Are you saying the wrong things?
Doctors have scalpels, medical equipment and medication to cure the sick. Lawyers have their library of law books and experience to help their clients. Every professional has tools to accomplish the task at hand. As a sales professional, your tools are your words. If you are a serious sales professional, you know that what you say, how you say it and even the body language you use when speaking will make or break your success. I have found 5 things that sales professionals in the merchant services industry say that hurt their chances of success.
#1 – “Credit Card Processing” (in the introduction)
I used to use an opening that said, “My name is James Shepherd and I provide Credit Card Processing services here in…” and while this pitch will work in rural, untapped markets it is becoming less and less effective in urban markets and useless on the phone. As soon as a prospect hears these words, they impulsively reply, “I am not interested.” The next time you open, try using “Small Business Services” instead at the very beginning.
If you are selling on our team, you could use the other services we offer like web design, online marketing and point of sale systems in your opening pitch. If not, what other services do you offer? Do you offer gift cards, cash advances, cash flow management? Put several of these into your opening pitch like this, “Hi, my name is James Shepherd how are you today? Great, real quick the reason I stopped by (or that I am calling) today is that I am a local business owner offering small business services such as point of sale systems, web design, online marketing and payment processing and I wanted to stop by to introduce myself.” This opening will get a much better response.
#2 – “I will save you money.”
Saying this makes you sound like a transaction sales person rather than a professional who develops solutions for his/her clients. Instead of using a line like, “I offer credit card processing services with really low rates and I know I can save you money” try instead, “I offer a variety of solutions to help my clients increase their revenue and lower their expenses. One area of expense that I have been able to lower for most of my clients is payment processing so I usually start by asking, “Who are you using right now to process your credit card payments?” These words imply someone who has a grasp of how a business operates and the two levers, revenue and expenses that will determine a business’ success.
#3 – “Contract” (There are certain words that are so toxic to a sales presentation that you just don’t want to use them.)
If you were a doctor, you would probably remove the word, “Die” from your vocabulary because there is just never a good time to use that word, right? As a sales professional there are words that are sure to derail your sale. Don’t say things like, “If you will sign the contract…” or “If you decide to buy this system…” instead use these lines. “With your permission, I would like to get the paperwork started today so that we can schedule a follow up meeting next week to put this amazing new system in place for you” or “I am sure you already see the value of investing in a system like this one so let me point out a few other benefits for your specific business type.”
#4 – Saying anything after you close.
Once you close a sale, it is time to be quiet. We have all heard the line, “Anything you say, can and will be used against you in a court of law.” After you use a closing line like the one above ( “With your permission, I would like to get the paperwork started today so that we can schedule a follow up meeting next week to put this amazing new system in place for you.” ) anything you say, can and will make your prospect get cold feet and tell you to come back another time.
Everyone reading this post should try something just for fun. Get your spouse, friend or significant other and ask them to simply sit down across from you, look at you and say nothing. Then, give them your closing line and set a timer on your phone for 30 seconds. Feel how awkward 30 seconds of silence is after a closing line. Now, try 45 seconds. If you can be comfortable sitting in silence after a closing question without saying anything, your closing rate will go through the roof. I have found myself many times saying things like, “One other thing I didn’t mention Bob…” or “What do you think Bob…” or “Did you have any other questions…” after a closing question and I can tell you that in every situation, the prospect responded with something like, “I am very interested James so why don’t you stop back by sometime soon so I can think it over.” What they were really saying was, “I was about to say ‘Yes’ but you interrupted my thought process so now I have to start over!”
#5 – Never minimize someone’s position or their problem.
When you walk into a business and learn that the person you are speaking to is not the decision maker, never say things like, “Oh, so you are just the store manager?” or “Ok, so you are just an employee here?” Instead ask a follow up question to show that you value them and what they do. “So glad to meet you, how long have you been working here?”
When a client shares a concern with you that you feel is insignificant, never respond with, “Are there any other issues?” or “Is that the only issue you are having?” both of these lines tell the client you don’t really think this is an issue and you think they are stupid for calling you with it. Instead, you could repeat the problem back to them to make sure you understand. “So you feel like this issue is causing X problem for your employees?” or if you are trying to get a list of concerns you could say, “Bob, thank you so much for sharing that with me, I am making some notes on this, are there any other concerns like this one that I need to address for your business?” The words, “Like this one” show the client that you feel this is a valid concern and you want to make sure they are happy.
I hope these 5 short tips will help you close more deals!
(Read this other great post on selling merchant services! “Cool, Calm, Collected, and Closing Deals.“)
Here is your free “Jump-start” guide to merchant services!
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