How Debt Negotiation Works

So you need a basic understanding of how debt negotiation works.  If you are swamped with long overdue bills, this debt relief method can help you manage your troubled finances and get back in control.   In simple terms, debt negotiation is when you (or a professional negotiator) bargains with collectors to hammer out a reduced payment of your total balance due. 

For example, say you owe $1000 on an overdue bill that is now at a collection agency, and when you were making payments, they were $125 a month.  You (or a professional negotiator) can bargain with the collector and offer them a settlement of $600, and offer to pay them $50 a month for 12 months ($50 x 12 months = $600).   If they choose to accept this amount and payment plan, that is all you will have to pay.  The benefit is you will not be responsible for the remaining $400, and you have reduced your monthly payments from $125 to a more manageable $50 a month.  (This process is also sometimes called debt settlement or debt arbitration.)

Can I Do It Myself?

In most cases, it is less costly to manage debt negotiation yourself, rather than seeking credit services.  There are also do-it-yourself kits that can help you along the process.  However, the average consumer will get a better settlement by enlisting the help of qualified, reliable counselors who are trained to deal with creditors on a daily basis. The higher your debt and the more bills you have in collections, the more you should get a professional to help you.  Regardless of who negotiates, a creditor should be contacted in writing to officially request a reduced settlement.

How Long Will It Take?

Making progress with debtors can be a slow and agonizing process when you do it yourself.  It is a time consuming process.  Many people say that it is like having another full time job.  Depending on number of creditors and the balances due, debt negotiation could take up to 3 or 4 months when you do it yourself.  On the other hand, debt professionals DO work on your case as their full time job and can help negotiate debts significantly faster.

Any Words Of Caution?

If you allow a debt counselor or financial agent to negotiate on your behalf, be sure the payments you make to them are actually being applied.  Be sure any Power of Attorney form that you sign gives your counselor the right to handle your debt negotiation ONLY.  (Power of Attorney is a form you sign that gives another person the right to handle your affairs on your behalf.) 

Also if you hire a professional, always make sure you monitor their progress. If you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, contact The Federal Trade Commission.

Ken S



© 2009

Boost Your Sales Presentations on a Shoestring Budget

Would low cost creative activities help you get lower-cost leads and more sales? You bet! Find out how to reduce the cost-per-lead, increase effective presentation skills and transform your sales results.

One of the most under-used activities for sales presenters is staring you right in the face. Virtual events.

Sure, I bet you’re already hosting virtual events to discuss products, services and solutions. You and your team are working hard: pitching products and sharing tons of data. You’re racing against the clock to give “X” number of virtual events per week.

This is not a precise recipe for success.

Instead of giving sales-oriented virtual presentations, shift your focus. Focus on adding value for your customers. Put your customers first and you’ll skyrocket results – for pennies.

Consider this: to be highly effective, grow your virtual sales presentation skills in four ways.

1. Be a Thought Leader
Position yourself as a leader in your market. This can be achieved by developing free solutions for troubling problems. For instance, when a client had a big presentation coming up, I helped them brainstorm their story, whiteboard sketches and interaction.

The client gave the presentation and it was blew her audience away.

This naturally led to more work together. By providing help to position my client as a thought leader, I added value and provided thought leadership for her.

A little free leadership goes a long way!

2. Fix A Problem
You know the bug-a-boos your clients struggle with the most. Look there.

For instance, if you are in marketing – offer a tip that helps your clients resolve a troubling issue. This is a core method you can use in any industry and any market.

What’s the real big problem your clients want to fix? Help them fix it with checklists, tip-sheets and special reports. The effort you put into creating these items will pay back for years to come.

3. Go The Extra Mile
Take the fix to the next level. Host a free webinar. Explain how to leverage the fix to help your client get more benefit.

Wondering if this will result in business? Absolutely! When you are a thought leader in your field, fixing problems and going out of your way to help people – what do you think happens?

People remember it!

