by Shahnaz Mahmud
Sometimes, even when you do everything right, the result could still see you landing in hot water. That’s a very simplistic statement for you, as a company, when you find yourself as a regulatory target.
At this year’s upcoming LeadsCon Las Vegas conference, the Seller’s Summit will have a fascinating discussion, “A $12-Million Journey: Deep Insights with a Regulatory Target,” that will essentially follow a case study of a company that was chosen by regulators and handed violations and penalties – despite the organization believing it was operating under a compliant environment.
Rob Seaver, executive director of LeadsCouncil, says it doesn’t actually require very much for lead sellers to be on the wrong side of regulators. “Just being associated with an industry regulators are focusing in on is enough,” he says. “Regulators are looking at consumer protection mostly, and industries where there are higher than average consumer complaints tend to trigger an automatic ‘eye.’”
This session tracks a company involved in the call center space from the moment the news arrived in the mail to now working with regulators through the penalty and fine phase. “As you can imagine, regulators hear daily about unsolicited calls or aggressive tactics by some trying to sell or collect,” notes Seaver. This story is different he contends, in that will show that’s not always the case when regulators choose to go after a company.
Your Best Defense
It’s an interesting conundrum. Most regulators will tell you they are looking at unfair, unethical or deceptive practices that hurt consumers. Industries know that and today, most companies employ a number of compliance strategies and systems to ensure they are operating their businesses in such a manner so as to avoid what regulators are looking for – those that are well within the law and on the side of compliance. “Compliance is key when it comes to your best chance at becoming the next ‘target,’” Seaver points out.
Seaver emphasizes here (and will during his discussion) that everyone is at risk of an investigation from any number of regulatory entities from the federal to the state level. “There is a strong need to have a unified voice lobbying, advocating and educating on behalf of lead generators at both the federal and state levels,” he says. “No one company is strong enough to go it alone. An association like LeadsCouncil setting standards and putting tools in the hands of lead generators is your first (and best) line of defense.”
Seaver hits home that it is important to know whom you are buying leads from and selling leads to. “In the eyes of the regulators, it doesn’t matter what side of the buying/selling fence you are on,” he says. “If they find any usage of that lead to be used in an unfair, unethical or deceptive practice, you will be fined.”
The real message here is alerting other companies that no one is safe. You could be operating today thinking you are the most compliant company in the world, and, tomorrow you receive notice you are being investigated.
“Those interested in participating in the Seller’s Summit must qualify to attend. Click here for more information.”