Bridge Firm Recovery September 2018

Recovery Reader The September 2018 (269) 359-0814



It’s been an active summer! Lots of tenants moving. Background screening at Preferred Screening Profiles is more important than ever. On average, nearly 44 percent of the applicants who apply are not a good fit for our clients’ properties. Wow! It can’t be emphasized enough that a good screening process is critical to being a successful landlord. On the collection recovery side, we continuously review, locate, and recover monies on those non-payers that are moving. Not long ago I was asked if we ever receive screening requests for tenants who have unpaid rents. The answer is YES. Recently, an applicant applied for tenancy to our client’s property. It turned out the applicant also owed an outstanding judgment to a collection client of ours. The result: Our screening client declined the applicant, and we were able to collect the balance for our collection client. Now that’s karma!

If you’ve ever attended an industry conference or gathering of business owners, you’ve probably had to sit through at least one mind-numbingly boring presentation. You’ve also likely been wowed by a presentation before. When giving a presentation of your own, you obviously want it to fall into the latter category. But what separates a bad presentation from a good one? Elisabeth Osmeloski, vice president of Audience Development for and, oversees dozens of presentations every year, giving her unparalleled insight into what makes presentations sink or swim. “The perfect presentation,” she says, “has certain attributes and will be engaging, entertaining, memorable, inspiring, and actionable — all at once.” Follow these tips to make sure that your next presentation has all of these qualities and leaves your audience in awe. A great way to turn off a room is to assume they all care about you just because you’re the one on the stage. The goal is for your presentation to resonate with the audience and compel them to buy, which is hard to do if you don’t know the first thing about the crowd. Every event is different and so are the people who attend them. Try to glean as much information as you can about the folks you’ll be speaking to. Take your cure from the nature of the event. If you’re speaking to a group of lawyers, for example, tailor your message to be relevant to their profession. UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE

Just one of the benefits of having your screening and collections under the same roof.

Have a great month!

- Dan Larson

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Cover story, continued ...

STARTWITH A STORY Narrative is one of the easiest ways to engage a crowd. More often than not, the goal of your presentation will be to sell something, but you won’t have much luck if you structure your talk to be an hour-long sales pitch. Instead, start by getting personal and sharing a compelling story with your audience.“Stories will make youmore likable, trustworthy, and interesting,”says Leslie Belknap, marketing director at Ethos3. Building this rapport early will pay dividends as your presentation unfolds. If you can hook an audience in the first five minutes, you’ll have their attention for the remainder of your time onstage. You can even build references to your initial story into later parts of your talk or pepper in additional stories throughout. Don’t be afraid to sprinkle in a little inoffensive humor. A crowd that’s laughing is a crowd that’s listening. USE VISUALS

points, but nomore. You should structure your presentation to emphasize your three most important points, touching on themmultiple times and inmyriad ways. To create these three concepts, ask yourself, “What are the three things I want the crowd to know by the time I’m finished?”It seems simple, but far toomany presenters fail do it. Too few takeaways, and you come off as airy and insubstantial; toomany, and you risk overloading your guests with information. Unless you encourage somebody to take action (i.e., buy what you’re selling), they have no reason to. However, don’t spend the bulk of your time onstage selling. Demonstrate the value of your product or service without beating people over the head with it. You’re not Ron Popeil, and a presentation isn’t an infomercial. You have to present your sales proposition as a natural part of your talk rather than tacking it on at the end. SELL THROUGHOUT, BUT SUBTLY

gifted orator. It’s also bound to alienate the visual learners in the audience. The more graphs, charts, animations, and pictures you can incorporate into your presentation, the better. To be frank, there’s a good chance most audience members will forget the bulk of what you say within a day or two. Striking visuals, though, might stay with them a lot longer. There’s just one caveat to go along with this advice: Put time into your visuals. A janky PowerPoint presentation will lower your credibility.“If it looks stock, it probably is,”notes Ryan Mack, president of Carrot Creative.“Altering an existing template doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time. It also indicates that the presenter knows how to represent the idea and narrative visually.”


In the desire to provide actionable takeaways during your talk, don’t give the audience too much to chew on. A good rule of thumb is that the average person can remember three key

Talking for an hour straight without any aids is a herculean task unless you’re a preternaturally

The Secret to Lead Conversion It’s All About the Relationship


In the business classic“How toWin Friends and Influence People,”Dale Carnegie showed us that the secret to sales success builds on showing a genuine interest in other people and rests in the relationship that develops from there. The concept may not be much of a secret anymore, but it’s as important as ever in the sales cycle—and toomany people aren’t following through on it. It turns out that Carnegie was onto something. Did you know that just 2 percent of sales happen during the first touch? Two percent . Let that sink in. That means 98 percent of sales happen sometime after that first touch. In fact, ample research supports that 80 percent of sales happen after the fifth follow-up. If your sales team isn’t following up past that first touch with a prospect, there’s a slim chance they’ll convert. With the direct correlation between touches and conversion, it’s clear how important it is to follow up and nurture relationships with leads. We can look back to our good friend Dale Carnegie and thank him for sharing his wisdom about relationships. If you want to nurture and convert your leads, you’ll want to instill Carnegie’s principles into your sales team. Considering howmany quality leads get away, there’s always room for improvement in developing relationships. How can you start building that lead relationship today?