When they need a trusted advisor, a partner, or a strategic vendor, they’ll call you. This is a lot more rewarding than pounding the pavement or working the phones.

4. Present To Shine
Present your information, fixes and implementation ideas in new and different ways. Help your client shine when they need to sell this to decision makers in their organization.

This is one of the best creative practices you can take. Help your clients give effective presentations. The fastest way to do this is to give your client easy tools that make them look great.

Consider the profound impact of this. When you make it easy to sell their boss, they look great – and so do you.

In one fell swoop you’re building an ally, and guaranteeing that your solutions is marketed effectively to decision makers. Still think this isn’t worth your time?

Now, here’s how to do this – even on a tiny budget.

Send a one-page map to show how to use your solution in different situations. Send a visual guide that shows the 1-2-3 steps to trouble shoot problems. By helping your clients and prospects present ideas, you are positioning yourself as a valuable colleague.

What do you notice about these tips? They aren’t really product or sales-focused. They are customer focused. When you put your customer’s needs first, they will remember and they will want to do more business with you.

That’s a perfect transformation from pushy sales person to attractive advisor. These low-cost presentation tips work in a troubled economy – but are equally valuable when the economy picks up.

Experience Gifts Make Great Birthday Presents

Birthdays are a special occasion for anyone, regardless of how old they are! Despite the old adage that people don’t want to acknowledge their age the older they get, it’s always important to make sure they feel extra special and loved when they reach another milestone in life. Not only is an experience gift a great idea based on originality, but it’ll also give them a day they’ll never forget – that’s the key to a great birthday!

An experience gift is designed to be a once in a life time opportunity. Think of all the things you’ve ever wanted to do – swimming with dolphins, sky diving, driving one of the fastest cars in the world – that’s what experience gifts are. Things you would never usually be able to do, things you can only dream of doing, because they’re too expensive to own, or it’s too much hassle to get everything you need to do it, or it requires so much thought and planning that you don’t have the time for. That’s why experience gifts are so fantastic – they enable you to give somebody the experience of a life time as a present, something that they will always remember and never forget.

For a birthday, when looking for experience gifts for men or women, it might be a good idea to get something they can do themselves (since it’s their birthday, after all!). There are plenty of private experiences available, and there’s sure to be something that’ll suit anyone, young or old. You could get Private DJ Lessons for someone of the younger generation. There’s also Private Ninja Lessons available that could be of extreme interest to someone you know who is perhaps interested in karate movies or Japanese culture. For people into the art culture, there’s Private Art Lessons available taught by highly accomplished artists who can give the birthday boy or girl one on one training in a specific area that they enjoy. Private Glassblowing Lessons would also be of extreme interest to those who enjoy the arts, and the majority of these classes allow the receiver to take home whatever they make or do in that class to keep as a memento of their fantastic day and the brilliant present you gave them that enabled them to be a part of it!

Alternatively, a great way to make someone feel extremely special is to get them a VIP experience gift. There are a good number of experience gifts available that allow people to spend a day with some highly celebrated names in the media. For instance, spending a day with Tyler Stableford, one of the most renowned adventure photographers in the world, would be a dream come true for any budding amateur with a keen interest in photography. Alternatively, a chef or cooking enthusiast could have a once in a lifetime chance to have wine and dinner with Anthony Dias Blue, one of the most influential food and wine personalities in the world. If none of those suit though, there’s always the option to get an Ultimate Celebrity Access Pass for your loved one. This pass enables the gift receiver to spend a day with their favorite musician, actor or actress. This could also be incorporated into a birthday party, as many of the A-list celebrities available are more than happy to make an appearance for a private concert at a party. Imagine the look of awe and disbelief as the gift receiver’s favorite singer comes on stage and starts singing just for them!

So whether you’re looking to give someone a one-on-one lesson in a certain area of expertise, or if you’re looking to give someone that ‘once in a lifetime’ chance, experiential gifts can cater to all birthday present needs, big or small.