Chopsticks, Heart Surgery and Credit Management

Our family has a regular weekend ritual – Sunday brunch, always at a different café.

Since I pay we generally get a good turnout from our kids and their partners!

Last weekend we found ourselves at funky little café that had an Asian fusion menu – so along with Eggs Benedict, there was Udon noodles, dumplings etc.

Towards the end of a lovely meal, I spotted a young couple (Tinder date?) sitting nearby showing some interest in the chopsticks that had accompanied their meal along with knives and forks.

He had no idea how to use chopsticks and had asked her for advice.   It was clear though she had no idea either – nonetheless was prepared to accept the invited role of teacher.

The next few minutes were excruciating to watch. She fumbled her way through a “this is how” demonstration.  Collectively they then picked up (and promptly dropped), jabbed then stabbed their food.  While she was well-intentioned, to any observer, it was clear he had asked the wrong person for advice.  She had a little knowledge, was convenient to ask, happy to help - but ultimately poorly qualified to actually provide instruction.

A classic example of the visually impaired leading the blind.  The awkwardness ended when a young (Chinese) waiter politely intervened and taught them both how to use chopsticks – properly.

We see this every day with our clients. They fumble and stab away at the slow payers unaware that many times they are simply repeating classic mistakes.

For example: When recruiting a new accounts receivable person they target a “bulldog” or “aggressive” person instead of a counsellor profile.  Thereby often offending otherwise very happy clients.

Or, inexperienced AR people who focus all their efforts on the few older & bigger outstanding amounts rather than the high volume of somewhat smaller and newer overdue accounts.  Another common mistake.

Let me ask you a question.  If you needed heart-saving surgery would you go with a newly qualified doctor, fresh out of medical school?

Would you go with a newly qualified doctor, fresh out of medical school with very little real world experience?

Or would you want the most experienced, veteran heart surgeon who had done hundreds of successful surgeries?

When you evaluate it this way, the obvious choice is the experienced heart surgeon.

In a life or death situation, you certainly wouldn't risk rolling the dice with the inexperienced doctor fresh out of medical school.

Now let me ask you another question:

If you decide today that you want to make a radical improvement in your accounts receivable results over the next 12 months who would you prefer does the work that will be required?

Someone who is just ‘okay’ at accounts receivable or the expert accounts receivable specialist who has been producing record results for the last five or ten years or more?

Again the answer is obvious.

One of the smartest ways to get better results with your accounts receivable is to use experts with a proven track record.

The good news is that if you employ outside experts (like smartAR) to handle your accounts receivable function it is usually a lot cheaper than hiring an accounts receivable person to work full time for you.

So not only do you get better results you also get quicker results and overall improvement costs a lot less money.

What did I learn in the café - don’t learn change from an amateur – learn from an expert.

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