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PAWNLEADERS T H E E S S E N T I A L PAW N I N D U ST RY G U I D E

YIGAL ADATO

Lifesty le

THE PAWN LEADERS

THRIVING IN THE FACE OF FEAR PIVOTING IN YOUR PAWNSHOP

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PAWN READS TOM’S PAWN BOOK CLUB WITH BRIAN GARRETT PAWN HOT TOPICS #PAWNPROUD Ameripawn’s Christine King

ISSUE #1 | 2020

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MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD 2 0 2 0 N PA L E G I S L AT I V E CONFERENCE APRIL 21-22 E M B A S S Y S U I T E S B Y H I LT O N C R Y S TA L C I T Y N AT I O N A L A I R P O R T A R L I N GTO N, VA M U S T B E A PA W N B R O K E R M E M B E R O F N PA T O AT T E N D .

N AT I O N A L P A W N B R O K E R S . O R G / L E G I S L AT I V E - C O N F E R E N C E


INTRODUCTION B Y Y I G A L A DATO

WHAT IS A PAWN LEADER? AFTER SELLING MY STORES to my brother in 2015, I decided to become a business coach and professional speaker. I worked with all sorts of different types of businesses. That year, I reached out to the NPA and secured a keynote speaking spot. I was so happy and grateful for the opportunity to speak to a community that had given me so much. I wrote for months and rehearsed for even more. I wanted this speech to be perfect. After I gave the speech, I had many people congratulate me and say how it really shifted their way of thinking. It was one particular pawnbroker, however, who really made the Pawn Leaders vision a reality. She approached me after my speech and after most had already left the room to go on the next session. She had tears in her eyes and gave me a hug. She told me that my speech made her realize how she wasn’t spending enough time with her family and how her lack of instilling leadership was affecting her business. I was shaken because she reminded me of my own father, whose life had taught me so many lessons that would eventually bring me to the path that I was on. When I was growing up, he would work six days a week, 14 hours a day to give us an amazing life. But I never got to see him. My Dad used to always say that he was going to “Work hard today to enjoy tomorrow.” Parkinson’s and Dementia, however, took that dream away, and now, he’s not able to enjoy his old age in the way that he envisioned. I thought back to my own ‘why’. When my wife and I first got married, I had fallen into the same pattern that I had seen from my dad. I would work the same six days a week and 14 hours a day. That is, until one day, she sat me down and looked me in the eye and said: “I didn’t get married to be alone.” At the Pawn Expo that day, as I looked into this woman’s tear-filled eyes, I realized that I had chosen my path not because I didn’t want to be in the pawnshop, but because I wasn’t leading my life. And it was impacting my family and me. I then realized that I had to focus myself wholly on giving back to a community that gave me so much. The pawn industry had taught me how to be a businessman, how to negotiate, and gave us a great life. The issue that had caused me to leave was that we were operating our pawn business in exactly the same way that I had promised myself I would never. I knew from experience how easy it could be to slip into that imbalanced lifestyle. I then walked out into the convention center, and somebody else approached me. Then another and another. This was confirmation that something had to be done specifically serving the pawn industry. 4

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I had been coaching different types of businesses with success, but on that day, I decided that I would dive headfirst into a focus on transforming the pawn industry. That’s when I started the podcast and then the Mastermind. Every time I spoke, more and more pawnbrokers would come up talking about the depression they were facing, the marriages that were breaking, how they are tired and overwhelmed. I took my own story and my own experience in pawnbroking and combined it with my training and experience in leadership to create a way for pawnbrokers to make more, stress less, and live an epic life—all while working at the pawnshop. At one time, people spoke of successful pawnbrokers as the ones who had multiple stores and high loan balances. What good is financial success, however, if you don’t succeed in all aspects of your life? What good is a high loan balance if you don’t also have a strong work and life balance? It was then that I formulated the Pawn Leaders identity. Everything I do is aimed towards of improving the lives of people like my father, who are endlessly dedicated to providing a good life to their family whose own quality of life suffers. I often think of how much the Pawn Leaders community would’ve meant to my Dad while he was building his business. He was able to attend our PL100 event for a short time in January and I was blown away when those in attendance gave him a standing ovation. No one else could’ve possibly known the significance of that moment for me. Pawn Leaders are people who work in the pawnbroking industry that are committed to leading in their life, their relationships, and at work. Pawn Leaders aren’t just sitting around waiting for clients to walk in but are actively marketing their business. And Pawn Leaders are consistently strategizing on ways to grow their business while still being present at home. I am humbled and grateful that so many have taken the time to become a part of our community, participate in our Mastermind and other offerings. Now, it is my great honor to introduce you to your Pawn Leaders magazine!

TOP Left: The team from Best Collateral in the San Francisco Bay area enjoy the lunch break at the PL100 event; TOP Middle: David Brownlee presents Rockstar Customer Service; TOP Right: PL100 Speakers David Brownlee, Yigal Adato, Joost Janssen, and Mike Ganino; Second Row: Attendees at the PL100 Event in San Diego, California, January 2020; Third Row Left: ___Neil__, Yigal, and Moris Adato; Third Row Middle: Jeff Wilhelm speaking at PL100; Third Row Right: Greg Engstrom, Sam Read, and Jerry Whitehead; Bottom Left: Seth Ward from PawnInsurance.com; Bottom Middle: Attendees enjoying their lunch break; Bottom Right: Yigal with Dino Watt, Author of Hire and Fire Like a Boss PAWNLEADERS.COM

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17 LIFE BALANCE

Leading Your Life

Cherry Blossoms. One more reason to attend this years NPA Legislative Conference.

21 PAWN LEADERS TOP SHOPS 2020

Is YOUR STORE One of the BEST in North America?

D E P A R T M E N T S 8 NOTES

26 PAWN READS

30 HOT TOPICS

9 EDITOR’S NOTE

10 LEADERSHIP

28 #PAWNPROUD

Thriving in the Face of Fear

15 MARKETING

A look at the Tom’s Pawn Book Club with Brian Garrett

Ameripawns Christine King Talks About Life on the Front Page.

Tips for Growing Your Loan Balance with Sam Shocket of Kings Jewelery and Loan

32 STRATEGY

Pawnshop Pivots

36 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Improving Your Online Reviews

29 CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 24 PAWN FAMILY 6

Friendly Success Collaboration Between Pawnbroking Peers ISSUE 1 PAWNLEADERS MAGAZINE

Worth Every Cup Fieldstone Jewelery and Pawn

38 QUOTABLE

George Benson Speaks the Truth

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EDITOR’S NOTE BY CYNDEE HARRISON

PAWN We want YOU to be a part LEADERS

of our Top Shops Awards!

2020

Enter @ pawnleaders.com/TopShops!

TOP SHOPS

Email mag@pawnleaders.com with questions.

HOW TO USE A QR CODE:

Throughout the magazine, you’ll find QR Codes that lead to important links. To access them, simply:

Pawn Leaders Magazine wishes to thank those who contributed to this issue. We invite you to become a part of our Contributor’s Council by emailing mag@pawnleaders.com Be sure that you join our private Facebook Group to connect with the Pawn Leaders Community. facebook.com/groups/pawnleaderspodcast/

1. Open up the camera application on your smartphone 2. Position your phone so that the QR code appears in the view as if you were going to take a photo of it. 3. A notification bar will pop up at the top of the screen. Tap on the notification bar to access the link.

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We hope you enjoy this inaugural edition of Pawn Leaders Magazine! Please share a selfie of YOU with this issue’s cover and share it! Be sure to use the #PawnLeaders hashtag and TAG us!

