Prospecting for merchant services is no easy task! If you have ever spent hours in the field like many of us have, you know this statement is true. The good news is that while prospecting for merchant services is difficult, it is not complicated. In today’s post I will share five simple tips which will allow you to be much more effective in your prospecting efforts.
#1 – Walk into every business. Many agents I talk to are far too selective, and so they miss out on some large sales they could make. I remember one business I almost didn’t walk into because I knew it was a larger business. However, after walking in and speaking with the owner on the phone, I found out it was a franchise. It turned into a very nice sale since this prospect owns two franchises and a couple of car washes. The idea is twofold:
(1) you don’t want to miss any opportunities and
(2) keep your route tight so you can get a lot of prospecting and follow up done in a short amount of time.
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#2 – Open carefully. In a highly competitive market, you can’t just walk in and launch into a pitch. You need to have a way to open more carefully and build towards your opening pitch. The line I like to use the most is this, “Hi, my name is James Shepherd; I just have a quick question for you. I am a local business owner and offer credit card processing, point of sale systems and a lot more. I wasn’t sure if you guys were corporate or if this was a small business?” This will open up a great conversation and allow you to tell the contact what you do without risk of being shot down right away.
#3 – Follow up religiously. Learn to use next action steps after every visit. In other words, when you walk out of a business, don’t just make a note that says, “I talked to Bob; he likes golf.” You need to add to this: “I told him I would call him on Friday to schedule an appointment next week,” or “He was busy; I need to come back on Tuesday,” or “Nice guy; don’t see myself making this sale right now because he is very happy with current processor; add note to my calendar to follow up in three months.” A prospecting visit is never over until you have identified the next action step and when that step will be taken.
#4 – Track everything. The more information you have for a follow up, the better. I had one guy that I went back to after about six months. The first time I pitched him, he said that he would never switch processors again. My wife was with me; she doesn’t really love it when I turn on the sales magic. She is a little embarrassed as I talk and talk to get someone to change his or her mind, so I let it go at that and left him my card. I also wrote down his name, the name of the processor he is using, the issues he had the last time he switched, etc. When I went back six months later and called him by his first name, we were able to start up a great conversation. And he emailed me his statement. I closed this deal the next week. I know if I didn’t have that information from six months ago, I would not have had a chance.
#5 – Delegate procedures. I have seen dozens of agents start out selling fifteen or twenty per month. However, they slowly drop off as they get overwhelmed by installations and customer service. This is so sad to me. To delegate these simple tasks to someone else is so easy. You could find someone who would appreciate the work and who would allow you to get back to the work you know how to do so well. You must delegate these procedures effectively if you want to succeed and continue growing.
I hope these tips help!
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