Referrals from affiliate partners are one of the best ways to generate leads for your credit repair business. Far better, in fact, than taking out expensive ads. However, sometimes, affiliates are difficult to engage. Successful credit repair companies know to make it as easy as possible for your affiliates to send referrals, and to show them the benefit of doing so. Read on to learn how to find affiliates and make them want to send hundreds of new credit repair referrals your way!
Know the Types of Affiliate Partners
Think of your credit repair business initially as a B2B opportunity. Engaging with affiliate partners is the fastest way to scale your business. There are several types of companies that can be affiliate partners.
Financial affiliates include any business that offers financing, such as:
- Realtors and mortgage brokers
- Loan officers and auto dealers
- CPAs and tax preparers
- Debt settlement agencies
- Bankruptcy attorneys
Learn What to Pay an Affiliate
What you pay affiliates ultimately depends upon your average revenue, but here’s a good rule of thumb: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/finders-fee.asphttps://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/finders-fee.asp equal to 10% of what your average client will earn you over their lifecycle.
If your average client pays you $800-$1200 (or more) over their complete lifecycle with you, it may be advantageous for you to pay an affiliate $80-$120 (or more) for each paid client that they refer to you.
That’s a 10X return on your investment which is a nice margin. These amounts are up to you, but these are common ranges. The most successful credit repair companies know that that the more generous you are to your affiliates, the more paid clients they will send you. Just one great affiliate can bring you tens of thousands of dollars each year. And, if you keep those clients happy and give them awesome service, they will each tell their friends. That’s how your business will start to rapidly scale.
Approach Potential Affiliates
1. Approach confidently. When approaching any of these businesses, it is crucial to begin with the benefit you can provide them: “a generous commission for each paid client referred, and more qualified buyers that they can close (if they are mortgage brokers, realtors and auto dealers).”
2. Prepare for objections. The first objection you will hear, especially from auto salespeople, is that they don’t have time to work with you. They are paid on commission and need to work with as many customers as possible to close sales. But, the reality is that most of the customers who walk in their door will be denied due to credit issues.
3. Show the value of your affiliate referral agreement. Show them that, while they just spent an hour with a customer who was ultimately denied for financing, they can still earn a generous referral fee by spending 2 more minutes sending the client to you, or 1 minute on handing your card, flyer or brochure to that customer. What would normally be a wasted opportunity and wasted time has now become profitable for them.
Provide a Sales Script for Your Affiliates
The first thing to provide to affiliates is a concise, easy-to-use script. Think of this as a 60-second elevator pitch. Typically if a potential customer is turned down for a mortgage or car loan, the loan officer will not offer any alternatives, and they will lose the opportunity to convert this person into a paying customer. Instead, demonstrate value to your affiliates by creating a script that provides them an opportunity for future business with that customer. Instead of turning a customer away, they can say, “I can approve you for this loan as soon as we are able to improve your credit score.” They will then be able to refer the client to your credit repair business. Make sure that the script includes three crucial pieces of information:
- Timeframe: “Most clients are able to achieve a credit score that will allow them to gain approval in X period of time.” This is often the first thing that clients will want to know.
- Cost: “It’s $X to get started and $X/month thereafter.” It is important to offer a consistent product to the market so there is no gray area for potential clients.
- Value proposition (Where possible): “I value your business and want to make you a lifetime client. Once we are able to approve your loan, I can credit (half/all of) the cost of this service back to you.” You will have to work with the sales manager or sales representative of the affiliate business to see if there is a value proposition they are able to offer the client.
Build Affiliate Relationships
So, now you have your script but how do you get it in front of affiliate salespeople? In most cases, you will have most success meeting with the sales manager or location owner. This person will ultimately make the decision on whether his/her salespeople will work with you and will create a culture that encourages referrals. It helps to have some sort of personal introduction to the business, so tap your network for people who can refer you to local businesses. It is also beneficial to have some level of experience in their industry, whether auto sales, mortgage brokerage, or another kind of financing, so you can speak their language. If you do not have experience, spend time researching the industry before your initial contact.
Additionally, some clever and resourceful credit repair companies have had a great deal of success with having a representative embedded in the physical affiliate business (car dealership, mortgage company, etc.) during high-traffic hours. This way, salespeople can walk the turndowns right over to your representative to get started.
Most importantly, make the referral process as easy as possible for your affiliate salespeople. Automate everything you can through your credit repair software. Data entry is where salespeople often have the most trouble, so make the process seamless and put the majority of the burden on your software. Credit repair cloud can make it easy for your affiliates to pass off leads to you through their own affiliate portal, which you can enable for them!
When you do have your meeting, always dress for success from head to toe and carry yourself with confidence. Remember, there’s no second chance to make a great first impression.
Close the Deal with Referrals
Once you’ve received a referral from an affiliate, it is crucial to act on it as quickly as possible. If a customer is turned down for a loan from one officer, they may go immediately to the next and you will lose the opportunity to engage with them. Your initial conversation is very important, because you may only have one chance to close the deal:
- Be sincere and engaging. Find out the customer’s pain points: What happened? What is your goal? What is your timeframe? Etc.
- Be aware of red flags – No job, no income, no down payment, very low credit score, no computer, etc. You need to be able to understand when you simply can’t help a customer and need to refer him/her to someone else in your network (Bankruptcy officials, etc.) If you are unable to help them, make sure to ask if there is anyone in their family or network who may be able to use your services. There is always an opportunity for new business.
- Once you determine the customer is a fit, update his/her status in to your credit repair software immediately and get the process started.
Building mutually beneficial relationships with affiliate partners, while taking advantage of the wealth of features your credit repair software has to offer, will take your credit repair business to the next level. Some very successful credit repair companies refer almost entirely on affiliate referrals for new leads. Credit repair cloud has many built-in tools to help strengthen your relationships with your affiliates, including resources for them, easy-to-use forms to pass leads on to you, tools to compensate them, they can add their logo so their clients will see it when they log in and remember who sent them to you, secure messaging system, and more!
The most important element that will seal the deal and a long and lucrative relationship is maintaining professionalism and transparency in everything you do. We’ve built our software with this as our number one goal, and the most successful credit repair companies use these values to their advantage.
Learn more about the economics of a credit repair business with our Credit Repair Pricing and ROI Calculator.