Listen to episodes of the Pawn Leaders Podcast: pawnleaders.com/podcast/ Call for photos: if you have high resolution photography (pawnshop related) that you’d like to see in Pawn Leaders magazine, please email our editor at mag@pawnleaders.com

ADVERTISE WITH US! Pawn Leaders Magazine’s readership is the largest and most highly-engaged in the industry. Follow the link to learn more about advertising opportunities.

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@pawnleaders

THROUGHOUT MY CAREER IN Communications and Marketing, I’ve been fortunate to work with business owners and leaders from a wide variety of industries. Until about eight years ago, however, I’d never worked with a pawnbroker. I had, in fact, never even stepped inside a pawnshop. At the time, I was working at a marketing agency in Metro Detroit, where I live. A colleague and I were driving between client meetings when suddenly, he unexpectedly swerved to exit off of the highway, exclaiming, “There’s THAT pawnshop! Let’s go in!” I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, but he was clearly determined to stop by. We walked into the store and stood awkwardly in the middle of the showroom, gawking at the lines of people waiting for a photo or an autograph, customers waiting at the pawn windows or milling about, and the film crew running around talking to one another on walkie-talkies. It was a wild scene. My friend was too starstruck to say anything more than “You have to introduce yourself to them!” That is how I first met the Gold family, who owns and operates American Jewelry and Loan. At the time, they were in the midst of filming a reality television show, truTV’s Hardcore Pawn. I did introduce myself. Fast forward just a few months later, in fact, I joined American Jewelry and Loan’s team full time. I served as their Director of Marketing and PR for nearly six years. In that time, I was able to visit dozens and dozens of pawnshops all over the world, attend numerous conferences and trade shows, and learn about the pawnbroking industry from an entirely unique and high-level viewpoint. Those years were the great adventure of my career, to be sure!  Now that I am no longer in that role, people ask me about the things that I miss most about it, and they usually seem surprised at my answer. While I’m grateful for the high-profile media things that I was a part of, what I enjoyed most about my job at one of the world’s most iconic pawnshops was the connection that I made with the industry itself.  From customers meeting short-term financial goals, to the community that benefitted from our charitable partnerships, to the men and women who work in pawnbroking, my job led me to develop a deep and abiding love of the pawn business and its stakeholders.  I also feel a strong call to serve it. Pawnbroking is a limitless source of fascinating stories, but it’s also one of

the most widely misunderstood businesses in the world. As a result, pawnshops all over the country are facing unprecedented challenges and pressures that didn’t exist only a few years ago. Now, thanks to a gracious invitation from Yigal, I have the opportunity to serve as the Editor of Pawn Leaders Magazine. Our purpose and vision are clear–this magazine seeks to provide straightforward and actionable content that helps readers achieve the Pawn Leaders’ lifestyle.  Pawn Leaders are owner/operators, employees, vendors, and other members of the pawn family who take epic action, work to improve their life balance as well as their loan balance, and lead epic lives. This magazine is for and about you.  I am so grateful to the individuals who contributed to the articles in this inaugural issue, and invite you to join our Contributor’s Council as well! I welcome your feedback and recommendations for future topics that will help you make more, stress less, and live an epic life all while working in the pawnshop. Cyndee Harrison Editor in Chief mag@pawnleaders.com

Join the contributor’s council and learn more about the magazine at pawnleaders.com

Here’s a fun shot of me and da’ man.

PAWNLEADERS.COM

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LEADERSHIP

Joost Janssen is a former member of the elite Navy SEALs who spoke at the PL100 conference in January on the topic of Thriving through fear.

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THRIVING IN THE FACE OF FEAR BEING A LEADER IN A PAWNSHOP can be an intimidating job. When we asked our Contributors Council of pawnbrokers about their most common fears, responses ranged from finding qualified staff to competing with new resale channels. The most commonlymentioned fear, however, was the fear of changes in legislation. One contributor noted, “I live in fear that Congress will change the laws about pawnbroking, and I’ll have to shut down.” It’s a well-founded concern, according to Dave Griffiths who has owned pawnshops in California and Oregon and now advises pawnbrokers across the country on compliance. “If every pawnbroker in the country truly knew just how dangerous the proposed bills were, I believe that the vast majority would step up right now to fight for their livelihood,” Griffith said, referencing The Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act (H.R. 5050 and S. 2833).   House Bill 5050 and Senate Bill 2833 were introduced in November. Both have landed in committee and are well on their way being put to the vote soon.  Packaged as a step towards consumer protection, they broadly lump pawnshops together with other alternative lenders. Why? Most lawmakers simply do not understand the difference between pawnshops and other alternative lenders like title loans and payday advances. They may also fail to understand that without access to pawnshops, customers may be forced into options that can ruin their credit and cost them their job.    H.R. 5050 and S.2833 would extend the MLA’s 36% APR cap to loans offered to all consumers, not just active-duty service members and their families. Notably, the bill also employs MLA’s method for calculating APR. As a result, every pawnshop in the country would be impacted, including those who live in states known as “3% states” like Rhode Island, Massachutes, and Michigan. Additional fees, even for storage, setup, lost tickets, firearms, or late payments would be eliminated.  Instead, pawnshops would only be allowed to collect a straight 3% interest that would be charged at a daily rate of .0985%. That means a $100 loan would pay back a maximum of $3 a month. If your customer borrowed $100 for a week, the pawnshop would get a return of seventy-five cents.   “Let that sink in,” says Griffiths.   The effects of this change would be far-reaching beyond the pawnshop owner/operator. There are an estimated 50,000 individuals whose livelihood depends on the pawnbroking industry and another 30 million who use their services.   Facing the realization that your business is on the line is fearful and overwhelming. How, then, should Pawn Leaders face their fears brought about by these changing laws?   PAWNLEADERS.COM

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TAKE

ACTION

Janssen is a well known military advisor for Hollywood productions.

oost Janssen is a former member of the Navy SEALs who is well known for his work as a military advisor in numerous Hollywood productions. He spoke to pawnbrokers attending the PL100 event about turning fear into an asset.  “The goal is not to be fearless. Rather, the goal is to learn how to handle your fear and make it an asset instead of a barrier,” Janssen says. “Fear tells you when you need to slow down and pay attention.”  Pawnbrokers should, therefore, channel their fears into preparing, visualizing, and working towards the goal of combating them.   Janssen recommends identifying the variables that are in your control and the ones that are not. Nothing good comes from fretting over things that are entirely out of your control. “Make your decisions before things get hard. Then trust your decision.”  For Pawn Leaders, it boils down to making the decision to take epic action to produce an epic result.  Knowing your motivation or identifying your ‘why’ is important, he notes, but motivation alone won’t get you through the tough stuff. 12

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“Motivation is important, but it’s fleeting. Your motivation isn’t going to be there when things get hard. So you have to go back to your original decision and your character. Start building a pattern with small decisions and stick with them. Don’t be that person that lies to yourself.” He recommends asking yourself, ‘Who are you? Who are you becoming?’ it’s what he calls defining an identity. Next, ask how a person who lives in this identity responds to things and write down those characteristics. Then, you look for people to emulate who live according to that identity already.   “Navy SEALs have an earned identity. If it’s your goal to become one, then you have a clear picture in your head of what the end looks like and what the rules of the road are. You can start living by those rules before you become one.”  Following this example, pawnbrokers can take on the identity of a Pawn Leader, taking actions now that will help ensure their future instead of sitting back and waiting for someone else to take the lead or hoping that the issue dies in committee.

