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5 Tips on Switching a Merchant to a New Processor

I want to share 5 specific sales tips that I trust will help you switch a merchant from their current processor....

In most sales books and audio programs I have listened to, they spend the bulk of the time talking about helping someone overcome the fear of using your product or services but they don’t spend much time talking about how to switch someone from one service to another. In today’s article, I want to share 5 specific sales tips that I trust will help you switch a merchant from their current processor.
#5 – Understand that switching, like purchasing anything is an emotional rather than logical decision. It is obviously vital that you believe in what you are selling. If you are not with a processor who offers the basics of month to month agreements, free equipment, low pricing, etc. then it is time to make a switch. Keep in mind that merchants switch because they like you, trust you and believe you are going to help them succeed not because they realize you have the best deal. Sales ability is very important! #4 – Avoid the Impulse to Insult the Competition. We have all fallen prey to this before and it is a deal killer! The merchant says, “I am with XYZ Processing Company, what do you think about them?” We want to say, “That company is terrible, not even in the same ball park as us!” Instead, you should reply first with a compliment, then with specifics about your advantages. “Bob, XYZ Processing is a well respected company” or “I don’t know much about XYZ Processing but I have never heard anything that would cause me to doubt their integrity so I have nothing negative to report on them.” Then you follow up with, “Let me explain the 3 areas where we believe our offer is superior to XYZ Processing.” Make sure that you also defend your competition while making a point.

For instance, the merchant says, “XYZ Processing really ripped me off by tricking me into this long term lease.” You respond, “Bob, it is so discouraging to see practices like this in our industry. I certainly wouldn’t say that the agent who set you up was trying to be dishonest, he was probably just new and didn’t really understand how to provide the solution that you needed. That is why our company puts all of its agents through a rigorous training process to ensure that we have the right information to help our clients.

#3 – Say something negative about your offer early on to gain trust. Everyone has heard the saying, “If it seems too good to be true than it is not true.” and your prospects believe this statement. If you go in guns blazing and explain how you are the best of the best in every single area then the client will not trust you. There is always that moment when the client asks you about something that you don’t provide or where your processor is actually worse than what they currently have. Rather than trying to skip around these seemingly small issues and explain why they don’t need that benefit, just be honest and say, “Bob, that is one of our weaknesses, we don’t provide that feature right now but you can be sure we are working on it, what are some of the other concerns you might have?”  The client will immediately begin to trust you and what you say much more because you have shown them how honest you are.

#2 – Change the context of the conversation. One of the most important sales abilities when switching a merchant to a new processor is the ability to change the conversation from “Switching” to “Comparing.” I love saying lines like, “Bob, since I am willing to compensate you for any early termination fees you may have and since I offer a month to month agreement with no long term commitment, let’s look at my offer and XYZ Processing (Their current provider) on equal terms as if you were making the decision to start using one or the other today. On that basis and with the information I have provided you about our local service, pricing and free equipment, which provider would you choose?” When the prospect responds, “I guess I would have to choose your company.” Respond with, “Bob, I really appreciate that and I am going to earn your trust by ensuring that our service meets your expectations. With your permission, I would like to complete the paperwork and plan a good day next week to install your new terminal.”

#1 – Pitch Local Service. Recently I spoke with an agent who has personally sold 700 merchant accounts. His sales approach is very different than mine and so I listened very closely as he explained his pitch. One thing he does that I believe is very powerful at the beginning of his pitch is when the pricing comes up and the merchant asks things like, “What is your rate?” He responds with something like this, “Obviously we have very competitive rates but before we start talking about that, let’s talk for a minute about service, when is the last time you saw your local rep or heard from the person who set you up with your current provider?”  He also asks, “When is the last time your current company cleaned your magnetic card reader inside your terminal?” I am ashamed to admit that I never even knew that a magnetic head cleaner existed!!! I do however know that this a big issue for many small businesses who have to swipe a card three or four times in order to get it to read the card. These cleaners do exist and they are very inexpensive. Bring one with you into a business location and after they tell you their terminal has never been cleaned say something like, “Bob, it is very important to keep your credit card magnetic strip reader clean and with your permission I brought a cleaning card with me today and I would be glad to go ahead and get that cleaned for you so it will read cards on the first swipe more often.” Using a pitch like this will change the context of the conversation from price to service.

I hope these 5 tips will help you switch more merchants to your processing solutions!

Have a great day in the field!
James Shepherd

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