Time is money, money is time, and what that means we must chase and collect our cash. Dee Bowden, Collections Specialist share how she helps business owners across the globe capture dollars that they felt was unbelievable!
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story? How did you get to where you are today?
I’d like to answer this question by sharing a real story that happened to me.
I once worked for a small IT firm in Merrimack, NH. I was a part-time collections specialist and was tasked with closing $8 million dollars in outstanding invoices. Just think—they were owed $8 million dollars for sales that were on the books but not in the bank! No one at the company had followed up on collecting on any of the payments for these sales.
Reflecting on the seriousness of this problem and my concern for my company, I prayed this prayer: “God, I don’t know what happened to get this company this far deep into debt. I am asking for Your guidance to untangle these disconnects and recover this money.” When I got my response, I settled down and got to work on closing one sale after another using a few strategies that proved very successful there.
Within 60 days, working part-time, I recovered 75% of the company’s money. Despite this stellar performance, the CEO called all the employees together to tell us that an executive decision was made to shut down the company. Just like that; they made the decision to go out of business. We had 30 minutes to get our belongings and leave the building. After working diligently to recover $6 million dollars, only to be told the company was closing, it raised some questions that would stay with me for life. How did neither the Comptroller nor the Collections Manager know that sales were on the books but not in the bank? Why wasn’t the Director of Sales aware that the sales were made, products and services sold, yet there were outstanding invoices? What needed to be done to prevent losses from happening again? What were the disconnects?
From what I could tell, there were four disconnected areas that contributed to this firm needlessly losing almost $10 million—sales, contracts, accounts payable, and accounts receivables. I also believe that these four areas were operating independent of each other, which is a super NO-NO in business. Sadly, each department focused on its own lane, without understanding and seeing the bigger picture of what makes a successful sales cycle.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
Getting Started with creating a business while working in my career. Overcoming Fear that my message on B2B collections wouldn’t be received and connect with business owners. Trusting that if I kept engaging in learning even when it stretched me outside of my comfort zone it would be well worth it. Learning to become a public speaker and tell my story so that it resonates and makes a difference and conveys what matters to me which is B2B collections is problem solving, customer service and my secret sauce is expressing gratitude.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
I am passionate about discussing the security of a business’s cash flow for two reasons. First of all, right now in the United States, several major companies are/have closed their doors for good. The issues of cash flow/revenue for businesses of these large companies are the same as their smaller competitors. There were sales that were made to the vendors to purchase merchandise; contracts/agreements were signed; and invoices were submitted by the vendors for payments. Yet, collections for the payments did not occur. As I described earlier in my IT story, four components impacted whether these companies would address those issues or make an executive decision to close their doors, and thus impact the livelihood of many employees and their families.
I am also convinced of the relevancy of this topic because many people are looking at starting a business. However, they are not talking about the real reason they want to start a company, which is to make money. They want cash flow, revenue, accounts receivables, sales. Period. But let’s face it: if business owners are solely focused on capturing the next sale but isn’t tracking the state of their current contracts, they can be deceived into thinking everything is fine. However, if the sales are on only the books and not in the bank, everything is not fine. It might be that no one wants to address the problems because talking about cash flow/money/collections is very uncomfortable. But if you plan to be successful in business, understanding how all the four areas interconnect is necessary to the survival of your business.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Start with believing in yourself, investing in yourself with training, attending conferences in your industry and when ready add these 4 components to your life a) Coach b) Mentor c) Cheerleader d) Friend(s).
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
To Live your life in your own way, to reach for the goals you have set for yourself, to be the you that you want to be. That is Success!
What’s next for you?
Publishing my 1st solo book Collect the Cash Spring 2021. Grab a copy of the book here.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
By visiting the website here.
Contributing Writer – Dr. Cozette M. White, Tax and Accounting Strategist for Million-Dollar Executives & CEO’s. Learn more about Dr. Cozette M. White at www.cozettemwhite.com.