What's Your Elevator Speech?
Not only must credit managers be adept at protecting their company's receivables while contributing to their company's bottom-line growth, they must also be able to discuss what they do in a way that demonstrates their passion and the vital importance of the work itself.
This discussion usually occurs upon meeting new people, and it is something everyone experiences, no matter their line of work. But how many professionals deliver an effective introduction?
The elevator speech is an important networking tool that all professionals should master in order to sell themselves and their work to others and these prize-winning elevator speeches are worthy models for other credit professionals looking to better promote themselves and their profession.
Sample Elevator Speeches
I work in commercial credit and collections. Many people think that means I'm a bill collector, but really I'm a relationship manager who works to minimize risk and maximize profits. At a conference I once heard the phrase that people pay people before they pay companies, so I do my best to be the person that they want to pay. The most rewarding part of my job is partnering with businesses to make good decisions that benefit us both, which is better for everyone's bottom line. It's not always easy, that's true, but the complex issues can often be the most rewarding.
-Submitted by Brandy Sailers-Dow, CICP, receivables specialist at Hypertherm, Inc.
My job as credit manager is to facilitate growth by SERVING our customers using cutting-edge credit reporting services to maximize their credit line. I am also responsible for maximizing the value of our accounts receivable by minimizing bad debt expense and PROTECTING A/R by maintaining an acceptable level of risk. Lastly, but just as important, I guide my staff in COLLECTING all past dues while preserving exceptional customer relationships. In a nutshell, I am here to serve, protect and collect.
-Submitted by Jim King, CCE, credit manager at the TII Family of Companies
I am responsible for managing our customers during their lifecycle with our organization. I am an advocate for the customer in ensuring our organization meets their needs with excellent customer service and quality products and that we develop a strategic, profitable business relationship that ensures positive growth for us and our customer. I am a sales person; I sell credit offerings to our customers to keep them engaged with us while maintaining expectations that meet our organizational goals. I am an advisor; I advise our sales group/management on credit issues and customer status and I advise our customers on ways to improve their account status.
-Submitted by Sabrina Perez, CBA, CICP, accounting and credit manager at Ametek Programmable Power, Inc.
I'm a corporate credit manager. Basically, I loan money to companies to buy our products. You can equate this to a dealership that provides a loan to buy their cars. I’m like Sherlock Holmes, as I have to use logic and detective work to figure out how to make the sale while protecting the company from an abnormal risk of default. I review a company's trade credit reports and financial statements, and search the web—I even look at Facebook and LinkedIn!—anything that provides me an understanding of the company’s ability to pay us back … and pay us on time. It really is interesting, as we are a large part in helping get the sale completed.
-Submitted by: Mark Cericola, CCE, Corporate Credit Manager for Prysmian Group in Lexington, SC
As a Credit Manager, I increase company revenue while keeping risk low through issuing and monitoring our customer’s credit. Without credit watchdogs such as myself, sales aren’t necessarily sales because it is a gamble on whether you receive payment or not.
My team and I lay the foundation for solid, collectible sales through annual credit reviews and constant monitoring of our customers, which saves money on the back end by avoiding collection efforts and bad debt.
We take pride in taking the bite out of bad debt! I would love to help your company take the bite out of your bad debt!
-Submitted by: Robbin Windham, Credit Manager with BNSF Logistics in Springdale, AR
I work in commercial credit and collections. People often have a stereotype of what my job entails but I’ve found that there are a lot of misperceptions. I’m really a relationship specialist that works with sales people, customers and management to maximize cash flow and minimize risk. Just like our customers expect timely delivery, quality product and excellent service, our company has an expectation of timely payment when we deliver. Our management team expects to grow sales while protecting the company’s assets. Managing these expectations is a critical function of my role; a role which requires a robust skill set that must constantly be maintained and developed through networking and education. The best part though, is being able to find win-win solutions to difficult issues, navigate complex situations and build strong relationships both internally and externally. No two days are ever the same.
-Submitted by: Brandy Dow, CBA, CICP, Senior A/R Specialist at Hyperthem Inc. of Hanover, NH