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Managing the ISO Rep-Broker Relationship

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

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Something funders deal with constantly is managing the relationship with their ISOs(brokers) and other referral partners. Funders have ISO Relationship Managers and other representatives to manage those relationships with ISOs.

Often ISOs will work extremely well with their representatives at the direct funding company and everyone is happy.

However, sometimes they clash or have instances of disagreement, whether a small issue in underwriting or bigger issues like deals getting declined at the last minute. Neither of which is always the responsibility of the ISO representative.

But what happens when an ISO doesn’t feel they are getting the best treatment or flat out requests another ISO rep or manager?

This question applies to a larger point in business in general. When do you make sure you support and back your employees over the client or the clients’ customer?

The answer to this has many variables but since this is a decision that could lead to a business losing a great employee, it’s one that should be well thought out.

Now, this doesn’t mean you ignore the clients’ issues or not do as they ask. Nor does it mean that issues like this should be a frequent occurrence because then that could mean a real problem with the employees’ performance.

It simply means that whatever the decision, it should be understood by the employee whether or not they have support from the employer. If they did nothing wrong and you still side with the client, that employee needs to understand if you supported their handling of the situation but you are still doing what’s best for the relationship and the business overall.

So to play out a hypothetical example using an ISO Manager from a Funding company and an ISO. I’ll refer to the individual at the ISO as a broker. Let’s say this broker has been funding a lot of deals with XYZ Funder for a couple of years. His contact at XYZ Funder is the ISO Rep who reports to an ISO department manager. Suppose a couple of issues came up between the broker and the ISO Rep that it made the broker upset enough that he didn’t want to deal with the ISO rep any longer. The broker requests from the ISO Manager that he be assigned to someone else. That ISO Manager takes it under consideration given the ISO is a valuable referral partner. The ISO Manager decides that, after hearing both sides of the situation and careful review of everything else, he will switch the broker to another ISO rep effective immediately.

This is where a proper discussion needs to happen even if it is very short.

One way of handling it that will work for everyone is to make sure the ISO rep understands that the ISO Manager doesn’t think they did anything wrong but will still honor the broker’s request because it’s best for the business. The ISO rep should understand this position and move forward.

Another way of handling it is to say nothing to the ISO rep and switch the broker to another ISO rep. This usually won’t sit well. Ignoring a conversation on what happened will lead the rep to believe they are at fault and the ISO Manager is not supporting their actions. Further tensions could develop from this down the line especially if other issues of any sort are not discussed.

Lastly, if the ISO Manager felt the ISO rep did not handle the situation well then the decision to switch to another ISO rep is simple yet a discussion is still made. This way the rep learns from their actions and performs better in the future.

These are decisions that sometimes mean the difference between keeping a valuable employee long-term or not. Your employee is the one you really need to keep happy first as they perform their duties to keep the company running. The broker, although valuable, is not first priority in the circumstances when the employee did nothing discernible wrong. As mentioned earlier there are many variables in these types of situations. Just be aware of how these decisions affect your ISO representatives and are there to support them.



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