sure I kind of had a hospitable environment, you know, because sometimes they don’t want to come in your office. So I try to make a hospitable, you know, by just making sure there’s some candy on the desk or something easy, you know, or, um, just also taking all the personal feelings out of anything can deflate a conflict. Like I try not to use pronouns like, or he or I, or anything like that and in a conversation or emails. So, so that there’s no, they can’t even perceive that I’m being personal. So I try to take out all the personal feelings and make them feel comfortable and make sure they know that one of the same team.
Speaker 3 (12:13):
Yeah. I, you know, in terms of extreme, you know, we’ve had some, some credit versus sales events just to lighten up, you know, we’ve had some tournaments, basketball, baseball, different events that we do together, but you know, just being present and active in, in meetings, you know, a lot of, a lot of sales meetings kind of go over a lot of credit professional’s hands, but you may pick up on one or two initiatives that you can in turn be a little more proactive in, in terms of partnering with them. So, uh, just being there, being present, being visible, uh, helps a lot. That’s
Marissa Minter (12:46):
A great point, Sam. I was in a dunking booth one time, the sales people really enjoyed that. I’ve never heard that.
Speaker 3 (13:00):
Yeah. We, we threw a pie in the face of it and we let showroom consultants tie their managers in the face. So it was a win win for me. I got all the money donated and they got, I got to see their managers get pied in the face.
Lori J. Drake (13:13):
That’s awesome. That’s hilarious. Uh, taking off that, do have any of you, or do you heard of anybody ever trying to like do contests with their sales saying, you know, whoever turns in the most complete job sheets for the month, you know, get something, you know, just kind of like a nice thing to play with them and kind of something different to not make it so miserable.
Marissa Minter (13:34):
I’ve done that. I, and they like, cause they’re competitive by nature. Right. And so are we, by the way. So, um, I think there’s a lot of similarities between credit and collection personalities and sales personalities. Um, we have to, we’ll have to have a lot of those common things and, uh, but I would keep a board on the wall, outside my office to show who had the best percent current for their, um, portfolio, you know, uh, and best DSM. Um, and, and they really liked that. And then I would give them some kind of, it didn’t have to be any big price, but just something to say, Hey, I appreciate your, your efforts. They really, they like that. And so do we, you know, win for the collectors?
Lori J. Drake (14:25):
Uh, the competition is always the funniest part of it. What else want to answer on the fun stuff for the sales or anything?
Speaker 3 (14:35):
Well, like I said, we’ve done some cool stuff. Go ahead, Rachel. Oh
Marissa Minter (14:39):
No, no, go ahead. It’s fine.
Speaker 3 (14:43):
Um, now just to reiterate, we’ve done some fun things and some of the simpler, I think the prize is just secondary to the competition, like, like with being, but you know, something as simple as like lunch, people love food, uh, lunch, or take them out for a beer, something as simple as that
Marissa Minter (15:01):
Agreed. No, all I was going to say is we don’t, I, I haven’t been anywhere where we’ve done contests, but, um, we have been trying to be, um, definitely proactive. The sales team always feels like, we’re always saying no, their perception is we’re always saying no. Even if we say yes a hundred times, it doesn’t matter. Like we say yes, a hundred and we say no five. They remember that we said no five and they think it was a hundred. So what we always, um, and I’ve challenged my teams, um, you know, and it, it’s a little bit of a shift, you know, for some of them too, depending on where they’re coming from. But when you do have to say no to your salesperson, if you are familiar enough with their portfolio and what, who their customers are, maybe you can, um, sweeten the know with, okay, I can’t open this customer for a credit line, but I can give this other customer an increase or, you know, you go to them with, you know, I’m having to say no on this, you know, and this is why, or, you know, it’s just really not a good idea, but Hey, I found these other three customers that are, you know, have been doing really well.
Marissa Minter (16:12):
Let’s give them an increase and then you can go be the hero to your customer and say, Hey, I got you a credit line increase, you know? And it gives them something positive to go talk to the customer about. They see that we really are trying to help them. And that we’re not just always negative all the time. We’ve had a really good response from that. So it’s not really a contest, but we’re still trying to give them, you know, a positive thing coming from the credit department rather than always negative. And I would like to add on that, you know, you know, ways to have positive conversations. Like even when I have to say no, which we try not to, and we don’t want to explain to them, sometimes it helps the sales professional. Know if you explain why it’s a no. And then if I have to give a no, if I can also give them other options, like it’s a note today, but maybe in 90 days or six months, I can take a fresh look at it and see it grown with this, how they establish credit with us, give them options of, Hey, maybe I need to look at their financials.