“There’s so much good that happens in the midst of misery,” Janssen says. Jay Bernstein, owner of Valley Pawn in Albuquerque, New Mexico, can relate to the sort of misery that comes about as a result of legislators impacting his business. The Albuquerque City Council introduced regulations requiring photos and fingerprints of each customer and pawn loan payouts in the form of checks mailed to the customer’s home three days after the transaction. Had these laws passed, the results would have been devastating to Valley Pawn and the customers they serve.   “You have to get out and meet with the politicians,” he shared. After joining forces with other local pawnshops, he opened up a dialogue with the community and, most importantly, invited all of his city council members to come to his shop for a tour. “They had no idea what it is that pawnbrokers do,” he adds, “because none of them had ever been in a pawnshop.”   In the end, Bernstein’s efforts paid off. When asked about the secret to beating the legislation, he noted that it boiled down to one thing—educating

the lawmakers. “So much of their opposition to pawnbroking had no real grounds other than the stigmas and bad information,” he said.  The same is true for the state and federal level of government “Legislators across the board are largely ignorant of how the pawnbroking industry fits into the grander scheme of things,” Griffiths adds. Many simply do not understand the business model and the fact that pawn loans are the only available alternative lending solution that doesn’t impact the customer’s future ability to borrow money. “Without considering cause and effect, they blindly pass laws that will have a devastating impact on literally millions of people.”  Where should you, as a Pawn Leader, begin? Start by showing up. Joost Janssen says that showing up is the most critical step towards success. “Once you show up, you’re on the way. There’s no way that you can get any opportunities until you get out there. You’ve got to be around the places where opportunities happen.” 

SHOWING UP

Here are six ways Pawn Leaders can harness the fear of changing legislation: 1. GET INVOLVED The National Pawnbrokers Association monitors legislation and engages with an industry lobbyist in addition to hosting an Annual Legislative Conference in Washington. Becoming an NPA member, getting involved, and familiarizing yourself with the talking points and other materials that they provide at nationalpawnbrokers.org is the critical first step. Next, you need to support your state or regional pawn association. But you cannot stop there.    2. UNDERSTAND HOW LAWS ARE MADE Laws at every level of government start with an idea. That idea can come from anyone. Oftentimes, a law begins when one or more citizens contact their elected officials to share their ideas and concerns. The lawmaker introduces a bill. Then, other elected officials will have an opportunity to weigh in, even if their understanding of the issues is limited to their personal experience or even just a Google search. This is why the public perception of pawnbroking, which is often formed in the media, matters so much.    3. CONNECT WITH YOUR LAWMAKERS Begin with identifying legislators in your city, state, as well as in Washington.  Check out their websites for calendars and find out when and where they are holding public meetings or other opportunities to meet. Once you have their names and contact information, make a plan for establishing contact with them (an example of a plan is provided on p. 14) that includes mail, email, social media posts, phone calls, and in-person conversations. Show up persistently and encourage others to do the same. This is the n ew reality for pawnbrokers; the issue is not going away, so focus on building a long-term relationship.   4. BE PROACTIVE IN YOUR APPROACH On the day that lawmakers are scheduled to vote on legislation that impacts your business, it will be too late to make your case to them effectively or to build a network that can rally behind your cause. That’s why it’s essential to set aside some time starting NOW to actively work on ways that you, your employees, and your customers can take action. Even if these particular bills were to die in committee, the central issue is not likely to go away and lawmakers need ongoing reminders of the important role pawnshops play in the lives of their communities and stakeholders.   5. GET PERSONAL Instead of a form letter, send handwritten notes that share relatable stories about ways that the pawn industry affects the lives of your customers and their families, your employees, your stakeholders, and the community. Follow up with telephone calls and emails. Don’t stop there. It’s also essential to build relationships with other business owners and leaders in your community, many of whom have political influence of their own. Show up at local networking events, including your Chamber of Commerce. Help them understand your point of view by inviting them, as well as lawmakers and other influencers, to visit your pawnshop.   6. SPREAD THE GOOD Your communication with email subscribers, social media followers, website visitors, and even foot traffic shouldn’t be limited to promoting your products and services. Your voice in your online and offline community should also be used to protect your reputation and the reputation of your industry. Focus on generating and sharing content that demonstrates the value that pawnbrokers provide to the community. Work with your local media to create positive news stories about your pawnshop. When you see positive news stories about other pawnshops, share them! By channeling your fears into actions, you have a genuine opportunity to ensure the future of pawnbroking. PAWNLEADERS.COM

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LAUNCH A ‘SAVE OUR STORE’ CAMPAIGN Ready to make a plan for epic action but wondering where to start? Consider launching a grassroots letter-writing campaign using the following steps as inspiration:

1. IDENTIFY YOUR STAKEHOLDERS You need to identify the people in your network that would be willing and able to communicate with lawmakers on your behalf. This will likely include employees, customers, and other businesses including vendors. 2. GET THEM ON BOARD In clear and concise terms, you need to let others know that the very existence of your business and the pawn industry as a whole is on the line. By making their voice heard, they have a chance to play a pivotal role in making a difference. 3. DO THE MATH Calculate some of the local impact, figuring out how many jobs would be lost, the number of customers who would have to seek other solutions for smalldollar short-term loans, and impact to the local economy.  4. PREPARE YOUR TALKING POINTS Cut-and-pasted form letters are not as effective as individual heartfelt sentiments. Therefore, you want to write a sample letter that customers can use as a guide, but encourage them to add their own individual insights. Begin your sample letter to lawmakers with a polite and informative greeting like “I am writing about The Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act (H.R. 5050 and S. 2833), currently before the legislature. I encourage you to oppose this legislation as written on the grounds that it would…”. Then, fill in with the talking points that you’ve put together.    5. MAKE IT EASY TO PARTICIPATE  Provide the instructions, talking points, contact information, even the paper and stamped envelopes at an eye-catching display in your store. Share it on social media along with the reasons why it’s so important. Train your employees to talk about the issue with your customers and ask for their help by “Have you sent a letter to our legislators to help our store remain open?”    6. MAKE IT VIRAL Pen-and-paper letter-writing is the best place to start, followed by face-to-face conversations with lawmakers. Your efforts cannot end there. Encourage your social media community to get on board, sharing their support of your store using the hashtag #SOSPAWN (Save Our Store–PAWN), and tagging elected officials’ social media accounts.  Lawmakers and others need to understand the difference between pawnshops and other alternative lenders from the perspective of your customers, employees, community, and other stakeholders—all of whom are voters.

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HOW TO FIND THE LAWMAKERS WHOSE DECISIONS IMPACT YOUR PAWNSHOP You can track bills, review upcoming legislation, and see how your local representatives are voting in your state at openstates.org. Members of the US House of Representatives from your state are listed at house.gov.  Find members of the House Committee on Financial Services at financialservices.house.gov. Find your US Senators at senate.gov. Find members of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs at banking.senate.gov. Find still more elected officials’ contact information at  usa.gov/elected-officials. 

Hear more about legislation affecting your industry from the current NPA President, Kerry Rainey on Episode 105 of the Pawn Leaders podcast.

