Do You Know Your Numbers Like Debt Management Shysters?

Here’s one live current affairs issue (quite rightly) outraging middle England.

Pay-day loan companies have long been painted as unscrupulous villains. What with their thousands of percent interest regimes. When people get consumed by debt, payday or otherwise, another vulture emerges; debt management companies.

Whilst services, mainly charity related, exist without charge, these people prey on the drowning. They find them, charge them all sorts of fees, and seemingly do nothing that the indebted could not have done for themselves. And in many cases, way less than the local free citizen’s advice bureau.

On a talk radio show, I heard a Gareth phone in from Cornwall.

He used to work for such shysters. He hated it. He made money, it seems, then saw the light. Now, he insisted he “would never go back”.

He quoted stats which made my eyes pop.

He reckoned he made 300 cold calls each day.

That is incredible.

An eight-hour day has 480 minutes. Could Gareth really have completed a call every 90 seconds? Eight hours solid, no breaks?

His weekly minimum target was 7 “sign-ups”.

(That is people struggling in debt who then allowed them to represent their ‘management’ of the owings and creditors.)

One every day. With two on two. During each week.

When you hit your number, you got a commission; £100.

But for every sign-up beyond the seventh, you got a further commission; £50 a time.

As Gareth explained, they could make serious money from getting “twelve to fourteen” a week.

(Breaking that down, 14 is less than three sign-ups a day. On average, roughly one every 2 hours 50 mins).

He mentioned he was also paid a basic.

To put earnings in some sort of context, regardless of basic amount, 14 sign-ups alone meant bonus payments of £450. That on its own represents almost the same value as the UK’s national average wage.

On the day of blogging, I surfed jobsites. Standard sales jobs in this industry – and there were an abundance of recruiters – started with around an £18,000 basic. OTEs varied but the range claimed attainable hovered on £35-50k.

Gareth didn’t go into details on his pitch. There was slight reference to the called being asked directly if they were worried about debt, but nothing concrete.

His experience nastily smacks of a typical boiler room operation.

Yet as is so often the case, the dodgy know their game. Sadly way better than the honest.

They are on top of their numbers, ideal customer profile and problem solved.

We acknowledge the product is flawed, and wish the perpetrators nothing but ill. But we should not dismiss their use of process. For the win-win among us need to know what they know too.

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