Marissa Minter (17:12):
Maybe they need a, you know, a letter, different things like, or maybe I need to look at their financials. You know, I there’s some options and sometimes give them options, let them know that you’re not just saying, I know you’re still thinking of ways to make this work for them. That’s a great and a good thing with, like you said, Lisa, to that question. Um, I, I feel very much like do, and in fact, I always would take it a little bit further than that and say, I’m trying to find a way to say yes, you know, you helped me figure out how I can say yes, because you know, a lot of times the salespeople, they don’t even really know what we need to know. So there were many times where, you know, I was having a discussion and I would say, well, they don’t have any experience, even.
Marissa Minter (18:04):
I mean, there’s, there’s nothing here. Oh no, they own 20 other locations, but you didn’t know that because it wasn’t on the application. Right. Or it wasn’t anywhere in any. So I would always just try to say, I want to say, yes, you’re going to, you’re going to have to do your job and sell me on this too, because I know you already sold the customer me because I, I, I don’t have enough information here helped me say yes. And that would kind of take them down a little bit of a rabbit hole with me, but it helped them understand more, um, why we made the information that we needed. Like, what do we need to know? They think we just know, and we don’t,
Lori J. Drake (18:51):
I always think people are in my head and they know exactly what I’m going to say. Okay.
Marissa Minter (18:57):
I’m curious, um, with some of the other people that are involved, do we have any questions or anything right now that we can answer? We have any feedback from the people that are on the webinar. I mean, just so far on what they’ve heard or,
Lori J. Drake (19:14):
Um, I haven’t got that yet. I do have a couple of salespeople are on here. One works with Lisa. So he’s happy to talk with, um, I have had a previous question that just says, how can they longtime credit manager salvage a relationship that has been poor for a long time? Any suggestions on that?
Marissa Minter (19:38):
Well, I think with that, it’s building trust. Um, they have to trust you, um, and it’s gonna take time. Um, I’ve been in that situation. Um, and that’s what it really boils down to. You have to find ways, you know, getting out there and if it’s possible to meet with them in person and have them take you to their customers so that you can show them that you can be trusted with their customers. Um, and, and the trust is a two way street too. I mean, from the sales side, we, you know, maybe we do share with them more of what we’re seeing than we normally would. Cause some of that information is confidential and we’re, you know, we have to be very careful, but if we can give them more of an explanation, then, you know, and give them some wins sometimes like if they feel like they’re winning, then maybe they would have a different attitude towards it.
Marissa Minter (20:37):
I don’t know if anybody else has other feedback, but I mean, it’s sometimes it’s a long road to recovery on that. Um, and it’s just about building and it’s just one day at a time. Yeah. There’s no way I agree, Rachel, um, definitely like personal visits, you know, one-on-one conversations, take a trip for a week and go visit your customers. Definitely was a good suggestion. Um, cause it seems that gets you. One-on-one time you go out and have a dinner afterwards, you see how they interact with their customers. They see how you interact with their customers. That always is helpful. And then maybe you may need to try to do a little extra, uh, work for them. Like for what I’m, what I’m talking about is maybe work with that sales professional. Hey, before you go out and see someone, give me a call, let me, let me help you do some, let me do some background work for you.
Marissa Minter (21:35):
So you know, what type of claim you need to have going in there. And then the more they see you working on their behalf, I think helps the situation. But like Rachel said, it takes, it takes time. It takes effort. It takes work, uh, takes mutual respect from both sides to, to build that relationship and build that rapport. I agree with that. It takes a long time and sometimes I’ve found because gosh, I, you know, when you’re in a specific business segment, it’s a small world, right? Sales people go from business to business. And so to credit matters, sometimes you run into each other more than one time. So you’ve got to mend those fences. And sometimes it just kind of takes a really honest conversation to say, look, we’ve had this relationship and it’s not always been easy, but I personally have told a guy in the past, I’m going to find something to love about you.
