B2B Broker Psychology 101: The Long Way of Validating a Funding Company
B2B Broker Psychology 101: The Long Way of Validating a Funding Company
Broken down by Amanda Kingsley in the only way I know how. In a comedic perspective of the "professionalism" in the Merchant Cash Advance industry. My goal is to point out the unbelievable ways in which people try to gain business. It all starts with knowing what to look for. Why not make it a fun learning experience.
*Broker Names and Funding Company Names have been changed in this article to protect the identity from the inquisitive. The exaggeration is true because seriously, I can't make this stuff up.
I got an email from a Broker...
"Amanda, have you ever heard of these guys?"
I love this question. It's like a christmas present that you kind of know what's inside but you keep unraveling in excitement. In this case, the present is always socks but you never know, you could be wrong.
The journey of unraveling the present is the point here so join me as I go through this “Funder Intro” email and show you first hand how I help Brokers decide who to fund their deals with.
Let’s start by taking off the ribbon…
I scrolled down to the forwarded email chain and saw the nicely outlined introduction along with the attachments. I'm partial to attached agreements and guidelines. So you're telling me I have to upload your agreement and use my own e-sign? Pshhh... Aren't you the one with the money?!
Here is the quick steps I dig into:
Look at Phone number.
Where are you? NYC? Cali? Long Island? Miami? Texas? Long Island?
I Google the phone number. I want to see your Google Business Page and those ratings!
Wait... there isn't anything there!? Who is this Funder?!
Let's rip off some wrapping paper and go to the Website
What goes through Amanda's head...
"Are they really using Comic Sans font in their header?!"
"There's that freaking lady with the brown hair in the glasses that looks like a broke Tina Fey"
"95% qualify for funding" Where in the heck did they get that number?!
Other things I notice that you don't have to be so detailed about. Remember, I judge Funding Companies by their website and have no shame in doing so. It’s 2020 - do better.
For giggles, I sometimes like to copy and paste the first header line of their site right after "Company name offers..." to test authenticity.
In this case…
Stolen content from Mulligan Fundings website
"At __________ , aside from providing fast business funding, we strive to provide a customer service experience that is seamless, transparent and allows you to feel confident choosing us to fulfill your capital needs."
"At Mulligan Funding, aside from providing fast access to business funding, we strive to provide a customer service experience that is seamless, transparent and allows you to feel confident choosing us to fulfill your capital needs."
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Unless you're trying to rip off Brokers.
Not in my house.
Let’s scroll all the way to the Footer.
Copyright Created in 2019. Copyright law protects creators of original material from unauthorized duplication or use. Guess they don’t know the definition but will after Mulligans legal reaches out.
The point of the footer is to see privacy policies, cookie policies, terms and conditions and a nice consolidated menu and social networking links to validate your company. Guess what?
There is none. *Shocking at this point, right? I wouldn’t keep going and would just report my findings. But let’s press the “Apply Now” button before we leave.
Guess what is there?
Just "Small Business Funding Application" and a blank page. Nice. I've seen enough.
Back to the email and open this dang present already!
Their email jargon to Brokers show they have industry experience. It's a plus, but not enough to win me over.
Basic introduction email commentary for your enjoyment...
We are a Direct Funders
Annoying line. Why do we even have to say this?
Broker Driven - NO retail sales
That's not what your website implies. Not even a dedicated ISO/Broker page. Shame.
Fund 2nd - 6th Position
So can my Mom at this point.
Kind of scary knowing that servicing reverses is a huge job and you need to have 1) the platform to organize 2) smart humans to service 3) this costs money to manage OR offset to another platform servicer and mention nothing about your staff.
We fund quick
Uh, as you should
With minimal stips
It depends on the deal or your underwriter - decision maker. *There is a HUGE difference between closing stips/docs and the in-between minimal stips... this line is ALWAYS a lie. The ISO relations representatives are talking here, NOT the underwriter.
Same-day funding till 5:00 PM
Genius statement...The Banks close at 5pm. But wires…wait?
Their entire website/email address spelled out is like 30 syllables long and I refuse to believe that good domains don't exist anymore. I understand the LLC.com or the INC.com may have to be added to have a proper.com name, BUT GEEZ. 'Amanda@clearskyvisioncapitalfundinggroupllc.com' is certainly not catchy...
your Brokers will spell it wrong, and it'll take the Broker another 6 hours to realize that you didn't answer. Then POOF* the deal is dead.