MARKETING IMPROVING ONLINE REVIEWS According to a 2017 survey from Brightlocal, 97% of consumers look at online search and social sites for information on local businesses. Of those respondents, 85% said they trust online reviews from strangers as much as personal recommendations from someone they know.   For any small business, online review sites such as Yelp, Facebook, and Google are vital tools for attracting new customers. “If a pawnshop is not doing their online marketing properly, they are missing out on attracting savvy customers who live by Google,” says Nick Fulton, who has spent nearly thirty years in the pawnbroking and serves as the President of the Mississippi Pawnbroking Association.    The process that his USA Pawn of Mississippi stores use to encourage customer reviews is straightforward. “It’s simple,” he says, “our team members just ask for it just like asking for an ID when doing a transaction.” Every interaction centers on letting the customer know how much their opinion is valued.    It’s also a great reinforcement of their company’s core values and employee engagement. “We have instilled in our team members that this part of the process is only going to benefit them. Since we now have so much competition out there, our staff understands that our online presence is only going to help drive more customers into the store. More new customers through the door mean security, growth, and opportunity for them.”    Training your team is, therefore, the first step. The next priority, according to Will Bauer, is making it super easy for customers to leave their positive reviews. Bauer serves as the Director of Offline Marketing and Design for Bravo Pawn Systems. Their software

includes a review tool that contacts the customer and walks them through the process with just a few clicks.   “In our studies of customer behavior in pawn transactions,” he says, “we’ve found that people who have a negative experience are more likely to leave a review than someone who’s had a positive one.”     Pawn Leaders must, therefore, be proactive about encouraging their customers to advocate on their behalf so that reviews don’t skew more negatively than reality. Their pawnbroking software includes a review tool that their users find helpful. “You’re asking the customer to go some extra effort and do a favor for your business, and it’s important to make it easy for them to do it,” he says.    Cameron Wiseman from Podium agrees, “Sure, most pawn shops have a steady flow of repeat customers, to continue to win new business in today’s world, it’s important first to get found and give confidence to a potential customer.” Among the nearly 150,000 users of Podium’s Reputation Management software, about 500 are pawnshops.    “After they invest in their reputation and gather reviews from existing clients, pawnbrokers are usually surprised by the volume of new customers who mention those reviews as the thing that influenced their decision to come into the shop for the first time,” he adds.    As any business owner knows, however, customer feedback isn’t always positive. Bauer sees value in the complaints. “People write reviews when they are emotionally charged. Letting someone walk out of the store with negative energy can let that emotion turn into lots of bad behaviors that can grow and grow, having a far more significant impact beyond just a negative online review. Providing them an opportunity to be heard, even when they’re complaining, gives them an outlet for that emotion and makes them feel like their opinion is important to you.    It’s a sentiment echoed by Fulton “We respond to every review,

Use the camera in your phone to link to the podcast episode. PAWNLEADERS.COM

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TAKE A HIKE with Perry

Jewelry sells faster when it comes with a certificate.

YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT CARDCERTSTM!

$29.95 *Min. order of 10 cardCerts, use code PL100

JAGILAB.COM INFO@JAGILAB.COM 844.240.JAGI(5244)

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“I’VE ALWAYS ENJOYED HIKING, but it wasn’t until I participated in the Pawn Leaders Masterclass that I got more mindful of my own personal development and success,” says Perry Lewin. “Now, I’ve really gotten purposeful about it.” Perry grew up participating in Boy Scouts and says that he’s always been a fan of nature and the great outdoors. A third-generation jeweler with over 23 years of experience in the pawn industry, he owns Decatur Jewelry and Pawn located in Decatur and Mount Zion, Illinois.  Hiking isn’t only beneficial to one’s physical health, but their mental and emotional health as well, according to Lewin. He explains that the time he spends traversing outdoors helps him create the clarity that helps him express his thoughts and viewpoints as a leader.  “I reset myself when I’m hiking. I am able to find myself spiritually, physically, and mentally,” he explains. Adding, “I can sort my thoughts out and come out with solutions to personal or business goals or problems that are pressing.”  His favorite trail is the Shawnee National Forest. This spring, he’s planning to complete The River to River Trail, a 160 mile-long hiking trail that serves Shawnee National Forest in far southern Illinois. He’s planning to complete the trail in segments accompanied by his 23-year-old son who just graduated from college.  Second only to his personal love for hiking, Perry is passionate about introducing this lifestyle to others. To

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that end, he’s started a Facebook page entitled ‘Take A Hike–With Perry’ where he shares photos from his hikes as well as tips for others. For anyone interested in pursuing hiking, his advice harkens back to his days as a Boy Scout “Always be prepared,” he says. “You have to research and get the right hiking gear, especially shoes and basic first aid supplies, as well as adequate water.” It’s also essential to understand the trail in a way that isn’t dependent on your phone or other electronics. A study by SmokyMountains.com found that wandering off-trail is the number one reason, ahead of injury and bad weather, that adult hikers require search and rescue.  Perry adds, “Hikers get in trouble because they under prepare. It’s also important to let someone know where you’re going and what time you’re expecting to be home.”  The preparation and planning are worth the payoff, Perry believes, “If I can introduce even one person to the benefits of hiking, it’s a WIN,” he says. 

Aim your phone’s camera at this QR code to jump to the ‘Take a Hike with Perry’ Facebook page!

PAWNLEADERS.COM

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I realized that if I didn’t get h e a l t h y, I w o u l d be teaching my kids that being u n h e a l t h y i s o k . “

A N C E

How One Pawnbroker LOST OVER 100 POUNDS JEREMY JACOBSEN IS A 1ST GENERATION PAWNBROKER who is a co-owner of two pawnshops in Phoenix, Arizona. He’s planning to grow to a total of five stores in the next five years. His dream is to build a legacy for his two daughters, Kylie and Kyra.  It wasn’t so long ago, however, that his future felt more uncertain. “My dad died at the age of 50. On the day that I turned 48, I was just five pounds shy of the same weight that he had been on the day that he died,” he says.  The road forward wasn’t immediately clear for Jeremy. Pawnshops are notoriously unhealthy workplaces. “I was drinking six or seven sodas every single day,” he recalls “and there’s such a lack of structure to the workday, it’s easier just to grab something fast,” he says “And most of the restaurants in the areas around my shops had no healthy options.”  18

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What worked for Jeremy was connecting with a health coach who is a part of a structured program “It boils down to accountability. If you stick with the plan, it will work, and it’s so worth it.” “If you have a healthy mind, body, and soul, then it makes it easy to focus with clarity at work so much better. I lost 100 pounds between August of 2018 and August 2019. I am determined to stay healthy, focusing on working out, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and watching my weight.”   He adds, “if I can inspire even a single pawnbroker to get healthy, then it will be worth it to me.” 

“if I can inspire even a single pawnbroker to g e t h e a l t h y, t h e n it will be worth i t t o m e .”