Marissa Minter (22:36):
I don’t know what that is yet, but I’m gonna find it and we’re gonna work this out, you know, then. So I just kind of took ownership of it, even though it was a two way street. Right. But, but I’m okay with that. You know, I, and you just have to say, look, I know it’s been hard and just kind of put it out there. And I think sometimes they appreciate that because they think you’re just being stubborn and, and you’re not. Um, so just kind of be real honest with them. Sometimes they’re thick skin just like we are and they can take it for the most part. Um, but then again, like everybody else said it, it just takes time and, and doing what you say you’re going to do so they can trust you. And, um, you know, the proof is in the pudding, right. And once it’s done and they they’ll look back and go, oh, okay. She really does get it. She understands. Or he,
Speaker 3 (23:30):
I would really just add, add a couple of things to that in the, you know, great points made is being consistent and reliable. Do, do what you say you’re going to do be accessible. Uh, because we know these sales opportunities can come out of nowhere. So even if it might not, might not go the way they want it to, they need to. I think being sometimes it’s more about how you do something then what you’re actually doing. So we need to show them the effort we’re making and that the intention is to make the sale, but that doesn’t always, it doesn’t always go that route. So celebrate those wins as well, make them obvious. So they know that, uh, you know, w we might, you know, I think a lot of times we’re more so focused on the bed, then the good let’s highlight some of those wins. So they see that it’s in the back of their mind, just as much as those losses maybe.
Marissa Minter (24:19):
Right. I wanted to share one fun thing. I just thought of that I had done, I used to attend sales meetings all the time. Right. Because it’s good to, right. I mean, it’s good to have some interaction with them, but I would make up games for them. You know? And one time I did like, um, credit jeopardy. So it was this board. I mean, we spent a lot of time making this game and one category was credit terms and you’d have to have all your credit terms and just different terminologies. So it was kind of fun for them and they cause they want to win. Right. And then, uh, giving a prize, it just, just kind of trying to be more creative. We’re also busy. It’s really hard sometimes to think fun and creative flavored, but in the end it does pay off fine.
Lori J. Drake (25:11):
I love that Jackie, if I was still at, in credit, I would absolutely do that sometime. Yeah. I do have two comments to all panelists. Uh, Pete says face-to-face takes it to the next level. And like you said, builds trust with the sales rep and customer good comments panelists. Uh, Valerie states, when my boss worked in credit with GE, he was the only credit person who would have lunch with the sales team and really built a relationship between both teams. It really helped to get sales and credit, to work together as a team. Uh, then as usually sales with bank credit is, oh, credit’s always against us. Yes. Or at least that’s how it was perceived when I was in credit. It’s important to let them understand why you need documents signed properly to ensure the company is protected down the road. We were both trying to do our jobs and it just takes a little give and take on both sides. Thank you for that. Valerie. Anyone else has any comments or questions, please go ahead and put them down in the chat. Let’s see. Next question that I have is, do you find that most salespeople are open to learning?
Marissa Minter (26:17):
It depends on how you approach them. I think. Would you guys agree with that?
Speaker 4 (26:22):
Yeah, and I,
Marissa Minter (26:23):
I do. And I think, I think it depends on like, I have been in situations where you like the younger sales team members. So the newbies I think are, are, they’re like sponges. Like they want to absorb all. Whereas sometimes, you know, as a company grows or if they, um, kind of change their viewpoint on where they want the company’s direction to go, some of the seasoned salespeople, you know, maybe a little harder to get them to change their perspective or our what we want them to do. I don’t think it’s impossible. I think both, um, the seasoned and the newer guys, you know, are willing in my, in what I have seen. They want to know more. They want to understand. And if we seem eager to understand their side of it again, it’s just another two-way street. If we want to learn what, what they are, you know, the expectations for what they have to do, it’s a whole lot easier to get them, to listen to what our expectations are.
Marissa Minter (27:32):
So like, I always like to be invited like there, when they do sales training or branch manager trainings, like I want to go, even if they’re going to talk about stuff that really doesn’t even pertain to me, I think it built, it shows them like, I want to know what they’re telling you. I want to understand your side of it because I can be more effective in my team can be more effective if I understand what’s being asked of them or, you know, what’s being put on them as far as like pricing, for instance, for us right now is huge. It’s a big deal. There’s all kinds of pricing increases school that has an effect on credit because people’s credit lines. Aren’t going to go as far as they used to, if the pricing is all jacked up. So I need to know that. And my team needs to know that because we’ve got to be able to adjust credit lines and understand that that’s going to impact our department. And we really are so intertwined. And I think sometimes people forget that. So we don’t get invited to meetings or we don’t get told stuff. And I think, you know, pushing for that is, is a big deal. Like I, I think there should be more interaction that’s positive so that when we do have to have a tough conversation, it goes a whole lot easier.
