Steven Sinatra is a second-generation pawnbroker who, along with his father, runs World Pawn Exchange in North Bend, Oregon, where he is GIA jewelry professional and managing partner. As someone who grew up during the technology boom of the mid-90s, Steven has a unique understanding of how to best reach his customers through the platforms that they use every day. He approached PawnMaster to write a guest blog on the topic, and we were happy to take him up on his offer.
Text messaging – We all do it, multiple times a day, every day. There’s a reason text messaging is the number one form of mobile communication in the world. It’s fast, it’s easy, everyone does it. In fact, over 26 billion texts are sent each day in America alone. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Here's something I learned early on in my sales career—first impressions matter! If there's one thing to always be mindful of, it’s to pay attention on how you're coming across to the people that you're communicating with. It's even more important when you're communicating with them for the first time!
When it comes to running a successful pawn business, one of the most important skills for a broker to have is the ability to qualify their customers. Qualifying your customers is like vetting a new hire; you need to see if it's going to be a good fit.
I've been in the pawn business for over 20 years and you better believe that I've seen my fair share of unhappy clients. The first time you're faced with an upset customer, it's a lot to take in. Even the most experienced brokers will have their hands full when it comes to a really disgruntled customer who thinks they're in the right. Throughout my history in this business, I've learned a few ways to diffuse a situation and help both the customer and shop owner come out feeling satisfied, reassured, and respected.
Several years ago I wrote an article for PawnLink.org that highlighted the growing frequency our pawnbroker customers were being exposed to and taken advantage of with fake bullion and replica coins. Many of these defrauded, poured, and extruded Precious Metal investment pieces started out as legitimate bullion products coming from reputable refineries and banks. Scammers would drill out actual Gold or Silver from these pieces and back-fill them with materials like Lead or Tungsten rods. Eventually, we began seeing scammers implementing higher levels of skill to produce replica coins and bullion through minting, electroplating, and even cladding over low value base metal to look like authentic precious metal currencies and investment bullion.
There is a large portion of the small business community that believes their business will not benefit from a professionally designed website or it is not within their budget. These misconceptions are doing harm to your small business. Below is food for thought on why your small business needs a professional website.