Sales Make it Happen --- by Scott Wheeler

With over twenty-six years of leasing experience and an Executive Masters in Business Administration, Scott is an accomplished senior leasing executive with leadership qualities in marketing and operations. His extensive experience will benefit organizations looking to reach a higher level of profitability and corporate development.

The Eyes and Ears of Our Industry

The lease originator is the front line of our industry. He/she is often the only face that the customer sees during the process. It is an awesome responsibility. Most originators do an excellent job of not only generating new business for themselves, but representing many individuals who are working behind the scenes to process, fund and collect the leases and financial agreements which they originate. The originators are our eyes and ears; they are also the industry's first line of defense against misinformation and fraud.

During more challenging economic times the originator needs to be acutely aware of his responsibility in order to protect himself, his company, the vendor, the lessee and the ultimate holder of the financial paper he is generating. I strongly believe that most people are honest and are not capable of intentionally hurting others. In strong economic times we all run into situations which do not seem quite right, but usually everything works out fine; therefore, we begin to accept minor process exceptions as a matter of doing business. However, in desperate times, desperate people do desperate things. I suggest that we re-evaluate all of our practices. If something does not seem quite right we must make the extra effort to slow the process down, dig deeper, and confirm or deny that the situation is valid and true. Past experiences with brokers, lessees, vendors, lessors, funding sources and banks may not be enough to skip important due diligent processes. Each of these organizations is facing many challenges and one individual within one organization can sour the process and create incredible financial harm for many stakeholders who in the past were trusted business partners.

My past experience has always led me to the same conclusions. If something seems too good to be true then it probably is. If someone is unwilling to answer basic questions then they were more often than not trying to hide valuable information which may alter the transaction. When normal ongoing processes suddenly change, then troubles may be on the horizon. If a business partner is suddenly in a hurry and claims that a transaction has a limited time constraint or they won't be able to hold up their side of the agreement, then it is time to slow down the process. When individuals are asking for exceptions and pleading for sympathy, because of their financial situation, then it's time to rethink your involvement in the transaction. Most importantly my gut is usually right when a situation doesn't seem right, then I am best served by following my instincts and either walk away from a transaction, or slow the process down while verifying the situation.

Honesty is always the best policy. Those who work in the gray area will pay their price eventually. The lease originator who believes their participation in a faulty deal will produce good income today is not considering the long term effects of having a tarnished reputation in our industry. The leasing world is quite small; and intentional missteps, misleading information or the unwillingness to protect your fellow business partners and even competitors will quickly deteriorate your ability to maximize your profits in the future. Equally as impressive, is the ability to develop personal integrity and respect in our industry when you are instrumental in flushing out bad situations and individuals who are involved in activities which are harmful to all of the stakeholders in the leasing/financing community. The industry depends upon lease originator to be the engine which drives our business into the future and most importantly to promote ethics, integrity and respect among all stakeholders.

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Please let me know your thoughts, suggestions or ideas.
scott@wheelerbusinessconsulting.com or 410-877-0428 .

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