This morning I had two very similar phone calls.  Both sales people with whom I talked asked, “How can I improve my opening pitch?”  They weren’t getting a good conversion rate from contacts to sales.  These two reps were doing a good job at selling cash discounting.  Their pitch included no dishonesty at all.  However, there were some things they didn’t want to talk about.  They were dreading THE objection – the one they KNEW was coming.  Avoiding the subject is only temporary though.  We all know the merchants’ objection in cash discounting is this issue of passing the cost of processing on to the consumer.  Read on to benefit from one tip I gave these two reps.

Try honesty; it works!  Honesty will disarm prospects and help you close the deal.  A friend of mine says, “You have to be able to sell the steak.  But you also must sell the sizzle.”  I understand there is a certain part of sales that is showmanship.  There might be a tad of misdirection or even psychological manipulation.  Be careful in sales not to take that too far!  The biggest temptation to do this is when trying to avoid an objection.  If you KNOW an objection is coming, just deal with it up front.  Be honest about it.

Don’t be afraid to throw out a negative.  To be positive is good.  But in sales you must be willing to share the truth.  Otherwise, merchants won’t trust you.  They already know that everything about what you’re offering isn’t great.  Business owners have learned there is no such thing as easy money.  If you’re offering to save them $10,000 a year on cash discounting, merchants expect there is a catch.  They understand trade-offs.  Business owners want to know the trade-off.  Don’t pretend you’re offering an amazing program with no negatives.  You must be serious about trade-offs.  Small business owners really do know that!

Here is an interesting comparison between a sales pitch and manufacturing.  Consider an auto manufacturing factory.  There are many different processes involved.  One area makes the body, one the engine, etc.  As the car travels on the assembly line, imagine that putting on the four tires takes an hour.  No matter how quickly other jobs are done, the car is at this place on the line for an hour!  This is called a bottleneck.  So, the process can not be faster until the bottleneck is solved.  All effort must go into getting the tires on faster.

In sales we often know there is an unavoidable objection coming, a “bottleneck.”  Whether verbally or subconsciously, the merchant has that objection in mind.  Don’t waste 5 minutes or, in worst-case scenario, two or three visits before dealing with that objection.   Deal with it up front in the most honest and transparent way possible.

#1 Example:  I’m talking to a merchant about cash discounting.  Here is an example of my opening pitch.  “Hi, my name is James Shepherd.  I came here today to talk to you about an interesting new item.  I’ve been in the payment processing industry for a long time.  I’m sure you’ve heard about these new programs where the business owner is basically passing the cost of credit card processing on to the consumer, right?  You’ve maybe heard of surcharges or convenience fees?”  The owner responds, “Oh yeah, we would never do that.”  Then I continue, “Up until even six months ago, I was really skeptical about it myself.  I was thinking that customers would hate it and leave for another company.  However, as I’m sure you’ve experienced before, assumptions can be wrong until we prove them.  I started LOSING customers here in central PA!  They began going to companies who did the cash discounting!  I do realize cash discounting is a way to pass the cost on to the consumer.  But it’s done in such a way that the consumer doesn’t seem to care at all.   I was seeing this for myself.  Also, other business owners in the area were confirming they weren’t losing any business.  Then I began checking into research studies which further confirmed consumers were not rattled.”  You can refer to previous episodes to learn more about cash discounting and your pitch.  However, notice that the controversial issue is addressed immediately in the pitch.  Cash discounting IS passing the cost of processing on to the consumer.  Eventually you must talk about it.  Just do it!

#2 Example:  This would be when selling traditional processing.  You should already know the objection is that EVERYBODY is pitching merchant services.  Merchants complain they get about five calls a day or people walking in all the time.  Their viewpoint is, “You are no different than the others who approach me.  So, I’m not interested in what you have to say.”

Therefore, what should your opening pitch be?  “Hi, my name is James Shepherd.  I do payment processing services.  Before I even get into that, I know you get called probably five times a day about payment processing and have people coming in here all the time.  I’m sure you are sick to death of hearing about payment processing.  Am I right?”  [Response:  “Yes.  I definitely am!”]  You continue, “First of all, I totally understand that.  Before I take any of your time on that subject, let me take one minute to tell you why I’m different than anybody else who has ever walked in here before.”  Jump right into that.  That little line is one I just learned from a rep doing a lot of deals.

Whatever the objection is, try honesty.  Show the attitude, “Hey, I realize this is a problem.”  The business owner may recognize there IS something different about you.  But remember to be realistic about the negatives so that merchants will be more apt to trust you.  Honesty will disarm those objections and help you close the deal.

Don’t miss the episode tomorrow.  The tip I’m sharing is another exciting one!  Read next article here:  http://www.ccsalespro.com/go-flow-hear-no/  Go with the Flow, When you hear NO

Read previous article here:  http://www.ccsalespro.com/fun-make-money-best-advice-sales-rep/  Have Fun and Make Money – The Best Advice for a Sales Rep