Speaker 4 (28:46):
That’s true. Uh,
Speaker 3 (28:48):
Uh, to go back to the original question, I think for the most part, yes, most people want to know the right thing to do and do things right. It’s on us to make sure they understand those expectations. So, uh, set those expectations clearly and letting people know the expectations is important for us to do. I think we are, we’re always going to see those associates who are reluctant to change and that’s where, you know, I’m, uh, that’s where I think we can partner with, with business leadership in terms of, you know, how can we, uh, identify those associates and help support those associates? And, you know, the ultimate tough question is, are they in the right position if they’re not going in the direction that the company’s going in? So, um, I think for the most part, I’d answer your question and say, most people want to learn how to do the best, the right thing. It’s just, you know, it’s on us to get them that information.
Marissa Minter (29:36):
I agree with everyone. And sometimes it just takes different approaches, different ways to explain things. And you may have to explain the same thing to the same sales professional or employee over and over, but it just takes it’s maybe that fourth time you’ve explained it where they get it. So you just gotta be patient at sometimes with that and just find different ways to explain the same thing over and over until they get what they need out of it. And I agree, sales meetings, those are so helpful because that helps the credit team know what they’re working on, what the focus is, and it prepares us so that we’re not, you know, caught behind the ball like, oh, they’ve got this promotion going on. We’re not ready for it. You know? So that definitely, I agree with everyone on the panel, that those have always been helpful.
Lori J. Drake (30:26):
One thing that’s a little more construction specific, but kind of goes back to the same. You have salespeople that like Rachel said could be they’re seasoned salespeople, or they could be brand new. Do most credit managers assume they know what you’re talking about? Like you were having credit jeopardy. I worked for a company that I taught the, just did a little class for the salespeople on Texas lien law. Why we say the 15th, why we do this, what these notices are. And I was surprised that nobody even the seasoned ones knew any of that. They didn’t know why the credit manager asks for payment by the 14th, or, you know, why they’re sending this notice or that one or waivers. It was really surprising. So I’m just asking just in general, do you think that credit people assume the sales person is going to know what you’re talking about, which obviously creates a language barrier right there,
Speaker 3 (31:20):
Death and flows and it again, did I interrupt you Rachel? No, no,
Marissa Minter (31:25):
No. It’s hard to tell when someone’s going to talk. So no, go ahead.
Speaker 3 (31:30):
Yeah. I think it comes and goes. So for our organization, there’s always a willingness to teach and learn. It’s, you know, we, you know, with, with turnover, attrition, new, new associates coming on, it’s always trying to capture those associates early on. That becomes a challenge. And that’s where we see we get a wave of new wave, a new associates, uh, you know, making sure we have the training curriculum in place to get them the information they need to know. So, um, you know, and it comes in ways, honestly, you know, it’s a certain point, you know, like this, this year it’s been a phenomenal year, so we’ve had people coming in consistently. So it’s just been a consistent, revolving door training. Whereas another year that’s been, uh, you’d have less opportunities for new folks due to freezes. So I know associate may come that you might not hear about for a while. And then you don’t hear about until they make a mistake. Um, I think we, you know, as soon as we get that information on those new associates jumping out in front of them early, is that those that’s when they’re really wanting to learn the most on how to do the right thing. Someone said it earlier, you know, when they’re new, they’re like sponges. So that’s what I want to get the information
Marissa Minter (32:36):
I’ve seen that I thought that was one of the best things I’ve ever seen when a company’s over for is, yeah, we did the training for new salespeople, but they’re just like us, right? When you’re starting a new job, it’s like taking a sip out of a fire hose in your job. You’re waiting, you’re telling them isn’t the most important thing in their world they’ve got to sell. So we would bring them back a year after they started and do advanced training. So then they were kind of more ready to absorb more from you. And they knew what they were supposed to be doing for the most part. But there’s a lot of intricacies from the credit department that they, they didn’t understand, or it didn’t make sense when you hold them the first time that you know it does. So that was kind of one of the best things I’ve ever seen done. And I wish every company I ever worked for with do that, because I’m the same way with him. I’ve started a new job. If you tell me something in that next six or first six weeks, it’s 50, 50 shot. It’s stick, you know, you’re, you’re hearing terminology. You never heard before. You don’t know, you know, it’s all new. So, um, that, that’s, that’s one tactic I’ve seen use. That was, I thought was great.
Lori J. Drake (33:57):
I like that a lot. Anybody else have anything to say on that? I don’t see any questions there. Um, so people are asking for examples. Do you have any example personally, that you could give where you were butting heads with a salesperson and something, whether they did, or you did kind of amended it and now your relationship kind of went smooth on from there? Yeah.
