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How to Build Your Merchant Services Team

Build a merchant services business through recruiting and building a team of local sub-agents. This post tells you how to do it right with 4 simple numbers

Making a profit by building a team of merchant services sales reps is as simple as understanding 4 basic numbers. Today, I want to describe each of these 4 numbers and how to maximize your profits through recruiting a team of credit card processing sales people or building a local team of sub-agents.

#1 – How many agents will you recruit? There are two overlapping models when it comes to the number of sales reps you want on your team. The first is what I call the “Value Added Model” and this is where you are holding the hand of your sales reps. This works best with a local approach and the key to success is providing them with value they couldn’t get by going to one of your larger competitors. Consider providing someone to install the terminals and provide customer service. Help them with the paperwork. Give them in field training. Provide them with solid leads. And, most of all, develop a personal relationship with them and listen to their feedback.

The second model is the referral / recruiter model. This is more of a numbers game with less control over rep performance. You look for sales people who you feel would be successful and then provide them with help and direction up front to learn the ropes, but you spend the majority of your time recruiting new sales people. This model works best on a national scale where you can recruit more reps and provide phone and email support, but you can’t really provide the type of hands on help you could locally. Many times the first model produces reps that fit the second model and so you need to have a program that fits both needs. The toughest part about building a local team is that if you do your job right, you will produce industry professionals that will want to build their own portfolio separate from you at some point and you want to make sure that you get compensated even after they move on as a direct rep so you don’t lose them to one of the big ISO’s.

#2 – How many sales will each agent make? This second number is where the real money is made. I have seen teams with 10 sales reps producing 100+ sales per month because their average sales per rep was 10! I have also seen teams with over 150 reps recruited that produce less than 20 deals per month because they just couldn’t get their teams active and selling. The key is keeping an eye on the number of reps you really have on your team that haven’t left or are not returning your calls and then figure out how many sales per month your reps are producing on average and finding ways to increase this number.

There are two things, that influence production. Sales ability and the number of hours spent in the field. That is true for your personal sales, but it then becomes absolutely vital when you are running a team. If you have 10 sales people and you can get them to spend an extra hour in the field each week, that is 10 hours of additional prospecting time. If you can leverage sales training to improve the conversion rate of statements collected to sales from 30% to 40% and you have 50 sales reps, you are going to make a lot more sales. Think about and track these two numbers on your team and make sure each sales rep understands that these two numbers will determine their income.

#3 – How much profit will you make per sale?  I have spent years watching team builders get overloaded with mindless administrative work like payroll and 1099 prep, or spend hours building someone else’s brand in their local market. I have personally experienced the pain of recruiting full time for months without receiving a penny of compensation because I didn’t reach a ridiculously high number like 60 submissions per month.

Have a great weekend,
James Shepherd

Read previous post:  3 Reasons You Need to Activate Your Merchant Accounts Quickly

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