The Sales Representative Business Model

“Using Sales Reps to grow the Business, the Sales Representative Business Model needs to focus on a streamlined training process and systematized marketing”

 

Case Study #1  ICE Keytags

With the Founder being an airline captain, he realized he needed to “hire your weakness“, so he put ads in Craigslist for commission-only salesmen.  He had no money for hiring salesmen any other way.  The ICE Keytag business really is a One Man business, but it is also a Sales Representative Business Model which means it is so much more than one man.  Infusionsoft made this possible.  Tom (the Founder) even said he nearly cried when he discussed the possibilities of Infusionsoft with his Infusionsoft rep back before he first signed on.

The ICE Keytag business was actually booming before Infusionsoft.  But the problem wasn’t how to grow, it was more about how to remain sane while managing 400+ independent reps all over the world while using Excel spreadsheets and paper!  Many times Tom had to intentionally slow the business down just to keep up.  Implementing Infusionsoft was able to change all of that by streamlining the hiring and training process of new reps.  All prospective Sales Reps went through a 5 module training program (complete with quizzes) and even had a paper agreement created in the end for them to sign.  Everything was automated!

In 2014, ICE Keytags also launched the pet equivalent of their keytags.  This combined with the new Medical Alert keytag has opened up even more possibilities for the business, but still at the core is the methods used with the original business.  The heart of the emergency data retrieval system is Custom Contact Fields.

“Our business has grown on the back of the referral affiliate model, with commissioned sales reps fueling our global growth.”

Referral affiliates have their own customized websites, links to whatever medium they want (email, print, banners, etc), personalized marketing videos, along with 7 hot call to action buttons loaded up with affiliate links.  Each link goes to different places whether it is a book, the ICE Keytag store, or a recruiting portal, but all leads are captured and assigned to the referring affiliate.  All opt-ins to marketing are driven to appropriate landing pages and funnels.  The recruiting funnels all lead to the Icekeytag.com/prospect address.

ICE Keytags posts regularly to Facebook (daily).  When Tag holders register their Keytags, they get access to a members only directory of ICE Keytag merchants around the world.  They also start getting marketing emails as well.  Several evergreen webinars are used to draw traffic, but it is the hundreds of affiliate websites that drive huge traffic to the main ICE Keytag website.

One very clever technique is to follow up with clients who recently purchased a set of Keytags and remind them that they should contact the people listed as who should be contacted in case of an emergency.  These contacts are very likely told about the Keytags which may become clients, but ICE Keytags does something different here too.  They give their current clients a special offer to extend to the friends and family of the current client.  This way, the client not only is helping him or herself by informing the emergency contact, he also gets to be a hero by getting a ‘special price’ for friends and family.

ROI for ICE Keytags is huge as almost no money is spent on marketing aside from some targeted Facebook postings.  Sharing a percentage of sales that other people make for you is the reason affiliate sales is so attractive in any business.

Tom recommends doing a regular purge of your database of inactive contacts and leads.  He likes the Scott Richins List Hygiene techniques from the Infusionsoft Mastermind call. (I’ll be looking into this and post it when I have learned more).

 

Case Study #2  The Harrelson Group

The Harrelson Group was ranked #1 for “Per Agent Production” in 2012 due to the automation possible with Infusionsoft.  They have spent over 100 hours building content to streamline the process of incorporating all of the agents in the company.  But now the business runs very smoothly with much fewer people handling many more transactions.

Most prospects are not ready to sell their homes, so The Harrelson Group nurtures people for years so that when they are ready, the prospects call them first.

Everyday, three hours are spent sourcing new leads. Greg (Founder) believes in regularly filling the funnel with new leads.  After this, only 30 minutes are needed to follow up with the leads using Infusionsoft.

Infusionsoft lets Greg “take the position as coach.  I’m not my agent’ boss or broker.  I’m optimizing my agents like some people optimize their website.  My goal is to develop my people.”  More contacts are gained now than lost, and segmentation makes delivering useful content based on interest much easier.  Over 1500 tags are present AND used.

Use of Infusionsoft gave The Harrelson Group the No. 1 brand recognition in their marketplace and helped them position themselves as an authority in their market.  Communication is centralized and controlled.  Marketing can stay consistent even with 50+ agents because it is centralized.  30,000 – 40,000 people are getting Non-Sales information monthly.  This information builds authority.  Unlike Zillow or Trulia, the messages sent out can be tailored to the recipient and timed appropriately.

One newsletter is written each month, but by using re-branding tricks in Infusionsoft, it looks like it comes from each agent complete with customized contact information and headers.  Consistency in message and delivery is maintained by using Infusionsoft.

If a condo in a particular building was sold, by using a tag search, other condo owners could quickly be found in the database and notified about the sale.  Often this will generate more sales.

The Active Seller Campaign (which is their favorite campaign) not only educates the sellers on practices and procedures, it also informs the seller of marketing adjustments for their listings.  Greg says the most important factor in the selling process is to keep the clients informed and stable in their chose to list a property with them.  The campaign is a set of emails for an entire year, but after two months, the emails only go out once a month.

After a contract is signed, contacts are entered into a Post Client Campaign with “Seller” based emails being sent to keep branding and market authority fresh in their new client’s mind.  This helps with repeat sales as well as referral business.  These monthly emails run for a full year and then restart automatically.

 

The Sales Representative Business Model is made from notes taken from the Small Business ICON Playbook “Top Customer Case Studies & Campaign Samples” from ICON14.

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