A HEALTHY PAWN LEADERS LIFESTYLE with Yigal Adato I REMEMBER THE MOMENT I WAS 40 POUNDS OVERWEIGHT and realized that is was causing my work at the pawnshop to decline. I was always tired, and it was even tough to stay awake at night. When my daughter was born, I realized I had to make a change, and that’s why one of the most important earmarks of the Pawn Leaders lifestyle is being healthy.    Here is a list of 7 things that worked for me to lose weight and become healthier.    1. Commit - I had to choose to become healthy and not just for me but for my family and team. The more unhealthy I was, the more I started to see the effects on my team members and my family. To make it real, a friend

of mine signed me up for a Spartan race, so I knew I had to really get in gear or else I would suffer on the course, and I did not want that. I also didn’t want to model negative health habits for my children. I once read a parent’s love for their child is commonly assumed to be the greatest, but the truth is that the love of a child to their parent is greater. So much so that the child will emulate what the parent does to feel closer. When I read that, I realized that if I didn’t get healthy, I would be teaching my kids that being unhealthy is ok.   2. Hydration - A study showed that 75% of Americans are dehydrated and that just a 5% drop in dehydration can cause a lack of focus and can cause you to make more mistakes. I wasn’t drinking enough water, and that was causing me to have a lack of clarity. When I drank more water and cut out all sodas, teas, and coffees, I immediately started to feel better. I had some team members drinking up to 5 sodas a day, and when I took out the scale and showed them how much sugar they were drinking, all of us were shocked. Drink more water! Yes, you will use the bathroom more, but that is a good thing. Make sure to have a water cooler available for the team so that they get enough as well.  PAWNLEADERS.COM

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PAWN LEADERS TOP SHOPS

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6. Food Choices - The other thing I see a lot is that many of you might be running out to get fast food ordering your sweet tea with that double burger because it’s quick and easy (and yes, it does taste so good!). But you should always ask yourself whether the food you eat is fueling your body or is it negatively affecting it. Picture spending half a million dollars in building out a store and then just filling it with used golf clubs. Will the shelves be full? Of course. But the bigger question is whether or not that store will be optimized to perform the very best in sales and pawn loans. The same is true with your body. What you choose to eat will make a massive impact on your body, mind, sleep, and even growing your pawnshop.    7. Decompress - I grew up in a high-stress pawnbroking family where we brought everything home and always, and we always talked about the pawn business. The thing that too many of us fail to do is leave our work at work. We fail to make it a priority to decompress and connect with our loved ones. Stress is a killer, and sometimes it could mean walk, meditation, prayer whatever it is for you take a moment and disconnect so that you don’t invite the stress into your body and, most importantly, into your family.

E

3. Move - I have a vivid memory of walking into my first pawn convention and seeing how unhealthy of an industry we had become. My father, uncle, and grandfather all had some type of heart issues. I knew that I had to exercise to lose weight and be able to keep up with the day. I will never forget when I told a client that if you move more, you will make more. He didn’t believe me. Two months later, he said, “Yigal, I started going to the gym, and I don’t know what’s happening, but I feel better, and we are making more money.” Moving the body gets blood flow, and oxygen pumping to your vital organs and also improves brain function. So it’s not just about getting six-pack abs but also about getting a clearer mind, so you make better strategic moves.    5. Sleep - I would come home from the shop, eat dinner, spend time with the wife, and then plop in front of the TV and watch for hours on end. I would go to sleep at 1 am and then wake up at 6, or 7 am to get ready to do it all over again. What I didn’t realize was how much the lack of sleep was affecting my body and my ability to function during the day. Sleep allows you to recover and refresh so that you can not doze off when you have lunch or even when you need to get rid of the march monster after hours.   

“it’s not just about getting six-pack abs but also about getting a clearer mind, so you make better s t r a t e g i c m o v e s . ”

Is YOUR STORE one of the BEST in North America? [TURN THE PAGE[

PAWNLEADERS www.toppawnshops.com PAWNLEADERS.COM

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CUT OUT THIS FLYER AND POST IT IN YOUR STORE TO ENCOURAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO VOTE FOR YOU AS A TOP SHOP #1

PAWN LEADERS TOP SHOPS

2020 Announcing Pawn Leaders Top Shops – a customer-chosen recognition for the best pawnshops in North America! Everybody has a favorite pawnshop. It’s the place that customers know and trust to get the cash they need and the bargains they want. Therefore, it’s

VOTE FOR US! We love our customers and appreciate your support!

about time to give the best ones the recognition that they deserve!

HOW TO ENTER Entering is free and easy! Just visit pawnleaders.com/TopShops and follow the link and instructions for entering your shop!

POST THE FLYER We’ve provided this flyer for your shop, post it where your customers can see it! You’ll find plenty more downloadable graphics as well as more details at pawnleaders.com/TopShops!

Our pawnshop has been nominated as one of the BEST in North America—will you help us win this distinct honor? It’s easy to enter, just visit www.toppawnshops.com, find our store and then VOTE and share! HURRY – voting ends soon!

PAWN LEADERS TOP SHOPS

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PAWN FAMILY

FRIENDLY

s es cc u S THE IMPORTANCE OF COLLABORATION BETWEEN PAWNBROKING PEERS

Pawn Leaders are people who work in the pawnbroking industry that are committed to leading in their lives. A critical part of this leadership approach is connecting with other pawnbrokers and getting involved in the larger pawn community.

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ISSUE 1 PAWNLEADERS MAGAZINE

A GREAT EXAMPLE OF A COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIP is that of Dallas Allgood, owner of Oxford Pawn Shop in Mississippi and Bryan Fitzgerald Collins of Jeweler’s Cut Pawn in Cullman, Alabama. The two met in 2017. Each immediately recognized the value of connecting with a fellow pawnbroker who could relate to the specific challenges and opportunities that are unique to this industry.  “Bryan has a strong jewelry background and has been in the retail jewelry business for years, with extensive experience in management. So I am always calling with jewelry questions and lots of HR and personnel questions too. One of my goals is to grow a healthy business, and Bryan does a good job of pushing me to hire new employees to help me achieve that goal,” Dallas notes.  About Dallas, Bryan says, “He helps me with insight that I don’t have.” This includes bringing firearms into his store, “it’s a comfort level for me, knowing that I have someone who’s been through this process that I can really trust.”  One of the keys to the success of their collaboration is the level of accountability that they bring to the relationship. They typically talk once or twice every week, usually during their drive to work. “We’ll kick back on our morning commute, and before long, we’ve picked up on something new,” Bryan explains “And we push one another and hold one another accountable. We’re now invested into one another’s success.” 

Dallas adds, “Just staying connected and talking on a regular basis has been the biggest benefit for our businesses, I always take away something helpful from our biweekly conversations. One of the most important things is to have a fellow pawnbroker you can call and trust to lean on because they understand the type of stresses that comes with the pawn business.” “It’s essential to collaborate with fellow pawnbrokers. There is not anything better then getting first hand knowledge from someone you can trust and that understands your industry. It can be something significant that takes lots of planning and implementing over time, or it can be something simple as a recommendation to help streamline a process in the back room. Most of the time, someone has already come up with a great idea and completed all of the trials, errors, and the hard work of figuring it out,” Dallas adds.  When asked how other pawnbrokers can get started collaborating with their peers, Bryan and Dallas recommend attending pawnbroking events as a first step. “Get involved at the next level of your industry. Don’t just sit in your store and go it alone. There are folks out there willing to help you in more ways than you can imagine,” Dallas says.

START

NETWORKING

TODAY!

Find an upcoming industry event on our calendar on p. 36

LEFT TO RIGHT: Dallas Allgood and Bryan Fitzgerald Collins; Oxford Pawn Shop has an impressive amount of quality firearms. LEFT: One of the many unique finds that can be found at Jeweler’s Cut Pawn shop.

Connect online with your peers in our Pawn Leaders Community Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pawnleaderspodcast/ ! 

PAWNLEADERS.COM

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PAWN READS What advice would you give to

WITH BRIAN GARRETT

pawn leaders considering

Follow Tom’s Pawn on Facebook to see more photos of the team, including from their Book Club events: facebook.com/ tomspawn1972/

launching a book club?

A LOOK AT THE TOM’S PAWN BOOK CLUB WITH BRIAN GARRETT When did you start your book club and why?

We started about four to five years ago. I heard David Johns, who is well known in pawnbroking, talking about book clubs, and it sounded intriguing to do with our team. How does it work?

