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3 Tips to Create a Sense of Urgency When Selling Merchant Services

Many sales people have experience that in some cases seems to work against them in our industry. If you sell mortgages, you are usually dealing with prospects who are purchasing a house. Although the mortgage business is competitive, your prospects are planning to make a decision and so there is already a sense of urgency. […]

Many sales people have experience that in some cases seems to work against them in our industry.  If you sell mortgages, you are usually dealing with prospects who are purchasing a house.  Although the mortgage business is competitive, your prospects are planning to make a decision and so there is already a sense of urgency.  If you sell cars, you are likely talking with people who need a new car and recognize this need.  The same goes for real estate agents who help people purchase a house once they are already looking to do so.  Imagine a real estate agent going door to door in a neighborhood simply knocking on the door and trying to convince people to move before being able to sell them a house and you will have some idea of the mental challenge in selling merchant services for reps from these other industries.

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Today I have some good news and bad news.  The good news is that once you get a merchant interested in switching providers, the sale itself is very straightforward and if you do it correctly, your closing ratio will be very high indeed.  The other bit of good news is that if you do convince someone of the need to switch, they will almost always choose you because you created the need.  The bad news is that you must overcome the hurdle of creating a sense of urgency and a need to switch before any of this matters.

Today I want to share with you 3 tips to create a sense of urgency.

Tip #1 – Play the numbers game.  In my opinion, the biggest challenge for a rep entering the merchant services industry from one of the industries listed above is understanding and accepting the change in the numbers game.  If you are coming from a background of selling mortgages, you are probably used to closing 30% or more of all the people with whom you talk.  This is because these people are coming to you having already decided to get a mortgage.  The same is true for real estate brokers, car salesman and insurance salesman.  In almost every case, your “Prospects” are in the market for what you are selling before they come into contact with you.

The numbers game in merchant services is really no different once you get a good contact but you will be speaking with a lot more people in order to get a qualified prospect.  If you walk into 20 businesses and speak with 5 business owners, you will probably only get 2 new qualified contacts.  A qualified contact is someone who recognizes a need to review their credit card processing and is willing to move forward with you to the get a cost analysis.  In most other sales jobs, this is the starting point.  Of these 2 or 3 new contacts, you will probably sell 1, but walking into 17 businesses where you made no headway can be discouraging for the sales rep who doesn’t understand that they must play a new numbers game and walk into 20 businesses in order to find a couple where they can create a need and a sense of urgency.

Tip #2 – Use your opening pitch to create a decision point, not to create a decision.  This is so important that it is impossible for me to over emphasize it.  Your goal in your opening pitch is simply this.  You are trying to get the business owner to recognize that they need to make a decision about their processing.  NOT that they need to decide to use you for their processing.  Certainly you might get good enough that you do a one call / one stop close, but that is still a separate part of the sales process.  At the very beginning of the pitch, one mistake I have seen over and over again is that the sales rep assumes the business owner is already interested or at least thinking about a new processor.  In 99% of the cases, the business owner is NOT LOOKING TO SWITCH!  Therefore, the objections they raise are not specifically about you or your services.  Their objections are simply the manifestation that they have no interest in even thinking about credit card processing.  They view this service as something that is already taken care of.  It is an issue that they don’t need to think about right now and they have many other problems that are urgently in need of attention.

So, how do we get the merchant to recognize that this is a decision point?  You need to educate the merchant and emphasize that you are only there to help them see that a decision is needed and not to get them to say “YES” to your services.  Don’t engage with them on their early objections and try to “convince” them to go with you.  Instead, try to convince them that they should be thinking about their payment processing needs in general regardless of whether or not they choose to go with you.  Here are some lines I like to use.

“Susan, let me tell you right off the bat that I have no intention of even asking you to do business with me today.  I have found one of the worst things I can do is quickly sign up a new client before I have a full understand of their needs.  My only goal in stopping by today is to let you know about the changes in EMV compliance and Mobile Payments and let you know that Electronic Payment Processing needs to be back on your radar screen because things are changing.  Would you agree that with these changes it might be time to at least look into some alternatives for processing payments?”

“Randy, I know you are happy with who you have and honestly there are many times that I meet with someone, provide them information and a competitive bid and they end up staying with their current provider.  Of course I am biased and I think you should work with me, but I understand this is a competitive industry.  All I want to do is give you a competitive bid and show you a few things that have changed recently in our industry as a result of new technology like the EMV Chip cards, apple pay, and even changes to the way American Express is structuring their program.  Would you at least agree that these issues are important enough to spend a few minutes reviewing the solutions you have with a payments expert like myself?”

Tip #3 – Always have a special offer.  When I was prospecting full time, I was always running a limited time special as a result of something that was going on.  Nothing will create a sense of urgency like a limited time offer.  Not only do you need to convince them that a decision needs to be made, you also need to convince them that there is a benefit to them making this decision in the near future.  Once you get past the initial phase of conversation, you need to move into specific examples about what you offer that will keep the decision momentum going.  Here are a few examples.

$100 Cash Back – Make no mistake about it, small business owners are strapped for cash personally.  Let them know that there is no set up fee or application fee (if you are selling on our team) and that you will not only guarantee to save them money each and every month, but when they sign up and activate their account, your company will give them (personally) a $100 Visa Gift Card.  If you are getting a decent up front bonus, you can just take the $100 out of that.  Print up a little marketing piece even if it looks a little cheap.  I would always design these in VistaPrint on a business card and get a box of 250 really cheap.  One one side was my business card info and on the other side was a very distorted pic of a $100 bill with “$100 Cash Back” on it.

Free Terminal – Some of you have been with good processors way too long and have forgotten that there is still a huge chunk of our industry that doesn’t offer free terminals.  On our team, we offer a free loaner terminal to every merchant that is EMV and NFC ready.  Make a big deal about this.  I like to get a spare terminal that I can bring in and show them what it looks like.  Opening a box on the counter while saying your opening line will really catch their attention.  Let them know this is something you are offering “this month.”

Guaranteed savings minus 25 basis points – This one gets a little tricky and you need to understand processing costs to do it.  Basically you walk in and say, “Bob, I know everyone guarantees you that they will save you money but then you give them your statement and they save you like $1 per month.  So, for the month of November, I am guaranteeing that I will save you at least 25 basis points.  I can tell you how much that is right now.  Do you know roughly how much credit card processing you do each month?”  Then you take that number and multiply it by 0.0025  If you are with a good processing partner, this is a pretty safe offer for merchants processing between $5,000 and $20,000 in volume.  DON’T MAKE THIS OFFER TO HUGE MERCHANTS!

***IMPORTANT*** Make sure you multiply the monthly savings by 12 to give them the yearly savings.  Hear is how it sounds.  Let’s say that Bob processes $10,000 per month.  I take $10,000 x 0.0025 and see that I am guaranteeing to save him at least $25 per month.  I certainly don’t want to say that!  Instead, I multiple $25 x 12 and tell him, “Bob, I can guarantee you that at a minimum I will save you $300 on your merchant services in the first year and it could be even more than that.  I’m sure $300 is worth sitting down with me for 5 minutes to look at your statement, right?”

I hope these 3 tips will help you increase your sales!  If you have any questions, feel free to CLICK HERE to schedule a call.


Make it a great day!

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