LISA LITTLE HAS BEEN A PASSIONATE MEMBER of the pawn industry since 1987 and was the first woman in the nation to become a Certified Pawn Professional®. After attending the University of Georgia, she and her father co-founded a chain of four pawn shops, along with numerous other businesses. In 2013, Lisa became CEO and Managing Member of all the family businesses.
How did you get started in pawn?
My Dad talked me into it after college. He sold a boat business, and I was selling Real Estate and Cellular Phones. After he showed me the potential numbers, it was tough for me to turn it down. We started the business very green and with no pawn experience.
What is the number one pawn skill you have?
Listening. People just want to be heard at the counter, and everywhere else. It’s about doing your best to get them what they need/want.
What pawn talent do you wish you had?
Why didn’t I do GIA? SMH.
What customer behavior aggravates you the most?
Poor behavior/insults to our team about things beyond their control. Example – gun customer who is delayed by the NICS blesses out the employee who handled the paperwork.
What customer behavior brings you joy?
So many! When they come back and thank us for (fill in the blank.) We have customers who bring us Christmas presents and food and all kinds of wonderful treats. They tell us how the fiancé loved the ring, or the operation was a success, or they still have the stereo they bought from us 10 years ago. I have children of customers coming in who I have enjoyed watching grow up.
What is the weirdest thing you have ever written a loan for?
I probably don’t know the TRUE answer to this one, but one fun loan was for Super Bowl tickets.
What career would you pick if you were not in pawn?
Computer Programmer, Attorney, Orchestra Conductor, Empress.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Working, traveling, enjoying grandbabies.
Do you want your children to follow in your footsteps?
Some footsteps yes, some footsteps NO!
What college degree would be great to have to work in pawn?
Business Marketing and/or Psychology.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone considering the pawn industry?
We are a SERVICE industry. Try to say, “Yes.” Do your very best to make the person on the other side of the counter feel respected and appreciated. If only one person treats him with kindness today, let it be you.