Here are a couple tips for those of you who are utilizing telemarketing to set up your appointments. Whether you or someone else is calling to...
Do I need Appointment Scheduled Leads to Succeed in Selling Merchant Services?
One question I get asked all the time is this, “Why doesn’t CCSalesPro offer appointment scheduled leads?” I got this exact question from an agent this evening. My reply is below. Having started my career in merchant services with a processor who did offer these “Pre-Set Appointments,” I have a very good idea of how […]
One question I get asked all the time is this, “Why doesn’t CCSalesPro offer appointment scheduled leads?” I got this exact question from an agent this evening. My reply is below. Having started my career in merchant services with a processor who did offer these “Pre-Set Appointments,” I have a very good idea of how this system works and why I personally don’t like it. In fact, I like it less and less every month. I personally no longer have a telemarketer calling to schedule appointments for me and have no plans of using one in the future. My Reply to a potential agent: “You are correct that we do not pre-schedule appointments for our agents. This is probably one of the primary issues we face when switching agents over from another processor. I certainly understand how scary to move from one processor that does offer appointments to one who does not can be because I made this move myself. Allow me to share why we do not offer these appointments as our primary business model. Then I will share how we do prospect. Then you can evaluate our strategy and how it is different from the norm in our industry.”
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1. Most credit card processing companies today are using telemarketing strategies. This means that most merchants who are on calling lists get called ten to twenty times per week by one of your competitors. The companies with whom I have spoken to do telemarketing for us tell us they get less and less response rates over the phone, even when someone does agree to an appointment. *Side note: We recently contracted with a well respected call center to offer this service for our agents. After six weeks they said, “Forget it. Your industry just gets too many calls.” To call and schedule appointments in our industry wasn’t worth their time because it is so saturated with phone calls already.
2. Even if you do get an appointment, these appointments will usually be fifteen to thirty minutes apart from each other. You might get two or three per day at the most, one of which will probably not be a good one. So you end up driving for about two hours each day in order to see two business owners, not to mention driving back for follow-ups. I have done this before since I started with a processor that offered these. Let me tell you that if you are really working the business full time on this model, you will be spending $75+ per week just on gas. Once you get a full pipeline with this telemarketing leads model, you will be way over $100 per week in fuel.
3. Understand this is a very limited universe. If someone calls your local market for you and schedules appointments, the caller may be able to set two or three per day for two or three months. But after that there is one of two options. The caller can either start calling much further away. (This happened to me. The calling was in a city fifty minutes from me which killed my route. The second option is to call the same people back and upset them.
4. Perhaps the most important reason we do not offer pre-scheduled appointments is that you are paying for these leads even though the processor may not be charging you for them. The companies who offer pre-scheduled appointments do not pay out this much or make these types of programs available to their agents because they need to pay for their telemarketers. Many times they even utilize leases or equipment sales to try to generate extra profits by taking advantage of merchants and ruining your local reputation over the long run. Download Your FREE copy of “9 Steps to Success: Keys to Understanding and Selling Merchant Services”
So what should you do? What is the alternative to these appointment scheduled leads? When I switched over from my previous processor, I was so worried that I would no longer have appointments. Here is what I found out.
1. I could stay within fifteen minutes of my house and walk into twenty businesses per day for months if I utilized effective follow-up systems and tracking.
2. I was meeting eight to ten new business owners per day instead of two, and my closing ratios were almost identical.
3. I was getting a much better response when I walked in rather than calling first. Many of the businesses in my local market didn’t accept calls from telemarketers or had a good “gate keeper” which screened out these calls, so they hadn’t been pitched merchant services for months. On the other hand people at a “preset appointment” would say, “Do you know that your company is the tenth one to call me this week?” When I walked into a business cold turkey I would hear, “I didn’t know there was anyone local that offered this service!” What a difference in response!!!!!! It was huge!!!!
4. The program I offered with free equipment and month-to-month agreements made it much easier to close the deal once I got someone on the hook. My compensation per deal up-front doubled while my residual income per deal, per month tripled!
5. My fuel expenses basically dropped by 90%, and the number of referrals I was getting went through the roof. My clients were all part of a small local community and were close enough that I could stop in once per month and say hello. The clients loved this and would give me a lot of referrals.
I hope this helps you make your decision!
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