The Manager’s Circle


Does anyone out there know what the Manager’s Circle is?  If you’ve ever worked for me or know me professionally, then you absolutely know this concept.  It’s an imaginary circle, between the pawn counter and the front door where the manager resides while at work.  Why?  Because when a customer comes in to get a pawn, I want three things to happen:

  1. Get as much money as possible – maybe more than he/she expected
  2. Have a great time doing it
  3. Feel like a personal relationship has been created with the manager

Upon entering, the customer is greeted immediately by the manager, “Hi, I’m Corby Logue, welcome to National Pawn. What can I do for you today?  That looks heavy, let me carry that for you. What a cute child, he/she looks just like you! This TV, do you want to sell it? Just get a loan? OK, how much do you need?” 

When you’re a pawn shop manager, to accomplish all these goals, you often wear many hats and assume many roles.  Comedian, entertainer, big brother, pastor, politician, close friend…whatever is necessary to ensure that the customer experience is successful. And be genuine about it. Display empathy with everyone – the customer is there for a reason and needs help.

From a financial perspective, the reasons are obvious. When someone brings in merchandise, the transaction will go one of two ways – buy or pawn. Once that is established, then we decide how much money is given to the customer? This is called qualifying the loan and this is where great pawn shops thrive!  I can’t say this enough so I’ll repeat it:

Qualifying the loan properly is where great pawn shops thrive!

It’s easy to forget the 99% of all your income (finance charge or ‘interest’ income, margins on sales, scrap sales) can be traced back to the initial qualification process. Think about it this way, it’s not the ending transaction that determines your profit but the first one. And who should be in charge of that process?  The manager. And how best to accomplish this? Position him/her in the manager’s circle and make sure every transaction possible is “touched” by the manager.