Our area manager, the office manager, my mom, and I are present at each of the three monthly meetings. In the first week, we’re meeting with the store managers. The following week, we will meet to go over the same chapters, but this time with assistant managers. The next week, we repeat those chapters again, meeting with our third keyholders. The following month, we start the process over again by discussing new chapters.

Encourage them if you want to grow, you have to invest in yourself. This not only helps your store but more importantly, this helps your personal life and relationships outside of work. Why would you not want to improve yourself? If someone was blatantly not reading or had a bad attitude, I would question why I had that type of personality in a leadership role. The team is given advance notice of the book and other details, and they are expected to read on their own before coming. How did you launch your book club? 

The most common thing I hear from other pawnbrokers about starting a book club is that they love the idea but don’t have time for it. Or that their people won’t read or participate. When we started reading together as a management team, I don’t recall asking if they wanted to do it. To be honest, I was so pumped about the idea and enthusiastic about it that it wasn’t really up for discussion. I was like, “guys, we are doing this, and it’s going to be so awesome!”

Don’t wait any longer, do it! Show up.  Be the example.  Be consistent; don’t stop!

How do you get the team to buy-in?

I have a very engaged management team so getting them to jump on board usually is not a problem. Book selection is super important to getting that buy-in, however. Pick a good book, and they will read. 26

ISSUE 1 PAWNLEADERS MAGAZINE

What are some of the benefits of a book club for leaders?

I don’t think our company would be where it’s at today in leadership if it was not from the many books we have read together. What other company pulls their management team out of work to go to breakfast and discuss a book? Whereas most companies focus on bottom line, I focus on building the team, investing in the team, showing the team that they matter, showing the team I care about them, showing the team what I looks like to get better everyday.

What results have come from

We definitely have better communication between the teams and leaders. I feel our management team has all learned from each other. They are stronger, more confident leaders. Sometimes just being around a table able to share a struggle and having other leaders support them is incredible. That’s what the book club does; it is a conversation starter into deeper things. I also feel like we as a company are more unified and on the same page. I think our leaders are better leaders to their teams because of the knowledge we gain from books. Some of our best ideas have come from book club conversations.

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consider launching a book club?

We meet at a local restaurant at 8:30 am. For the first thirty minutes, we just eat and chat. Then, from 9:00 - 10:00, we discuss the selected book a few chapters at a time. When we meet around the table, people start sharing important things that stood out to them. I try to ask engaging questions like why they felt something was important or how it applies to their store. Often, I’ll simply say, “tell me more.”  

FAR LEFT: Brian Garrett and part of his crew changing the world one book at a time. BELOW: One of Brian’s recent bookclub choices.

the book club?  

It’s also essential to bring excitement and fun to the table. You have a responsibility to lead the team. If you don’t know what that looks like, lean on the book that you choose to show you and guide you. You don’t have to be an expert, just know how to ask questions to pull people into the conversations. Pick a good read; this is most important.   For someone just starting out, I would recommend one of the books by Jon Gordon like Energy Bus. For us, it reminds us of the culture we have and want. It reminds us to protect the most critical part of a company, the culture. If you want to grow, invest in your people first. I’m pretty sure that taking time out of the day to go to breakfast speaks volumes to our teams and says we

Why should other pawn leaders

I believe everything you do in your company starts with you. You have to believe in the idea, and you have to cast the vision. You have to pump up and rally your team to join alongside you. Our book club is one of the most important things we do as a company. The mentorship, learning, bonding, sharing, laughing, coaching, and just good discussion we have is invaluable.

care about them. Not many companies do that today. Give them the tools to succeed, have conversations with them. Some of the most candid conversations we have had as a company have been around that table during our book club.  

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#PAWNPROUD

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

WITH CHRISTINE KING

AMERIPAWN’S CHRISTINE KING TALKS ABOUT LIFE ON THE FRONT PAGE THERE ARE COUNTLESS NEWS STORIES that portray pawnshops in a negative way. A recent article in one of the nation’s largest newspapers, however, highlighted the positive side of pawn. And it all began at the dentist’s office. “The article featuring my store and myself in the Chicago Tribune and Post-Tribune happened because people liked me!” says Christine King. “My dental hygienist loves to hear my stories. Honestly, my visits to the dentist tend to take twice as long as they normally would because she and I enjoy talking about pawn so much.” “One day, she decided to send her significant other into my shop to meet me and have an heirloom diamond appraised. He happens to be a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and Post-Tribune. He enjoyed speaking to me as well and was inspired to write an article on the spot. It was on the front page within two days.”  The lesson here? According to King, it’s “Be the light! To shine a positive light on the pawn industry, you must, quite literally, be the light!”   She says that she had no idea that so many people still read the paper beyond the online article. Countless people have told her that they’d never thought about pawnshops in the way that she portrayed them.  When asked about ways that Pawn Leaders can prepare for media coverage, her advice is “Self promote!! Say every single thing you ever wanted a large group of people to know about our industry! About a third of everything that I actually said ended up in the article, so make every sentence count!”  You can read the article “A good portion of at http://bit.ly/Ameripawn the questions that I was asked were geared

toward the common misconceptions the public has about our industry. I used them as an opportunity to showcase what amazing services we offer to our communities,” she adds. “I am endlessly proud of my company and what we do, and I’ll tell anyone who will listen! Really, the best advice I can think of, is don’t wait for the opportunity to be in the news to speak loudly and proudly about being a pawnbroker. There are ways to work the positive things we do into many conversations, and word of mouth is still the best form of advertisement there is!” Christine King is Ameripawn’s Chief Operating Officer. Ameripawn was founded in 1986 by Greg Engstrom, and he is present daily in one or all of his beloved stores in Valparaiso, Lake Station, and La Porte, Indiana. They operate a full-service jewelry and coin store out of each location and have a bench jeweler on staff.  Her passion is jewelry—in fact, her office is set up in the jewelry department of one of their shops. She has lived in or visited all but six states and focuses now on international travel, which she enjoys with her husband and 18-year-old son

Source: Davich, Jerry. “Need a $1,700 French Horn or Ike Dollar Coin? Pawn Shops Sell (and Buy) Everything Imaginable.” Chicagotribune.com, Chicago Tribune, 15 Nov. 2019, www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/opinion/ct-ptb-davich-pawn-stores-seedy-image-dispelled-st1118-20191115-tpp423qb4fdqnbav6u3arjtx4i-story.html.

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Worth Every Cup FIELDSTONE

J E W E L R Y A N D PAW N

PAWN LEADERS ARE ALWAYS on the lookout for tactics that improve the customer’s experience. Lisa Little, owner of Fieldstone Jewelry and Pawn in Conyers, Georgia, has been doing this for over thirty years. “One of the things that we think is important is calling customers by name whenever we’re able. People love to hear their own names. Once they get to the counter, we will make notes in the computer system if they share insights about their lives so that other members of the team may be informed and empathetic next time the customer is in the store.” Talk to Lisa about her passion for pawn, and it won’t be long before she mentions her beloved father, John, with whom she founded four pawnshops and several other businesses after returning home from the University of Georgia in the 1980s. Talk to her about her passion for epic customer experiences, however, and she mentions a different member of the family. Her daughter works in the Marketing Department at Disney. “I love emulating the Disney model for customer experience. One never has a bad day at Disney.” Lisa acknowledges that the customer’s expectation upon entering a theme is entirely different from when they enter a pawnshop. Her focus, however, offers the same level of care and attention. Over the most recent holiday season, Lisa tried what she thought was a relatively simple idea to have a designated area for customers to fix themselves a free cup of coffee or cocoa. “I’m always looking for ways to make customers linger a little longer in the store and have a positive experience when they do,” she says, adding, “the freshly brewed coffee makes the store smell great!” While the investment is small, the payoff has been impactful, with many customers expressing their appreciation, often stopping by just for a cup of coffee and conversation. “We always tell people that they don’t have to go to the Starbucks around the corner, they can stop here for a free coffee instead!”

