When I first started fielding calls from note holders, I really didn’t fully know what I was doing. I knew that I wanted to broker a note to a funder (which I had already lined up through my mentor who I was working with at the time) and so I was throwing out some marketing messages in hopes that I would get calls, which I did. I was a bit concerned that I would not know what to say when I got responses but figured I’d cross that bridge when I came to it.
I had SOME idea as to what constituted a good note or a bad note but had no experience talking to noteholders– yet. That is, until I got some calls coming in (and I did that by using marketing copy that I gleaned from experienced people who had been in the business for a time) and then, as I called people back, I simply asked them the questions on the note submission sheet that I got from my funder. The questions were really straightforward, i.e., “how many payments are there, what is the amount of the payments, how many payments have been made, how many remain, what are the terms”, etc, etc.
As I started generating more and more of these quote requests, what I realized was that I had been overthinking the whole thing and worrying too much about not knowing what to ask. I had somehow felt that simply filling in the blanks on the submission sheet could NOT possibly be enough… There HAD to be something more in order to get a quote going. But, as it turned out, I would be wrong. The questions on the sheet DID, in fact, cover the whole equation to the point of initially evaluating a potential note transaction. I learned as much by turning these in to the funders on a regular basis.
The thing to remember was– don’t overthink things. Even though I did NOT fully understand all of the ramifications of WHAT I was asking at the time, it eventually became apparent to me that I could project CONFIDENCE when talking with a noteholder– even though I did not yet have the ability to evaluate the merits of what I had put down on paper (yes, I still used pen and paper in those days) because, in due course, I realized that the sheet was pretty much “the Bible” in terms of asking everything that needed to be asked. I simply asked the questions in a conversational manner (and, being in sales and marketing, I’ve always been comfortable talking to people so that part was easy).
Looking back, initially I DID have SOME idea of what constituted a good note or bad note before I even took my first call, but as it turned out I would learn a whole lot more as I started submitting more and more of these quote requests to the funder. I would then learn a great deal by watching them quote or “no quote” these and my point here, is, for purposes of condensing this down into a simple “tip”:
Don’t sweat the details. Even if you don’t fully know what you are doing yet, just have total confidence that the note submission worksheet (the funder you’re working with will give you theirs) will cover ALL of the initial questions that need to be asked. After you get the answers, you simply tell the noteholder that you’ll turn this over to funding and “I should have a response for you within [about 24 hours]”.
You’ll learn by doing this way. You don’t need to understand all of the ramifications and details at first. Just concentrate on developing leads and keep taking responses from note holders. Then project confidence, boldly ask the questions on the sheet, turn them in for quote, learn from the responses that you get and you will get better and better at understanding the whole process and recognizing a good note vs a bad note.
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