Your partner relationships are an essential ingredient of your business' success. We speak from a position of privilege when it comes to the data we're able to analyze because we work with hundreds of accountants and financial planners in Australia that were all paired up with suitable finance professionals, so we have a rather unique perspective and understanding of the bilateral arrangements that work, and those that don't. This article introduces the basic partner funnel that we recommend be used to organically attract partners into your pipeline, and how this funnel is used to develop potential relationships introduced via the real-world.
The matchmaking component of our service is one that was previously a default component of our former Growth program, and is now one that is only managed via our selective Platinum program (150-million additional volume guarantee). The reason we ceased providing a partnership arrangement to our Growth program is simple: it didn't always work. We would make the set-and-forget arrangement on our end and then rely on each party to ensure momentum and growth was maintained... but it didn't always work as intended. In reality, we needed to inject ourselves into that partnership for a short time (as the common conduit) to manage systems until the arrangement was greasy enough to support itself. In one case we introduced a broker to a fast-growing real-estate business that did a good job of telling buyers to "wait six months and save a little more" when they were interested in buying now. This particular broker talked a lot about his 'social conscious' and 'best interest duty' when the best interest of the consumer were largely ignored. Needless to say that the partnership migrated to another broker that performed his role in the relationship as expected. Sadly, this was something that repeated itself a few times in different ways.
Managed correctly, and treated as a real business partnership, a few solid partnerships will add hundreds of millions in business to your pipeline every year. We've discussed the virtues of relationships, introducers, and referral programs elsewhere so we'll dive straight into how our partner website module attracts and supports partners into your organisation.
What a Partner Funnel is Not
Given that there's some digital messaging floating around the industry that is objectively flawed in every respect, it's important to introduce the attributes of a poor-performing partner funnel.
The partner funnel is not any of the following:
- A landing page hosted on a third-party website (or created on a third-party website but hosted on your own domain).
- An email autoresponder program.
- A proposition that doesn't introduce clear and positioned value to the other party.
- One that doesn't support the relationship by way of integrated technology solutions.
- A technology solution in isolation.
A partner product is just that: a product. Like any product it needs to come with a readily defined framework that fits the majority of partners that you will invariably attract.
The Partner Marketing Funnel
Relationships are based on real-world connections and reputation. They're developed in the same way you develop a potential mortgage client: by demonstrating the attributes of expertise and authoritativeness in order to build trust. Generic digital efforts just don't work in isolation - they must be supported by the same powerful digital and relationship-based framework that is applied to your own funnel participants.
First, and in order to demonstrate the value that you're able to assign to your own product, and to show how you might add value to the other business outside the scope of your 'core' services, consider the following partner features that Yabber provides (some may be in closed Beta but all will drip-feed to the system when fully tested):
- Access to PartnerDashboard.com.au for approved brokers (currently a SalesTrekker-only option).
- The 'Partner Plugin' - submit landing pages and other digital assets directly to your partner websites.
- Integrated telecommunications. Support your partner with dedicated phone numbers and voice services.
- Supported social media. Share your efforts on partner platforms.
- Support property partners with various SMS programs (property alerts, property pricing texts etc.).
- Support property partners with a property listing dashboard (currently in BETA and available to only participating brokers).
- Provide selected live and always up-to-date bank product data to partners through the Partner Plugin.
- Support Planner and Property businesses via a dedicated module on your website (with their own funnels).
- A suite of calculators and other tools provided by way of the Partner Plugin you provide them.
Your website funnel and escalated subscription-based funnel will clearly provide the information necessary for your business to stand out.
One of the first actions a potential partner will take once they're approached is to check out your website. If your online experience doesn't stand out it becomes more difficult for your claims or custom-focused positioning to be justified. The mortgage broker website we provide clients is designed to be 'different' and includes a large number of dynamic and information-rich features, but it also includes an important back-end module to support partners directly, and it is this page that should showcase your technology, customer relationship, quality assurance, and branded solutions that will provide a genuine value-add to the potential partnering business. A potential partners is looking to build their business, and a partnership shrouded in unknowns, or one that doesn't position your partnership program as a product, will do little to substantiate or support the positioned claims you're making.
Your Partnership Program should be ever bit as defined as your home loan suite, and its this qualify control that'll attract larger franchise groups and larger businesses into your experience. Part of this product presentation - and you certainly don't need our broker website to make it happen - is to have your program defined within its own core website module.
