Brokers: It’s Okay To Be A Piker
The Financial Services Industry is famous for coming up with different connotations that are outside of the comprehension level of the general public. Such connotation listings include terms such as: Derivatives, EPS, Diluted EPS, SPO, EBITA, Par Value, among others.
But there’s one word that I wanted to discuss in particular that comes off as a form of “slang” within the Industry, and that’s the word Piker. To be called a piker by someone in our industry, is to be called a person that thinks small, reaches for small goals and doesn’t dream big.
MASS NEW BROKER ENTRANTS HAVE BIG DREAMS
The Merchant Cash Advance Industry is in a major bubble right now, with a large quantity of new broker entrants into the market all with big dreams inspired by the myriad of industry recruiting ads, highlighting that with little-to-no experience, you can jump in and make $20k a month. The “rah rah” sales motivational speeches soon follow with examples on how one guy is making $25k per month, how another guy just sold his MCA firm and cashed out for $5 million, how another guy made $1 million last year alone, and how YOU can do all of this too if you just come on in and start dialing!
So the big dreamers begin to dream……
- “This year I’m what Dave Ramsey calls a Whopper Flopper. I hate working in this crappy Burger King drive-thru, it’s time to start making my dreams come true.”
- “Next year, I will be making $20,000 a month and driving around in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.”
The guy joins the new rolls of rookie/new broker entrants on web based predictive dialers calling merchants about a “UCC” they filed 3- 12 months ago. He will start out with about 150 merchants to call on Monday about this UCC filing, and by the time he calls those merchants on Monday, they would have already been called by 15 – 30 other companies over the previous two weeks alone.
In other words, they will all slam the telephone down in his face after he literally mentions the fact that he’s calling from any “capital or funding” company, without him even being able to get a word in.
DREAM KILLED (REALITY SETS IN)
The reality is that success in our industry is mainly due to leveraged resources, rather than actual superior “selling” capabilities. What happens is that 20% of the brokers in the market remain profitable and sustain a good career/operations going forward, where as 80% of brokers don’t last more than 3 – 6 months, mainly because the 20% has access to resources that the other 80% don’t have access to, that provides them a significant market competitive advantage. These resources include:
- Having Strategic Partnerships with Banks, Credit Unions, Processors and Other Associations
- Having Access To Financing (Debt and Equity) Allowing For A Much Higher Marketing Budget
- Having Access To Better Base Pricing
- Having Access To Better Quality Data
- Having Access To Better SEO Positioning
- Having Access To Better Marketing Channels
Mr. New Broker, you were hired to be a part of what I call The Mom and Pop Network, which is just a group of random brokers who will resell for free (you pay for all of your expenses). So they might maintain a Mom and Pop Network of 2,000 brokers that bring in on average of 10 applications a year (20,000 apps) with 35% getting approved (7,000) and 30% closing (2,100) with an average funding per client of $30,000. This is $63 million in annual funding volume for the firm from this source alone.
A DIFFERENT APPROACH: THE PIKER APPROACH
So Mr. New Broker, how about instead of following the “rah rah” sales crowd, how about you join me over here on the Piker side and we set some goals on being solidly in the middle class instead?
- Going based on individual income, you are considered middle class in the US for the most part if from staying in an low/average cost of living area, you make over $40k a year (lower middle class), $50k – $60k a year (the middle of the middle class) or $70k – $85k (higher middle class).
- $50k – $60k a year in a low cost of living area will still allow you to live in a great quality Suburb, if you strategically manage your expenses with efficient budgeting and tax reduction strategies.
- You also want to be putting away let’s say $7,500 a year into your retirement/investment accounts. If you do this for 40 years from 25 – 65, with just a conservative 5% per year return, you will have over $1 million at age 65. At 65 you could put that $1 million principal into a long term CD paying let’s say 3% per year, opt to receive the interest every month, and get $30,000 a year. Then when you add in your Social Security payments of let’s say $20,000 a year, this now gives you $50,000 a year in spending power without even touching the $1 million principal.
IMPLEMENTING THE PIKER APPROACH
The first thing you want to do is make sure you stay in a low cost of living area, so if you are in a high cost of living area like NYC or LA, I would move immediately. Secondly, you would setup your virtual office (in the cloud) to include your telephone line, fax line, website, etc. Thirdly, you want to focus on doing market research on various market niche challenges where you can come in and creatively solve outstanding problems, for example, you might do some of the following:
- Find new solutions for niche industries that don’t qualify for most MCAs, but would like an MCA.
- Find new solutions for start-up companies seeking working capital.
- Analyze big data sources to find merchants in particular situations that you could address.
Map out a complete strategic business plan with sales forecast estimates, ROI estimates, and partner with companies that have the infrastructure to help deliver the solutions you laid out. Keep your credit clean and use No Interest Credit Card Promo Deals to creatively finance your marketing efforts.
FINAL WORD – AM I DREAMING TOO SMALL?
Am I dreaming too small? Shouldn’t I be up all night focused on how to be the next CAN Capital?
My issue with the “rah rah” sales speech is that they preach from the TOP of the ladder in terms of the extravagant income estimates ( $250k – $1 million per year), without providing any information to New Brokers on actual strategies, competencies, networks, and resources needed to ACTUALLY amass such levels of annual income. It doesn’t make any sense.
So my advice for all New Brokers is to be a PIKER, which is to establish yourself solidly in the middle class first, then once that’s done, you can look at ways to expand on your competencies, resources and networks to grow into the six figure income range.Last modified: November 5, 2015
John Tucker is Managing Member of 1st Capital Loans LLC, as well as an M.B.A. graduate and holder of three bachelor's degrees in Accounting, Business Management and Journalism. Tucker has nearly 9 years of professional experience in Commercial Finance and B2B Sales. Connect with Tucker on LinkedIn by clicking (here), or contact Tucker at Tucker@1stCapitalLoans.com or at 586-480-2140.