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Developing a Sub-Broker Agency

Creating an Agency Program

As a freelance broker, you naturally want to develop a powerful network of “referrers” who can send business your way and this network usually includes both commercial lending officers at your local bans as well as CPA’s and other accounting professionals.  Some career-oriented freelance brokers will take building referral networks to a higher plateau, however, by actually building a co-brokering network of part-time “sub brokers” in various locations that work part time as “bird dogs”.  These programs are usually very formalized and include some sort of web support to automate the referral process.  And the good news is, the new “Affiliates Program” created as a partnership between IACFB and DataMax completely simplifies the process of setting up and managing your new agency.  

Marketing Tip 1

For those with full time capabilities, there is no better way to generate leads than through networks and one of the most productive lead-generating networks available to full time consultants is an “Agents Network”.  All full time consultants should begin recruiting agents as soon as possible.

Marketing Tip 2

Managing an Agents Program is relatively easy using Pipedrive and Pipedrive forms for in conjunction with landing pages of websites you provide your agents.

Building an Agency Referral Network

Though not a marketing campaign in the traditional sense, devoting time and effort towards the creation of an “agency” made up of independent agents which can refer business to you is one of the most productive marketing programs new brokers can undertake. 

Creating an “agency” is similar to creating a “down line” in multi-level marketing and can mean enormous commission dollars for those that take it seriously and devote the time to develop it.  As opposed to most marketing campaigns that require significant dollar output, developing your consulting business as an agency can be a positive revenue generator and source of income. 

The Primary Goal of Your Agents

Naturally, you want your agents to send you leads that you can prospect and convert to clients.  The primary method they will use to Using Agents for Lead Generationaccomplish this is through networking and through OFFERS for your “When Banks Say NO” booklet or a similar offer and also generating attendees for your FREE guest teleconferences.  Agents are very similar to “bird dogs” in that they do not need to be active in direct marketing but only need to be actively networking.  Those individuals you know that are active on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media are great candidates for your agency.

Setting Up Your Agency Campaign

There are several tasks necessary to perform when building your agency. 

    • WEBSITE MODIFICATION:  There are two modifications necessary for your factoring 101 website.  One is minor and the other a bit more detailed.  
      • AGENTS WANTED PAGE: You will need to add an “agent.html” page to your Factoring 101 website advertising for agents.  A link to this page will typically be on your site’s referral page as well as the index (landing) page. 
      • SUBDOMAINS:  A “subdomain folder” with page files will be necessary for each agent you enlist.  If you are hosting your domain through DMS WebHost, you may create a free subdomain for each agent you enlIST
      • SUBMISSION FORMS:  The FREE booklet or report submission forms on your agent’s subdomain of your website must be coded to forward copies of all leads from those form submissions to your business email address or preferably, to your Pipedrive “Leads In” segment of your Sales Pipeline on Pipedrive.
  • DETERMINE YOUR SHARING (COMMISSION) ARRANGEMENT:  You will need to determine how you will compensate agents for their referrals.  This is set forth in a “Co-Brokers” agreement which IACFB can provide in editable format. a PDF Sample is here
  • ADVERTISING FOR AGENTS:  You will need to advertise for Agents and virtually all of such advertising can be done on Craig’s List and through Social Media without cost.  

Converting your factoring broker business model to an “Agency” can mean growing your consulting business exponentially.  But to run and operate a successful Agents Program and to generate quality factoring leads with it, you will need to support your agents by helping them with business development  ideas and marketing tasks. 

Agents that receive support and earn commission income from you will likely stay in your program for years and years.  Those that receive no support and earn no money will likely leave you in a very short time.  Make certain you keep your agents engaged.

Agent Training Options

An easy way to train agents is to grant them 10 day access to the Campus as a “Registered Guest” along with introducing them to Commercial Finance Consultant Magazine.  Additionally “Member” training areas at the Campus (blue check mark lessons) can be provided at a small cost and is a good option.  You should avoid providing Factoring 101 class access to agents who will quickly see the income advantages of becoming a part-time freelance consultant rather than an agent under your company.