It’s all about the follow-up — or lack of follow-up, if you’re wondering why your leads aren’t converting. You’ve probably experienced it yourself: You have a great interaction with a company and express interest in their product, but then you never hear from them again. That company just lost you, a hot lead. You can’t buy if you’re not presented with the opportunity to do so. Make it easy on your consumer base by implementing a follow-up system. The habit of nurturing leads stems partly from company culture and partly from systems and processes— it’s something of a chicken-egg situation. If you don’t have systems in place tomake follow-up part of your sales process, it’s not going to be a priority for your team. And if you don’t have a culture of determination and relationship-building in place, the systems and processes don’t matter. Entrepreneur and business transformer Robert Clay recommends a five-no strategy— follow up with a lead until you’ve heard no at least five times. IMPLEMENT A SYSTEM

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And apps like Mealime and MealBoard give you the ability to whip up food that is cost- effective and delicious.

School has started. Youth sports are in full swing. Work is crazy. Food has become more about necessity than enjoyment. All of this can only mean one thing: Fall has begun. The crazy schedules this time of year can make it tough for parents to keep their heads on straight; making it through the insanity sometimes feels more like survival than life. But there are tactics you can employ to turn the tide and find more time for yourself.



While you’re busy trying to rally the troops at soccer practice, the scene at home resembles a horror movie. Laundry is piling up, food is spoiling in the fridge, and the dust bunnies around the house now have names. Housecleaning is a part-time job in its own right. The only way to stay on top of duties around the house is to work together. A chore chart with clear responsibilities is a great place to start. Whether you have one child or eight, everyone is capable of pitching in. You can have all the organizational abilities in the world, but the best way to manage life’s madness isn’t by directing day-to day-tasks; it’s by managing stress. Instead of using these tools to control life, look at them as a way to free up time so you can decompress and enjoy the things you love.

There’s no reason to try and do everything on your own. The phrase“It takes a village to raise a child”exists because managing the stressors of life requires help. A great place to start is by establishing car pools with a parent group you trust. You can alternate drivers weekly, which provides the opportunity for you to focus your attention on other priorities —or if you’re lucky, have some freedom.


Technology makes organization easier and more accessible than ever. By using a tool like a shared calendar, you can coordinate the entire family’s schedule so you never miss a beat.

Take a Break!




8 ounces ham, thinly sliced

8 slices of bread (Pullman works best)

1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)

1/4 cup apricot preserves


1. Butter each slice of bread on the outsides and sprinkle with Parmesan.

2. Layer ham and cheese evenly on top of 4 slices of bread.

3. Spread apricot preserves and mustard across the other 4 slices. Press sandwiches together. 4. In a cast iron skillet or large sauté pan over medium heat, grill sandwiches until golden, about 3 minutes per side.

5. Cut in half and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine • 269-359-0814 • 3

Bridge Firm Recovery (269) 359-0814


PO Box 24 Grandville, MI 49468

INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Dan PAGE 1 Business Presentation Tips PAGE 1 The Secret to Lead Conversion PAGE 2 3 Tips to Help Organize Your Crazy Life PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Inside-Out Grilled Ham and Cheese PAGE 3 The Best andWorst Foods for Inflammation PAGE 4 The food you eat plays a major role in how your body functions on the cellular level. Some foods can wreak havoc on your body, while others can make you feel great. This is especially true when it comes to that all-too- common ailment, inflammation. HERE ARE A FEW EXAMPLES OF FOODS THAT LEAD TO INFLAMMATION: SUGAR: One of the biggest culprits behind inflammation, sugar is far worse than eating fatty foods. It’s best to skip foods that have added sugar (and this includes sugar of any kind, including corn syrup, fructose, and sucrose). Many manufacturers now label food with more specific kinds of sugar to hide the fact that they added sugar to their product. Be sure to read labels carefully! REFINED CARBS: Basically anything made from white flour falls into this category, including bread, pasta, baked goods, and

FIND THE RIGHT FOOD BALANCE Foods That Cause and Reduce Inflammation

SALMON: As a source of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is one of the best protein choices for people with inflammatory conditions, or for those who want to keep inflammation at bay.

cereals. Research suggests that refined carbs may be a bigger contributing factor than fat in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. ALCOHOL: Too much alcohol puts a burden on your liver, an organ that helps flush toxins out of the body. You know all of those detox diets? They don’t work. In fact, the only way to detox is to let your liver do its job. When you consume alcohol, it’s harder for the liver to pump out the toxins in your body. When it can’t do its job properly, the result is inflammation. NOW, FOR THE GOOD STUFF. EAT THESE FOODS TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION: BLUEBERRIES: Many studies call blueberries one of the best fruits you can eat to ease symptoms of inflammation. These blue orbs of goodness are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, polyphenols, and so much more. Eat a handful every day!

BROCCOLI: One of the most nutritious and easily accessible vegetables around, the little green buds that cover the tops

of broccoli are loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds.

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