Your Partner Module Looks However You Want It
The default partner page we provide you is quite empty. We expect that you will create a block of partner Yabber FAQs to describe your program, and you should include a video introducing the arrangement (it's only these two components that we don't provide). In a perfect world you'll also have your program documented and available as a subscription-based or open download.
To alter the page shown below to your liking takes just a few minutes with the drag and drop elements we provide (we obviously help build the page you need). The entry image is the first page asset we find the majority of brokers will change (we recommend a team photograph).
Pictured: An example partnership entry page. Modifying every aspect of this page may be altered in just a few minutes. The placeholders are obviously replaced when migrating to your own domain.
The Partner Module is a Standalone Resource
No partner proposition is of any value unless it is supported by website assets showcasing your expertise, and we've obviously included the Partner module (albeit quite basic) within our 'standard' mortgage broker website.
The Partner Module is contained within its own post type meaning that it's easier for you to build the partner section of your website into a living and breathing dynamic resource. As your marketing matures, and as your partner programs start to develop more success, you might assign more time into building more content or videos to support the relationships... and the module provides scope for the agile implementation of new features.
Pictured: The Partner Module within your website. When deployed the mortgage broker website we provide you will include an archive page (highlighted in yellow) that acts as the 'entry page' (by way of the
yourdomain.com/partner URL). Child pages, or additional content, is created as a partner post type. The most successful brokers we work with that have the most profitable partner relationships have up to 10 or 12 pages to support the partner side of their business.
If you build a program with clear value to support your 'service' claims you will have partners approaching you. Until you have a true partner product in place you can't expect anybody to invent something you seemingly don't provide.
A partner is always firmly committed to partnering with a broker that will support their client to the same standard that they'd expect internally. To that end, you can refer to the EDGE post-settlement systems, relationship follow-up systems, and a systematic and predicable digital communication strategy.
Set yourself up correctly, and have a clear program in place that adds identifiable value to the other business, and you will have potential partners approach you. They'll often bypass the nurturing funnel and simply call you to explore your product because it really will present as exceptional.
Managing Partners in Yabber
Managing your partners in Yabber is made via dedicated module. At the time of writing we're completely rebuilding some of the back-end features to be more consistent with other areas of the platform. The primary component, however, is unlikely to change: the registration of a partner in your account.
Pictured: Yabber's partner module. At the time of writing it is undergoing a rebuild (mainly to do with partner email notifications) and will be ready for new clients by early October 2021.
The primary purpose of the module is to register a partner API key that is used with their partner plugin to access various resources. In some cases your partner will allow you to take control of various back-end features of their website (by way of landing pages), and the partner plugin supports the creation of any number of landing pages on any number of partner websites. In some cases your partner may assign a block of content on their website (such as a panel or an area in their sidebar) that you may also control via the plugin. The partner plugin is an extremely powerful tool.
The partner tools we've just described would likely justify our entire subscription... although it has a very limited audience (it's very similar to a feature we use for aggregators). We determined if that brokers had the tools available they'd likely use them, and the value returned to their business would be enormous, so the module is now a default feature.
If you're currently using the partner features please understand that major changes will be introduced over the next six weeks.
Despite providing the highest-yield Facebook program in the country (where the majority of brokers are drawn), we advocate a number of relationship based programs be introduced to your business, and we support your efforts by way of technology and systems that sets you apart from the mediocrity bidding for a piece of the same pie.
You don't need a partner product to attract partners. However, in order to grow, and in order to position yourself in a cold market, you really do need a product that'll support your claims without the incessant phone calls and effort. In the same way, you don't need our website - you're quite capable of introducing a section to your website today that introduces your partner product.
In order to stand out - and as obvious as it may sound - you need to stand out. You won't do this by peddling the same commission-based back-scratching arrangement introduced by the majority of the your competitors. You need to add value, and you're required to demonstrate that value in very real and tangible ways, and quite frankly, in a manner than only Yabber can deliver.
Once again, ignore those competing messages in the marketplace suggesting that partnerships aren't worth the effort, or don't return any value. We see Billions every year on the back of our programs and we know the programs work.
We see some brokers receive triple-digit ready-to-go leads every month on the back of our introductions, and as long as you continue to deliver on the referring business objectives you'll continue to receive their leads. A sound partnership and referral program - with a little bit of good SEO thrown in - is often enough to return growth to your business without any digital programs.