The DataMax / IACFB Agents Affiliate Program

Without question, if you are going to invest the time in developing a robust agent referral program, the best way is to utilize the DataMax / IACFB Affiliate System.  While there is a cost for each agent you enlist, the benefits of using this program are many and include…

  • Commission:  As the agent’s “Sponsor”, you earn a $30 affiliate commission for every new agent you enlist so you earn income immediately every time you develop an agent.
  • Agent Training:  Under the Sponsored Agents Program, the agents you enlist are IACFB Members and as such, have access to IACFB training (all classes with a blue check mark)
  • Web Page:  All agents are provided with a sub-domain and sales page within your website so agents get the benefit of a web page without the cost of a domain or separate hosting.   
  • Affiliate Advertisement:  You are provided with an ad and affiliate link for your website.  This will greatly help you to build your network and fully automate the process.
  • Low Cost:  The only cost to you as the “Sponsor” under the DataMax / IACFB Program is your monthly cost for Pipedrive CRM and if you’re serious about the business, you should be using this powerful management system anyway.

Find out more:  You can learn more about using the DataMax / IACFB Affiliate Program to build your Agents Network by viewing the training lesson in Factoring 202.

Setting Up Subdomains and Agent Landing Pages

Ideally, you will want to set up each agent with his or her own landing page within your Factoring 101 or WordPress business website.  Their landing page is a single page that contains information on factoring as well as a form that visitors can complete to request your FREE offer such as the “When Banks Say No” booklet.  The form can be a standard html form or preferably, a Pipedrive form if you are using that CRM.  You can easily code each Pipedrive form so that when you receive the lead in your Pipedrive Sales Pipeline, you can distinguish which agent’s landing page was responsible for the submission.  

As a Freelance Program subscriber, you have the ability to set up unlimited subdomains associated with your website.  A subdomain is an additional section of your main domain name and is used to navigate to different sections of your website.  Let’s say your main domain name for your consultancy is smithfactoringassociates.com and you have a new agent in Atlanta and need to set up a landing page.  You would first create the subdomain atlanta.smithfactoringassociates.com and would locate the new landing page in that subdomain.  Your agent basically has his or her own address on the web that can be used for business cards etc. and they don not need to purchase a separate domain name.  All Factoring Broker HTML static webiste templates have an “Invitation Page” which can be duplicated over and over for new agents as they are added.  WordPress has thousands of landing page templates that can be instantly located in a subdomain.

Some Sample Agent Support Recommendations

Below are some ideas and recommendations to help you maintain a healthy Agents Program.

  • WEEKLY EMAIL:  Generate a weekly email system that updates your agents about upcoming teleconferences, events, new reports, etc.
  • GUEST SPEAKER TELECONFERENCES:  After you enlist a dozen or more agents, always make certain you have a teleconference on factoring for small business owners scheduled every month.  Once you build your agents list to 25, 30, or more, you may need to increase your teleconferences to bi-monthly rather than just once a month.  Marketing by holding periodic informative teleconferences is one of the most “sure fire” methods of generating factoring clients.  For a successful teleconference, you need at least 30-40 reservations.  Having a good “supply” of agents will make certain all of your teleconferences are filled and successful.
  • HOLD CONTESTS:  Award small prizes or gifts to those agents that have the most prospects that actually attend a teleconference or that find the most original places to publish classified ads.  Sales contests always “excite the ether”.
  • MAIL STUFFERS:  When you are ordering mail stuffers, brochures, flyers etc., always send an email to all your agents to let them “piggy-back” on your order.  Many agents want such marketing aids but due to their part-time nature, cannot justify the expense of a large order.
  • PLACE A PERSONAL CALL:  Place personal one-on-one calls to your agents periodically.  Congratulate those doing well and ask those that aren’t how you can help them and make them more productive.
  • HOLD YOUR OWN COMPANY SHOWCASE TELECONFERENCE:  Once you have enlisted 25 or more agents, hold your own “Company Showcase” with the factor that is going to be your next “Guest Speaker” on an upcoming teleconference.  This will keep your agents engaged and lets your agents learn more about marketing and the industry from the actual lender.   
  • SHARING ANNEX SALES MATERIAL:  Never actually give your agents your ANNEX (Factoring 202) log in information but your should definitely share certain material with them.  For example, make certain all of your agents have a good “Sales Story”.  Work with them regarding telephone scripts when they are following up on a reservation to one of your teleconferences or following up on a mailing.