She shares the story of one particular customer whose hand was on the door to leave empty-handed (something that she says always catches her eye), and she offered him a cup of coffee to take with him. Because the coffee station is strategically located near the jewelry counter, it was an excellent opportunity for a friendly conversation with him. Just a few minutes later, as Lisa prepared his coffee, another team member showed him a ring. “Boom. We made a $625 layaway sale with $209 down.” Lisa’s focus on customer experience isn’t calculated in dollars and cents, however. Instead, she describes it this way— ”Everybody wants to be heard and shown that they matter.”

WE ALWAYS TELL PEOPLE THAT THEY DON’T HAVE TO GO TO THE STARBUCKS AROUND THE CORNER, THEY CAN STOP HERE FOR A FREE COFFEE INSTEAD!

PAWNLEADERS.COM

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HOT TOPICS WITH SAM SHOCKET

TIPS FOR GROWING YOUR LOAN BALANCE WITH SAM SHOCKET OF KING’S JEWELRY AND LOAN

SAM SHOCKET IS THE PRESIDENT of King’s Jewelry & Loan, North America’s largest jewelry-only pawnbroker. Sam is an innovative leader with a reputation for excellence, known for being transparent in sharing lessons that he’s learned along the way.  When asked about specific ways that pawnshops could emulate his success to grow their loan balance, he happily shares a long list of tactics. In the end, for King’s Jewelry & Loan, it boils down to a customer-centric approach to finding a plan for every client that gives them the best opportunity to meet their needs.  We’ve narrowed his recommendations for growing your loan balance into this QUICK list.

QUICK LIST OF SUCCESS STRATEGIES FROM SAM SHOCKETT:  

LENGTHEN THE DAYS AND HOURS YOU’RE OPEN AND CONSIDER PERKS LIKE A 24-HOUR WALK-UP WINDOW.

Q

UALIFY EVERY TRANSACTION • Always tell a Client the highest loan that can be offered on an item during the loan process (even when the client asks for less). In this way, they’ll know where you stand if they shop around other pawnshops in the area without assuming that your offer was as high as you were able to go. • If the client needs more money than you’re able to lend on an item, ask them what else they have, letting them know you want to work with them to get them the money they need  • No walking of any loan without a second and even a third-person turnover. Write down every loan turn down, document the amount requested, the offer given, and reason for not making the loan.    NDERSTAND THE CUSTOMER’S PERSPECTIVE • Many of your customers, even with long histories, don’t know all of their options. Be sure that your team explains every opportunity to them, including the ability to extend the loan rather than paying it off.    • Be respectful of the attachment that the client has to their collateral.   • Offer overdue clients the opportunity to bring in additional collateral to cover the interest due. 

U I

MPROVE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE • Lengthen the days and hours you’re open and consider perks like a 24hour walk-up window.  • Allow interest, renewal, and layaway payments online.  • Offer rewards and refer-a-friend programs.     APTURE OFTEN OVER-LOOKED OPPORTUNITIES • Bump up loans for clients who have a strong client history • Loan at more competitive interest rates whenever possible, including new client rates, special interest rates for particular merchandise, etc.  • Partner with businesses that have the same target audience as you and consider co-op advertising relationships (divorce attorneys, bail bondsmen, check cashiers, bill pay companies, etc.).    EEP YOUR PAWNSHOP TOP OF MIND • Send cards and letters, particularly on birthdays and anniversaries to clients, and include special offers.  • Be generous with giveaways, branded merchandise, special events, and community partnerships.  • Encourage your clients to review you online and tag you in their social media profiles.

C K Learn more tips from Sam in episode 101 of the Pawn Leaders Podcast. 30

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STRATEGY

PAWNSHOP Ask any seasoned pawnbroker about their secrets to success, and you’ll hear about ways that they have shifted their strategy over time. Whether precipitated by market conditions, technology, legislation, or other factors, it’s abundantly clear—pivoting is essential for success in the pawnshop.

Michael Mack, owner of Max Pawn.

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“YOU HAVE TO PLAN FOR SUCCESS in the world that you find yourself in each day,” says Jeff Wilhelm. Jeff has spent his 32-year career in various leadership and training roles in the industry that have taken him all over the world. He currently serves as the Director of Store Operations for National Pawn and Jewelry in North Carolina. A Certified Trainer in Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Wilhelm stresses the importance of having a proactive mindset that assumes responsibility rather than just reacting to external events and circumstances. “There’s a lot of talk about future changes to revenue collected from interest and Pawn Service Charges (PSCs). That just means that we’re going to have to do some things differently and adjust the way that we do business and work to find ways to close the gap.” “We must be continuously learning and evolving because

nothing stays the same. If you are comfortable doing the same thing year in and year out, your organization will become stagnated,” he adds. A straightforward example of how pawnbrokers can become complacent has become evident in the past few years during tax season. “A lot of pawnshops have never accepted cards for interest payments in years past. Now, customers are coming in with their tax refunds loaded onto them. Instead of just looking at the 3-4% processing charge as a cost of doing business, some pawnbrokers simply won’t make that pivot because it’s not how they’ve done things in the past.”  Wilhelm focuses on teaching others to seek out the opportunities in front of them, which encourages bottomup innovation. “We teach according to our organizational standards, which we challenge all the time,” he adds. 

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STRATEGY

TOP TO BOTTOM: Jeff Wilhelm, Director of Store Operations for National Pawn and Jewelry; Kim Foster, co-owner of Uncle Dan’s Pawn Shops.

hallenging the standard is an approach that’s worked well for Michael Mack. Owner of Max Pawn, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mack is known for being an early adopter of new trends, including as an industry leader in authentic luxury goods. “You have to be open-minded as to the type of products that you sell. I love traveling the world and seeing fads, fashions, and trends.” Mack is also a recognized leader in charitable partnerships and community relations, not only connecting with his local community but also shining a positive light on the pawnbroking industry. Behind the high profile, though, his focus remains on customer service “At the end of the day, we really do work hard to deliver the best customer service in the world.”  Customer service is also the driving force behind one of the largest independentlyown pawnbroking operations in North Texas. Dan and Kim Foster have owned and operated Uncle Dan’s Pawn Shops since 1987, now with eight stores and a retail outlet in the Dallas area. For the past few years, they’ve had a dedicated customer service representative whose job it is to call their 500+ new customers every single week personally. “We thank them for their business, make sure everything went well, and help the customer understand all of the ways that we can help them,” Foster explains. “Our operation is cutting edge simply because we are always looking for a better way.” A key to this, according to Kim, is in being actively engaged in a network of strong pawnbroking peers. “We invest in ourselves, in our team, and in our business. Whenever there’s an opportunity to learn something new, we are there.”

