Early in the morning I had a multiple location client call me with a terminal issue. This meant I would have to drive all over the place to adjust eleven different terminals, eliminating my hopes for a productive day! While at one stop in a small mini-mall, I noticed some activity taking place two […]
Early in the morning I had a multiple location client call me with a terminal issue. This meant I would have to drive all over the place to adjust eleven different terminals, eliminating my hopes for a productive day! While at one stop in a small mini-mall, I noticed some activity taking place two doors down from my client. I didn’t know there was a business at that location, so I decided to walk in.
I walked into the small shop and found chairs wrapped in plastic, tables all in one corner, and a frustrated guy behind the counter trying to program a register. I struck up a conversation with him and learned he had quit his well-paying job a few weeks earlier in order to start a franchise pizza shop with his son. They were due to open in about four weeks.
I turned the conversation to credit card processing. He told me he planned to sign with a local bank branch and handed me their agreement. I was easily able to beat the price. He signed up with me on the spot (after I ran out to my car to grab a merchant app!)
This sale was pure luck, but it was so easy that I began thinking about how I could replicate this good fortune in the future. Over the years, I have sold dozens of new businesses. Here are some tips that should help you find and sell new merchants.
Tip #1 – Keep a database of vacant retail space in your area. Selling new merchants is all about timing. If you are the first one in the door, you will almost certainly make the sale. However, to tell when someone moves in is difficult because there is no advertisement until the business opens. Notice whenever a retail space goes up for lease and drive by the location once a month. Often when the “for lease” sign is taken down, a “coming soon” sign goes up. After seeing that “coming soon” sign, return once a week until the door is unlocked.
Tip #2 – Leverage LinkedIn to build a reliable local network of business owners so that new ones pop up in your saved search each week. If you are unfamiliar with the saved search process, visit InstantQuoteTool.com to be informed. Click on “Courses,” and then click on “Generating Leads with LinkedIn.”
Tip #3 – Get all the local business ads you can and check new marketing apps such as groupon regularly. Usually a new business starts with a marketing budget to launch the business. By checking all the local papers and new mobile apps where businesses might advertise, you’ll often see a business with which you are unfamiliar. This is another indicator for a new business.
Tip #4 – InfoUsa.com has a new business list. 80% of the time it will send you on a wild goose chase to someone’s home office. But checking is still worthwhile, even as a last resort.
Tip #5 – When you do finally talk to a new merchant, take more time than usual for small talk. Your odds of making the sale are very high. The only thing standing in your way is a lack of trust and rapport. Because there isn’t a line of customers out the door yet, the owner will be much more likely to engage in a friendly conversation. Ask why the merchant decided to start this business, when the business opens, etc. Then assume the sale by saying, “This is exciting Susan! I am really looking forward to having your business in our area and am confident I can get the merchant services set up before you open. Do you have ten minutes to run through some paperwork now to get the ball rolling?”
Hopefully these five tips will help you find and sell more new merchants! James Shepherd