Marissa Minter (34:27):
Go ahead, Jackie. What’s your well, I mean, I’ll give the example that I was talking about earlier with the sales rep that I worked with at one company. And he was absolutely my most stressful part of the day. You know, I knew at four o’clock on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, this guy was to nearly give me a heart attack. Like I just knew, okay. It was so stressful. Cause he would wait till the last night he did everything you were not supposed to do. Anyway, he left the company and then I went to another company and there he was, and I saw this picture on the wall and I thought, oh my God, no, but, but I thought, okay, we’re both in new positions now I’m just going to have a conversation with him. And I just, I just talked to him about it. You know, we’ll use the nice guy, but, and I’m a nice person too.
Marissa Minter (35:26):
So I just said, look, I know we’ve put in heads so many times, but I’m going to find something to love about you. And we’re going to, we’re going to have a better relationship this time. And, and we did, we still going to have once in a while, but we could have a little bit more humor and openness about it instead of me wanting to kill him and him wanting to kill me, I was like, we can at least laugh about it and say, oh my gosh, you’re making me crazy. Call me when you have the information. So that’s my example. Anybody else? Why am an example that happened on one of the, um, the teams I worked on is that there was a sales professional on their credit professional that they just didn’t get along with in emails. You know, you can sense the tone, like depending on who was reading, they had different tones and emails.
Marissa Minter (36:21):
Uh, if the sales professional had a question, they would never call the credit manager, they would always go around. So what happened was that, you know, we had some loss in staff, so, um, I needed, uh, uh, credit, professional pickup, a certain location, and it happened to be dislocation. Well, the one credit manager that pretty much did not get along with, um, the sales professional, you know, volunteered to take the location. I was so shocked. Well, after that, you know, this person took on that location. The relationship got so much better. They were kind of, they had to work together, um, and forced them to try to understand each other, get to know each other, understand, you know, how each other operates. And it was the best thing for them. So they both took accountability and ownership, but they had a discussion about, you know, we got to work together, but it ended up being the best thing for them. And it was ended up being a win after the, you know, at the end of everything. So sometimes you just have to kind of, I we’re going to do this, you know, and they were going to work this out and it did, it did
Lori J. Drake (37:33):
Sometimes it takes time and you just have to ride it out. Sandy, you got any good stories,
Speaker 3 (37:39):
A few then I think one that comes to mind. Um, one that comes to mind is one of our larger customers several years ago. Uh, we were doing business with at the time. And, uh, you know, I think when you think about the sales and on the account, it’s kind of that stereotypical salesman you think about who is probably the reason why we have calls like this. Um, but he was, he was a heck of a salesman. He’d push on anybody and everybody in the organization to get what he wanted for him and the customer. I mean, heck of an advocate for the customer, but he’s the reason why I was employed. I feel like. So, um, you know, it was a customer and one of our largest customers at the time. And we started to see them age out across the board, several projects.
Speaker 3 (38:25):
Um, so we started obviously talking to them, talking to other, other parties on the contract and he was using some of our funds to finance his lavish lifestyle. And it was pretty lavish. I’ve been to his penthouse downtown Houston. So, uh, you know, I had a solid relationship with the customer and, you know, good relationship with the sales guy, but it was always kept keeping you just at arms length. So you get what you want, but nothing in addition to that. But dude, when we found out that information, we started to push pretty aggressively on the account. Like nothing’s bound to bound the PIP over, you know, something’s going to go wrong and then, you know, the fires go a so, um, I started talking to some other partners and peers in credit, tried to come up with a good strategy to approach this account.
Speaker 3 (39:11):
That was a lot of sales volume, but at a ton of risks. So came up with a plan and it involved, um, getting some pretty high level leadership within the organization involved. And we just had a conversation and made a, made a decision as an entire group on the direction we wanted to go with the account. And that salesman was involved in the conversations. I think the salesman while he might not have liked where we were going, he understood the business direction with the decision being that we took it so seriously and so many different parties involved. Um, he appreciated that more so than anything might not have liked the decision. But again, I go back to, he appreciated to how we went about it. We involved the right parties and this just wasn’t, you know, Sam coming down on the salesman because Sam wasn’t getting paid as much fast as Sam like, so right.
Lori J. Drake (39:58):
Oh, that’s awesome. You raised your head and you have that kind of situation too.