YOU WERE BORN TO WIN, BUT TO BE A WINNER,  YOU MUST PLAN TO WIN  PREPARE TO WIN, AND EXPECT TO WIN. —ZIG ZIGLAR

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PLAN, PREPARE, AND EXPECT HERE ARE THREE WAYS THAT PAWNBROKERS CAN PIVOT THEIR APPROACH TO BUSINESS 1. Continuously make your pawnshop a better version of itself, taking your company to new levels of performance. Instead of seeking change for change’s sake, seek out things that are really going to make your business more agile and competitive. 2. Beyond potential changes in legislation, your business must pivot to meet changing market needs. Next year, millennials will comprise over 55% of your customer base. If you don’t meet their needs, they are savvy enough to find alternatives that will.  3. Solve problems upstream. When you feel as though you spend too much time putting out fires daily, it’s time to pivot and find ways that seek to solve predictable problems before they occur.  4. Your business is either growing or it is dying. Growth indicates that what you’re doing is working. The moment your business stops growing, however, your business must pivot. Monitor and respond to Key Performance Indicators or KPIs so that you’re aware of the health of your business at all times. 5. Beware of churn. Create a culture that takes care of your employees so that they take care of the customers. When your employee turnover and customer churn are high, it’s time to pivot.

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C A

L

E

N

D A

R St. Elmos Steakhouse in Indy.

The MedStar Capitals Iceplex is a fun place to Check out Tasty Jacks while in Alabama.

O’ show and Ka is really good as well. Head out to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and drive their high-end automobiles on the track. The helicopter rides over the city or to the Grand Canyon is spectacular. The Hoover

unwind. We like the Potomac River cruise too.As far as

Dam tour is something to see, as well as going to the

food- American Tap Room and for Greek food Cava Mezza

shooting range and shooting a wide range of weapons

Restaurant We also love the farm to table restaurants in

including automatics.”

the area- there are too many to pick one. Georgetown area

Recommendations by Jerry Whitehead of Pawnshop

is a great nightlife area to grab a lite bite and cocktail.

Consulting Group

For weekends, we like to hit a farmer’s market for breakfast/ lunch and atmosphere. The dates for the Legislative Conference just miss the

DIXIE PAWNBROKERS CONVENTION & TRADE SHOW

National Cherry Blossom Festival but the trees should

28TH ANNUAL MIDWEST PAWN CONVENTION

Friday, March 27 to Sunday March 29, 2020

still be beautiful.

Friday, May 15 to Sunday, May 17, 2020

PERDIDO BEACH RESORT, Orange Beach, Alabama

Recommendations from Melanie Solomon-Keefe who co-owns

THE WESTIN HOTEL, Indianapolis, Indiana

dixieconvention.com

Parker Pawn in Fayetteville, North Carolina Jewelry with her

midwestpawnconvention.org

When in Orange Beach, “Big Mike’s Steakhouse if you

Father Ron Solomon.

While in Indianapolis, Greg Engstrom recommends that

want a good steak and a whiskey. Fishers at Orange Beach

you check out the best shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo’s

Marina is quiet but very tasty seafood with great drinks.

Steakhouse in downtown Indy. “Ron Stempkowski

Tacky Jacks is always a good time with great food for

The Ferry Building in San Francisco.

breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The local drink that everyone

Rancho Mirage in Coachella valley.

and I went there every time! We then walked over to the Monument to Nikki Blanes for a cigar.” He also

needs to try is a “Bush Wacker” and add a floater if you’re

recommends that the State Capital is a really beautiful

not driving. Of course, for a wild night of multiple bands

building to check out and the Indianapolis Children’s

playing live music inside and outside plus a piano bar that

Museum is second to none.

is awkward packed, you must go to FLORABAMA.”

Recommendations by Greg Engstrom, Executive Director of

CALIFORNIA PAWNBROKERS ASSOCIATION (CAPA) FALL CONVENTION

Recommendations by Dallas Allgood, Owner of Oxford

the Indiana Pawnbrokers Association and Owner of Ameripawn

Friday, October 23 to Sunday, October 25, 2020

Pawnshop in Oxford, Mississippi

in Valparaiso, Indiana.

OMNI RANCHO LAS PALMAS RESORT & SPA Rancho Mirage, California californiapawnbrokers.org

Smithsonian National Zoo In Washington, DC.

NPA LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE

36

Tuesday, April 21 to Wednesday, April 22, 2020

CALIFORNIA PAWNBROKERS ASSOCIATION (CAPA) SPRING CONFERENCE

EMBASSY SUITES CRYSTAL CITY-NAT’L AIRPORT

Saturday, May 2 to Sunday, May 3, 2020

Arlington, Virginia, Washington, DC

PULLMAN SAN FRANCISCO BAY

nationalpawnbrokers.org

Redwood City, California

The Arlington area has tons of sightseeing, but my

californiapawnbrokers.org/conventions

favorites are the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, National

In San Francisco, visit the Ferry Building and make sure

Air and Space Museum, The National Museum of Natural

to stop at Cowgirl Creamery, ACME bread and Humphry

History. My all-time favorite is the US Bureau of

Slocombe. The Lands End Trail is a great hike (it’s more

Engraving and Printing where you can witness currency

of a casual walk) and stop at the Buena Vista for an

being made. You can always take fun pictures at the

Irish Coffee.

National Mall area.

Recommendations by Tally Mack, CEO of Bravo Pawn Systems

ISSUE 1 PAWNLEADERS MAGAZINE

NPA PAWN EXPO 2020

“Nestled within the gorgeous Coachella Valley, Rancho

Tuesday, June 23 to Thursday, June 25, 2020

Mirage is the perfect place to enjoy the unique climate

PARIS LAS VEGAS, Las Vegas, Nevada

and scenery of the high desert. Take a quick morning

nationalpawnbrokers.org

hike on the Jack Rabbit Trail to work up an appetite for

“I would recommend any one of the Cirque De Soleil

breakfast at The Palms Café”

shows, Mystere is still one of my faves along with the

Recommendations by Jackie Panetta, Gemologist, JAGi

Lose yourself at the Grand Canyon.

PAWNLEADERS.COM

37


QUOTABLE

My stepfather had an electric guitar. He went to his pawn store one day to get a guitar and an amp, and I couldn't understand what I was hearing. All afternoon, I just sat against the amp and let it reverberate through me. Something must have stuck. —George Benson

R&B artist, 10-time grammy winner George Benson. Living proof that pawnshops matter.

38

ISSUE 1 PAWNLEADERS MAGAZINE


“We’re seeing more newer clients that visit our website, and with Webchat, they can ask questions if they felt too skeptical to come into the shop. It’s making them more comfortable before they even walk in the door.” “We’re seeing more —Javier Becerra, Loyaltynewer Pawn clients that visit our website, and with Webchat, they can ask questions if they felt too skeptical to come into the shop. It’s making them more comfortable before they even walk in the door.” “We’re seeing more newer clients that visit our website, and with Webchat, they can —Javier Becerra, if Loyalty ask questions they Pawn felt too skeptical to come into the shop. It’s making them more comfortable before they even walk in the door.” —Javier Becerra, Loyalty Pawn

Do you guys buy used TVs? Do you guys buy used TVs? Yes we do! If you want to by today Do you guysswing buy used TVs? we can take a look at it. Yes we do! If you want to swing by today we can take a look at it. Yes we do! If you want to Great, I will stop byby today we can take swing around 4:00.a Thanks! look at it. Great, I will stop by around 4:00. Thanks! Perfect, see you then! Great, I will stop by around 4:00. Thanks!

Perfect, see you then! Perfect, see you then!

Visit try.podium.com/pawn to learn more. Visit try.podium.com/pawn to learn more.

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Pawn Leaders  

Pawn Leaders is The pawn industry had taught me how to be a businessman, how to negotiate, and gave us a great life. Everything I do is aim...

Pawn Leaders  

Pawn Leaders is The pawn industry had taught me how to be a businessman, how to negotiate, and gave us a great life. Everything I do is aim...

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