How Strategic Capital’s Max Worth Treats Customers
I received a very emotional call from a gentleman the other day who had been struggling with financial hardships since the start of the pandemic.
The reality is: I get a lot of calls just like this one; a REAL conversation about REAL issues.
Here’s how it went:
The call came in around 7:30pm. The gentleman was seeking to sell his Structured Settlement Payments. He’s 49 and receives $1,000 per month for the rest of his life. We started talking, and he told me about some of the things he and his wife are going through during the pandemic. It turns out he shattered his foot years ago and is really struggling to continue working at his current job which keeps him on his feet for 12 to 16 hours a day. His plan was to sell his monthly payments for a lump sum, pay off his mortgage, and take a new job that pays less but would keep him off his feet. He got really emotional over the phone and as he started to choke up I could tell that he hadn’t even spoken to his own family about how he’s been struggling.
My heart truly broke for this man. He must be in a really bad situation to be thinking about this as a solution.
Second, I am really glad that I was the first person he called because it gave me an opportunity to focus on what matters. And what matters is this man’s future.
If I am the 3rd or 4th person someone calls for a quote, all the caller is interested in is a price higher than my competition. That’s fine, as I don’t like wasting time, so I lead with my best offer. However, it’s extremely hard to get people thinking about their bigger picture or their master plan when my competition didn’t ask them the important questions, focused only on price while encouraging them to sell. By the time they get to contacting me, the fact that I’m asking how they will support themselves once they sell their future payments becomes uncomfortable and a real turn-off for them.
But since this man called me first, he had the patience to talk openly about his plans. The idea to sell his monthly tax-free payments to pay off low-interest debt so he and his wife could rest easy was a noble cause, but not a practical solution. I reminded him that when the pandemic kept him home from work, this annuity was there; one day when he’s in too much pain to work, this annuity will be there; when tax season hits, he’ll never pay tax on his annuity income; and if he were to get hit by a car tomorrow, his annuity will be there to support his recovery or his beneficiaries.
After we formed a connection, discussed the challenges he’s facing, and established what the value of these payments are, only then did we talk about price.
Yes – There is a BIG difference between value and price. Value is certainly relative and unique to everyone, while price is indiscriminately the same. I obviously can’t pay this man more money because he laughed at my jokes or because I felt bad for his situation; what I can pay is what I can pay. But these payments have a different, specific value for him compared to another customer of mine.
He and I both agreed that it was in his best interest to keep these payments and look for alternatives to increase his monthly savings. We talked about tightening his spending through a budget, applying for pandemic-relief benefits from his state, applying for SSD due to his injury, and even looking for other assets that he could sell — like some old tools and machines he had in his garage.
We spent a total of 35 minutes on the phone. At first, he was nervous, embarrassed and worried. By the time we hung up, he was chuckling, had a little more confidence, and even said that maybe his financial situation wasn’t as bad as he thought it was. Final decision, he’s keeping his annuity. After the weekend I placed a follow up call to check-in and offer to answer any lingering questions. He simply told me that he had the closure he needed about the value of his annuity.
This is what I do. And this is why it’s a good idea for me to be the first call your clients make when thinking about selling their structured settlement payments. This is how I treat all my customers, whether they reach me by referral or otherwise.
I do not know who the settling attorney, settlement planner or broker was for this gentleman — but if this was your client, would you be satisfied with this experience?