Can a Debt Settlement Letter Help You With Debt Negotiation?

Before you spend any time looking for a sample credit card debt settlement letter, know that they may not be necessary for you to get debt relief. You can achieve your goals, get your debts reduced and significantly reduce your stress and anxiety levels with debt negotiation. But you may not need outdated methods to achieve those goals.

Many people still believe that they can send a debt settlement letter to their creditors and get a timely response to their offer that agrees to all their demands. This is not the case anymore. The major credit card banks like Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, and Discover card receives millions of pieces of mail every month. You cannot expect them to read your letter and provide a quick response if at all to your offer.

If you do happen to receive a response, it will probably say that they do not offer debt negotiation programs or that you have to call in to their call center to discuss your account.

A letter through the mail cannot “negotiate” for you. A negotiation is something that is dynamic and can change in a few minutes. The only way to do this is over the phone. In order for do-it-yourself debt negotiation to work, you have to get comfortable with calling up your creditors and negotiating a reduction on your balances. It works the same just as if you were buying a used car.

It is actually easier to do over the phone because you cannot see the other person and they cannot see you so that makes it easier to play hardball and negotiate for a larger reduction than if you had to see them face-to-face.

Once you fall 120 to 150 days behind on your credit card payments you may start to receive debt settlement offers from your creditors which give you a starting point on the negotiations. Since they have shown they are willing to negotiate, you can call them up and see if they will accept a smaller lump-sum payment that you actually have. You may not have the amount they are asking for in the letter.

Then once you have reached an agreement on an offer that you can afford, ask your credit card bank to fax or mail you the details of the settlement with the payment amounts and due dates. This is the only “debt settlement letter” that you must have before you make your first payment on your settlement. You can negotiate without using any other debt settlement letters.

OSRAM – The Five Components of an Effective Presentation – Part 1 of 5 – The Objective

How do you give an Effective Presentation? What makes the difference between an average presentation and an effective presentation? This is Part 1 of 5 in a series of articles.

There are five main components of an effective business presentation. The acronym OSRAM should help you to remember them and help you to light up your audience. The five components are:

  • The Objective
  • The Speaker
  • The Room
  • The Audience
  • The Message

You should consider each of these components in turn to maximize the effectiveness of your presentation. Neglecting any individual component can ruin an otherwise successful presentation. Put them together correctly and you will turn on a light in people’s heads; brighten up their lives; get your audience to see and understand things, about which they were previously in the dark.

This series of articles looks at each of these components in turn and discover what needs to be done to ensure the success of that component.

The Objective

What do you want the audience to do as a result of your presentation?

To create an effective presentation the first thing you need to decide is what the objective of the presentation is. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

But there may be more to that simple statement than you first perceive. You could say that for a product presentation the objective is for the audience to learn about the product, but that would be a very poor objective, as there is no action associated with it and no way of measuring how successfully it has been accomplished. The question you should ask yourself is ‘Okay, after my presentation they will know more about our product, but what do I want them to do next?’.

If your answer is ‘I want them to buy it’ then maybe you have gone to the other extreme. This objective may be fine if you work on a market stall and sell a vegetable chopper that cuts, slices and dices everything from tomatoes to pineapples. In that case, it may be realistic that after you have presented how easy it is to use and what a lovely job it makes, some people will want to buy one. For a market stall presentation, “selling the product” is a very good and plausible objective, which is measured by the thickness of your wallet at the end of the day.

However, for most business-to-business sales, it is unlikely that the presentation will lead directly to the sale. The sale may happen months later by which time you will have forgotten how well the presentation went.

So what is your objective? And how can you measure your success? The best objectives are SMART objectives.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

In the above examples objectives “getting the audience to know more about my products” is not easily measurable or very specific, and buying the product is not very timely.

A reasonable objective, when the presentation is the first real contact that members of the audience have had with your company, may be for 40% to arrange follow up meetings with your sales force.

When you are presenting at a conference on a subject, in which your company specializes, you may measure the success by the number of people who come up to talk to you after you have finished. You can set yourself a target of say 10 people. If only two people want to talk to you afterward, then it may be because your presentation did not stir up enough interest. If over 20 people come to talk you, you will have exceeded your expectations.

As every presentation has an objective it is important that the presentation concludes with a call to action that informs, encourages and directs people to meet your objective. If you want them to arrange a meeting with your sales force, you need to tell them to arrange that meeting and make it as easy as possible for them to do it. Consider having the sales force join you after the presentation so they can talk to their prospective clients, there and then.

With an objective of having people to talk with you after a conference presentation, you need to tell the audience where you will be and that you would welcome the opportunity to discuss any aspect of the subject in more depth, on an individual basis, or answer any more specific questions that your presentation has raised in their minds.

As you can see, by objective, what I am really talking about is what action you want the delegates to take following the presentation.

Of course, yours is not the only objective you need to consider. What are the audience’s objectives likely to be? What do they want to get from your presentation? Understanding your audience and their objectives is the key to an effective presentation and is discussed in the section entitled ‘The Audience’.

Your OSRAM objective should be SMART and remember to use a call to action at the end of you presentation to reinforce your objective.

How to Achieve Your Future by Focusing on the Present

We all have goals & dreams that we are moving towards & striving to achieve. This is a good thing, or can it be bad also? How many of us never reach our dreams & goals & yet we have tried so hard & really thought about nothing else? I believe the mistake most of us make is that we do not focus on our present situation near enough.

Let me explain. Most of us see our present situation as simply marking time as we move towards our future goals & dreams, like a stepping stone that we use simply as a means to reaching our final destination. I truly believe herein lies our problem! We do not take the time to genuinely appreciate where we are today & all the great things we already have in our lives. As the old saying says, we should be focused on the journey & not on the destination, or we will miss all the beautiful scenery along the way.

Let’s use our job as an example. Now most of us want a promotion of some description. We have plans to become the supervisor or manager or general manager in our companies. But alas, most of us will never reach this goal, but will watch others achieve our goal instead. We will make many excuses as to why this happened, & in the end we will feel comforted in knowing that it was unfair, we were robbed, the other guy was the boss’s favorite, & whatever else makes us feel better.

What we should be doing, is focusing on the job we are currently in now. Forget where we want to get to & just focus on the present. You see, what we can control is our performance in our current job. We can decide to be the best we can possibly be in our current job. Now this may mean further education to have the skills we currently do not have to do our job better. It may mean working harder to produce better results than our peers. It could simply be a change of attitude to stop complaining & become a more loyal & supportive employee. By doing our current job to the very best of our abilities, we in fact give ourselves the very best chance of promotion, even though we have not been focusing on the promotion.

We can use this same example for any aspect of our lives. We all want a bigger, better home. But we should be appreciating the one we already have & making it the best it can possibly be. This will make us happier now, & will increase the value in the future when the time is right to sell & move up.

So the best thing for all of us to do to achieve our dreams & goals is to just focus on what we have & where we are now. Do the best & be the best we possibly can in our current situations, & we will give ourselves the very best chance of reaching our goals & dreams in the future. We have heard all the old sayings & they are all true: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, ‘patience is a virtue’, ‘every great journey begins with the first step’, & so on.

Have patience, have appreciation for what we already have, & take the time to help others be the very best they can. Do these things & we will all reach our goals & dreams, but more importantly, we will enjoy every day of the journey in getting there.