Marissa Minter (40:05):
Yes. I mean, we, I think, I think where I have been able to change, um, perspective the most like when I’m butting heads with the sales people is when, you know, we are going to have to have a difficult conversation with the customer and the salesperson is absolutely about to wet their pants because they do not want this conversation to happen. Like they are terrified that we’re going to lose the customer like that. They’re gonna run to the competition that they’re never going to speak to us. They’re going to pull all their, or I mean like this whole, like it’s drama. I mean it’s like drama. And so I’m like, no, it’s going to be fine. I mean, you know, and I, and I’ve convinced them, you know, to, to be present. But you know, we have those difficult conversations with the customer and the customer doesn’t pull their business and the customer is actually appreciative the customer, like there’ve been so many over the years situations where after the sales person witnesses that and watches that they really, they really do like kind of have a different outlook and a different, um, on the whole thing.
Marissa Minter (41:25):
Like, so when it comes up again, they’re not scared to reach out to credit cause they realize we really are trying to help the customer and help them. And so, I mean, I have countless examples, whether it be a conversation about lien rights or why we send a notice or you know, like the customer didn’t want to give their financials and I’m like, but, and I explained to them, like, it’s not a scary thing. Like, we’re just, we’re trying to get on board. We’re like your bank. We’re just like a bank. A bank is not going to loan you $2 million and not ask you for documentation. We’re the same thing. We’ve got to make sure that we’re making a good investment. I mean, that’s what they’re asking us to do is invest in them. And so I think, you know, salespeople are good at selling. They’re not always necessarily good at selling some of that. You know, where we are used to having to sell the credit side of things. And so I think that’s where we can really gain their trust, gain the customer’s trust and really stop the arguing is just showing them, you know, that we aren’t going to harm the relationship and that we can get, you know, more information or have the tough conversation and not scare the customer way. So
Lori J. Drake (42:36):
If that’s always the biggest concern is they just don’t know how we’re going to deal with somebody and they just, they get scared to risk it. Anybody else want to throw out an example, uh, right from Pete real quick, I got spot on Rachel. It took that experience to open my eyes. Um, I do have two comments in here. I was going to share with you all at once from Valerie, she said, one thing she did to build trust with her sales team and branch managers was to work with them in other areas. How am I cross-training? She says, for example, we could, we had to issue credits for old deductions. And while I could issue all of them at once, uh, she worked with them. So it wouldn’t hurt their sales as much. They were so appreciative that moving forward, it was a lot easier for them to understand her know, as they knew it wasn’t just to get out of doing something. So that is, I know that scares a lot of salespeople too, that are on the commission or pay back. That’s definitely a big issue. And then I have this one, doesn’t say who it’s from. It just says, thanks, Laurie, our sales teams, like the monthly calls like you guys were talking about. So there are no surprises with their customers and it keeps sales and credit aligned.
Marissa Minter (43:49):
Know that’s a good point. You know, we, uh, sales management, a lot of times, uh, things that are important that are coming up or changes to the credit policy. And sometimes the sales managers don’t trickle that down to the salespeople, right. It creates a lot of problems. So it is good. Uh, like this person said to get out there and keep them informed. So they don’t feel blindsided because we don’t like to feel blindsided either by, by them. So that is a really good point.
Lori J. Drake (44:27):
I do have one more comment from Rovey. Uh, he talking about the disconnect between sales and credit, which we talked about, but he was also saying that their salespeople really don’t know the status of stuff. So having those conversations, let them know when they’re past due subject to credit hold, uh, neither sport and collecting a past due. He says, even in, especially in construction it’s until you understand what it is, they’re not really able to talk to customers about it. Either questions, just like all the questions or comments that we have. Does anybody on the panel have anything else they just want to close with?
Lori J. Drake (45:08):
No. Well then I think you, Lisa, Jackie, Rachel, and Sam for taking time out today to do this, I know this is going to give a lot of people, some great information. I want to thank Brian for hanging out in the background. Hopefully he can get us some more information on sales on kind of maybe some other stuff. So we can work on that. We didn’t even discuss today yet. Uh, if there anybody wants any additional information, you can email me directly. My email’s on the presentation. And then you can also just get a little set.com and there’s lots of information, as well as the community. We’d love for you to sign up for the community. I will go ahead and put that link in the chat box and it would just get you all the biweekly newsletters that had all the different webinars and classes that are coming up. So since there was nothing else, just thank you, everybody. Thank you for those that joined us. And we look forward to seeing you next time.
Marissa Minter (45:59):
Thanks for putting it together, Laurie. All right. Bye-bye.