It was my second day as a merchant services sales agent. My training had consisted of a 4 hour webinar about why our credit card terminals were better than everyone else’s and why people should pay $99 per month lease payments to get our terminal. I would say on a scale of 1 to 10 my knowledge of merchant services was a 1.5! (The 0.5 was due to some independent research I had done on my own LOL)
The company I started with called and scheduled appointments for us and the first day they had scheduled two appointments for me. The first one was a pharmacy that had an existing, touch screen POS System. I went in pitching how amazing our little credit card machine was and I was quickly shut down. I then drove about 45 minutes to my next appointment which was a tiny barber shop that didn’t currently accept credit cards. I spent about 45 minutes pitching the barber and in the end he told me that he just couldn’t make the decision. His wife handled all of the finances and vendor relationships.
My motivation was at an all time low but I got up on the second morning of my merchant services career and decided two things.
#1 – I might not be in the merchant services business very long.
#2 – I would not leave this business until I had made at least one sale.
I just refused to have it on my record that I worked for a company for any length of time without making a sale. I then got on a call with my sales manager and took down the information for my two appointments that day.
The first appointment was for a bike shop on an old country road that I couldn’t even find on Google maps. So I had to call the bike shop without mentioning why I was coming and get directions. I probably drove by the street 10 times before I finally saw the small street sign for the gravel road that lead to the bike shop. Inside I found a huge selection of top tier bicycles and a man behind the counter that was in his early 80’s. I introduced myself, referencing the appointment that had been set and he explained that he had been tricked into saying yes. He never agreed he would meet with me so I should just be on my way.
I don’t know if it was his mannerisms or my frustration but I decided that I could sell this guy and that I was not going to leave until I had the sale. About two and half or 4 hours later I left with a signed agreement. I had to give him a steep discount, I didn’t sell a terminal and I had to keep changing the conversation back and forth between bicycles and credit card processing so I didn’t lose him all together but I got the sale! At one point, I even called his current company on speaker to clarify the rates they were charging him since I didn’t really know how to read a statement.
As you might imagine, this sale got me all pumped up and I ended up making another sale that same day! My third day in merchant services I was very excited and realized that perhaps this was a good business opportunity for me and as they say, the rest is history. I learned 6 important lessons from my first sale in this business and here they are:
#1 – Don’t be afraid to be persistent.
Business owners respect someone who is persistent and wants their business. That doesn’t mean you will not get thrown out of a few places along the way but at some point you have to decide if you want everyone to like you or if you want people to do business with you. A prospect interested in your product will always be more likely to buy from you if they see you are passionate about what you are selling.
#2 – Don’t be afraid to use guilt.
The way I got my foot in the door was saying, “Mr Prospect, I drove all the way out here today and I know you are going to at least let me give you a short pitch about what I can offer, right?” If there is bad weather outside or if an appointment was scheduled, leverage that to get your foot in the door and make the owner feel mean if they will not even listen to what you have to say. You can do this in a very professional way and the owner will see what you are doing but again, back to lesson #1, they will appreciate the passion and persistence.
#3 – Don’t be afraid to invest some time in a sale.
If someone is on the hook or showing interest or even just letting you talk to them, don’t be afraid to keep going. If you believe you can make the sale then keep going and make the sale. Don’t kid yourself by going back over and over again if they are not giving you some concrete commitments to move forward. But as long as they are progressing in the sales process, go back and take the time to make the sale.
#4 – Don’t be afraid to use your sales ability.
There is a lot to be said for hard work and lots of prospecting. After all, even a blind squirrel is going to find a nut every so often. It might be time for you to commit to yourself that you are going to use your sales ability to close a sale today. Get someone off the fence and convince them to buy! If you feel that you can’t do that, purchase some sales books and start developing your sales skills.
#5 – Don’t be afraid to follow up on a lead even if the quality of the lead is poor.
I worry about providing leads to sales people who think, “This person better be ready to buy when I walk in.” Who cares about the quality of a lead, if it gets you in the door with some kind of useful information then leverage the information and the opportunity you have and make something happen. If you are calling and scheduling leads for yourself, just get the name of the owner and the time they will be in as well as the name of the person you spoke with and then go make the sale.
#6 – Don’t be afraid to talk.
I have posted several articles about the power of “active listening” and this is an effective strategy but you will never make a sale just by listening. You need to know what to say, how to say it, and then you need to have the courage to say it! Are you afraid to use a closing line? This will kill your sales performance!!! Close the sale, rebuttal the objection, convince the prospect to keep talking with you, say what you need to say in order to move closer to a sale.
I hope this short post will motivate you to get out in the field today and make a sale! Don’t look at your resources, your market, or anything else, you just get out there and make it happen! Use your sales ability and don’t be afraid.
Have a great week!
Read previous article: 5 Tips on Switching a Merchant to a New Processor
5 Tips on Switching a Merchant to a New Processor
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