The box has too much tape… we’re almost there!
The email attachments
In this case the Broker had a call with the ISO Manager before the email was sent. If not, I wouldn't just throw any attachments before solidifying interest. thumbs up*
Very nice! Clean, outlined, colors matched and it wasn't too all over. Kudos to the person who made it. I hope they paid you!
I briefly went through the multiple program names they created around their capped 1.68 sell rate and chuckled to myself and questioned my life.
It gets better.
The agreement was nice too! I can't say the same about the legal jargon but let's start with the address, which I will not disclose but they're on an island. That's the only clue!
Question: Why, oh, why do Funders not put the floor or the suite number? It's not like you own the entire building. Are you afraid you're going to be Googled?
*Takes address and puts "Capital" or "Funding" with it and POOF*, results of all other similar companies in the building! You're welcome.
Co-working spaces are amazing. Don't get me wrong. Everyone loves their little black Wework card and beer on tap on those days. No shame in the Wework game.
If you're a virtual office, now we have issues. Here is why.
Yes, quarantine is a thing and everyone is working from home. That doesn't now make it okay to have one. We all know that the organization of a funding company cannot function at its fullest potential that way, especially if you have 5 programs which need constant servicing like obtaining weekly bank statements for your reverse consolidation disbursements. Your fees are probably astronomical too to cover this cost. Just saying.
Last but not least, Ownership aka the actual present.
I do this last. Why? I don't want to judge someone's Company on "someone." We all have our own beginning in this space and learning experiences and some do actually branch off to do amazing things.
*optimistic dog believes in you*
But in this industry, it takes a strong psychology so let's say screw it and be B2B Psychologists.
This is when I pretend to cross off application questions. Scrub them like you would a Merchant.
Google: Company Legal Name.
TIB: Early 2020. Right before Covid19. Ouch.
Registered Location: A very crappy part of one of the 5 New York City boroughs. A few blocks away from where I used to live actually. Where once you cross that one street you better just be getting a beef patty because you have no business being there. Not judging...moving on.
Registered officer: Nothing. Why?! Are you seriously going to make me Google your ISO Manager and accidently click on his Linkedin public profile because I refuse to pay for premium?! Fine.
*Searches Company Name on Linkedin first to see their employees and...
There is one lonely employee of this Company. A VP of ISO Development. I thought I was done but the rabbit hole has another tunnel!
Who is this VP of ISO Development that doesn't have the same name as the signature in my Brokers email?!?
Even though the email name is very vague, it leaves me to believe two things:
1: ISO Manager on email is an innocent bystander new to MCA and coached to call a list of ISOs. Sad but true. At least let the man have a Linkedin and not be scared he'll learn too much. Gosh.
2: It's a fake name and there are multiple emails with made up employees like, Linda Jones or Dominick Perez.
Back to the single lonely Linkedin page of the one employee at Funder with a profile photo that looks like a fake glamour shot staring into the abyss with a fade overlay edited perfectly to accent your beard. *A for effort.
With the little bit of connections, education, and employment history, it leads me to believe that you, Mr. VP of ISO Relations, just made this profile too. At least you made the effort. (Read that back in the voice of Joe from the Netflix series "You"")
I found nothing on any legitimate real person. Nothing from the address too. I told you guys that the present is socks and the best part is the unwrapping.
Why does it take so much effort in order to validate a Funding Company?
I just went through all of that because the company wasn't on Funder Intel. I could at least count on the FI validation team to confirm the legitimacy of a Direct Funding Company and count on my network to give me feedback. A big part in validating a company is what I just did and more, but do you see why I and the team at Funder Intel do what they do?
The points of research are simple. The search part is fun but unless you know exactly what to look for and where, you can go down a huge rabbit hole (like I did) just to prove that this Company, along with many others, are NOT who they say they are.
There are good people in the business financing industry. Whether it is Merchant Cash Advance, Equipment Financing, or Invoice Factoring, there are professional representatives that only want to see their Brokers and ISOs succeed.
If you liked this article and want to hear more crazy stories from a real Broker perspective, like, leave a comment, and share this with your peers!
I hope you enjoyed a good laugh and finally got to see the real side of B2B Broker Psychology. Until next time, where we really dig into the scary world of Co-Brokering, Clawbacks, and Commission splits.
I am RELENTLESS in my journey to build the strongest Broker Network. Check me out on The Broker Life Podcast, The Broker Life Facebook Group, or building the modern broker with CapLadder. #beabetterbroker