The business of freelance brokering in the factoring and alternative commercial finance industries is one that is actually quite easy for almost anyone to enter. To enter “successfully“, however, will require a reasonably high degree of product knowledge along with some well developed soft skills. Once you have gained some knowledge, honed your soft skills, and have an identity (business name) along with some type of home office space, its time to start creating or setting up a few of the basic productivity tools you will need from day one as you open your doors and begin your business development efforts. Some tools can be considered optional if you are going to farm out certain work, such as the production of your brochures and flyers. Others cannot. All brokers, however, will need to develop or invest in some important productivity tools and sales aids when they begin to market in earnest.
The following productivity tools and sales aids should be considered “essential” from your first day of operation as a freelance broker and they include:
- COMPUTER: Laptop or Desktop, you will need a computer of recent vintage along with a 4-in-1 printer / copier / scanner / fax.
- SALES STORY: Of all the productivity tools in your arsenal, your sales story (or elevator pitch) is the most important and you will likely use it, in one way or another, every time you market or network. In fact, bits and pieces of your sales story will be a part of every marketing tool you have. Your marketing letters, social media profiles, classified ads, flyers, postcards, brochures will all utilize a piece or two of your sales story.
- COMPANY WEBSITE: From your first day you will need a well designed company website complete with a “squeeze” page, some offers such as free booklet or case study, and application form fields for prospects to complete.
- DOMAIN-RELATED BUSINESS EMAIL ADDRESS: A domain-related business email box is a very powerful marketing tool and especially so when you first open your doors. These email boxes are inexpensive and sometimes free with a domain purchase or hosting package purchase.
- WEBSITE ANALYTICS: This is free service through Google and is used to track responses to your business website’s various pages. Analytics is how you will gauge the effectiveness of your early marketing campaigns.
- EMAIL MARKETING SERVICE: Used to manage your e-lists for newsletter and bulletin distribution. You can often find a free service for lists of under 500 which is fine for getting started. You will soon outgrow the 500 limitation, however, as you begin to market in earnest
- A CONTACT RELATIONSHIP MANAGER (CRM): This is a completely indispensable tool used to manage your prospect lists, marketing campaigns, and the networking and relationship building processes. It is not uncommon for a freelance broker, in business for several years, to have 3,000 to 5,000 client prospects and networking contacts. You cannot possibly build business relationships competently and prospect effectively to such numbers without a CRM.
- BUSINESS CARDS: The lowly business card is an extremely powerful networking tool when designed in the proper way. They can be easily used to solicit questions about your services and capabilities.
- BROCHURES & FLYERS: You will need at least one quality brochure when you open your doors. Flyers and brochures can be created “on the fly” as you develop particular
- ENVELOPES, REPLY ENVELOPES, AND LETTERHEAD: Envelopes (#10), and reply envelopes (#9) are a must for general correspondence. Any mid-grade stationary will due, since you will be printing this as letterhead using your own computer when prospecting letters are required.
- WORD PROCESSOR OR PUBLISHER SOFTWARE: You will naturally require some version of a good word processing or design software on your computer such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Publisher.
Productivity Tools and Sales Aids in the IACFB Campus ANNEX
Developing a suite of productivity tools and sales aids can take both time and money. Fortunately, for those in the early stages of launching their factoring broker business, IACFB can supply a large selection of sales aid templates in the Training Campus ANNEX. For IACFB Members, the ANNEX is all about MARKETING. It contains an enormous selection of templates for brochures, flyers, cover letters, mail stuffers, telephone scripts, etc. It additionally contains both set up training and instructions for such important software tools such as Pipedrive and GetDrip. You can find out more about the IACFB Campus ANNEX here.
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