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How to Close Big Deals – Selling Large / Multi-Location Businesses

Today I’m going to provide some tips that could literally double or triple your annual commission income if you sell B2B.  Spending a percentage of your time on large and multi-location businesses is so profitable long term that you simply cannot afford to ignore the opportunity.  That being said, it can become very time consuming and […]


Today I’m going to provide some tips that could literally double or triple your annual commission income if you sell B2B.  Spending a percentage of your time on large and multi-location businesses is so profitable long term that you simply cannot afford to ignore the opportunity.  That being said, it can become very time consuming and the sales cycle is longer than small businesses which means you have to carefully balance your prospecting time between large and small businesses.

One of the things that I did early on in merchant services that really helped me break through and make good money was when I started to sell multi-location businesses.  I’ll also throw in larger single location businesses as well, but mainly I’m looking at multi-location because of the unique financial reward you can get from those sales.

The reason why you want to get really good at selling multiple location businesses is that they are extremely profitable.  Whatever it is that you are selling to them, you are probably getting some type of up front bonus.  Because most companies will pay you per location, and because these businesses usually have a high revenue per location, you can make some great up front money!

I remember one of my first big deals when I had been in this industry a little over a year.  It was a medium sized mutli-location retail deal.  I ended up making around $8000 or $9000 just in upfront bonus money on that deal and over $800 per month in residual, just because of some different bonuses I was getting from my processor because they are larger volume.  Keep in mind that If they are opening multiple locations, the odds are that the business is very successful, which means they are processing a lot of volume.  That’s what you want, right?  So, let’s talk about how to sell these larger, multi-location businesses.

Important tips to sell multi-location businesses:

#1.  Go into the business and try to sell them.  You can’t call them, because you are not going to get them on the phone.  You’ve got to go into the business and try to sell them.  Here is what I mean by that.  Let’s say, for instance, in my area we have Subway.  There is a lady in our area that owns all the Subways.  I want to get in contact with her.  What I did, was I walked into a Subway and I said, “Hey, who do I talk to about this?”

They said, “You need to talk to Susan.”

I said, “Where is she?”

They responded “At our cooperate location.”  I drove across town.  She was not there.  “She is over at this location.”  I went over to that location.  I drove around.  It took me an hour to make contact.  This is like a 14 or 15 location deal.  That’s a huge deal.  That is something I really want to get.  You must be willing to walk in and just have a conversation.  Talk to people.  What you’ll find out is that people are not competing for this business the way they are for single location, which is crazy.  I think a lot of merchant services reps don’t understand how this segment works.  They don’t understand that you can sell Subway, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Taco Bell because they have franchise owners and those franchise owners usually own 3-15 locations.  You can go after those and many reps don’t understand this and so the competition is much lower for the business.

Side note: You canot sell McDonalds and Burger King (last time I checked); the merchant services is rolled in to the franchise agreement.  Use trial and error.  You walk in a place.  You ask, “Is this place corporately owned or regionally owned?”  Some of them are corporate owned; some of them are not.  Just walk in and find out.  That’s the first thing.  Walk in and try to sell them.

#2 Work with your schedule.  You’ve got to find a way to work with your schedule.  Yesterday I covered organizing your time and using a block schedule.  The way that I did this, is that I tried to make sure that I had a couple hours a week, just one time block that was specifically designated to selling larger deals.  I tried to keep everything in that two hour time block.  That means I’m calling to try to push the process forward.  I’m going to visit people.  I’m doing to do whatever it takes, but I’m not taking more than two hours a week unless I have a deal that is ready to close.  Then, of course, I’ll put in however much time I need to because it is really worth it.  You want to keep selling the smaller deals, but you also must put some time into developing the pipeline of larger deals.

#3 – It is all about the bottom line, when you are selling the larger / multiple location deals, it’s all about the profitability.  In sales, you should know how to sell the steak and the sizzle.  A good sales rep knows how to sell both the value and make the value sound really good.  With smaller merchants, sometimes they are easier to sell based on the sizzle.  “Hey, this is such a pretty terminal.  Look how cool this is.  Look what it can do,” even if they are not really going to use that feature, they like having it available, they like having toys for their business.  Big deals are not like that at all.  It’s all about the steak.  You are going in there and saying, “This is what I can save you”… a dollar amount.  “Here is a technology solution.  Here is exactly how it is going to help you.”  You’ve got to do a little more homework with these deals, and make sure you can go in there and present them with real solid value.  Take a little time.  Do some research on this.

#4  Use infousa.com  One last little tip, go to infousa.com.  You can go through for free and use their builder to see how many locations, how many of these deals there are in your area. Check it out. You can buy a list of deals that have more than one location but they are not publicly traded, or they are not corporately owned.  There are different things you can do to kind of manipulate that.  There are some good lists to help you start out by targeting some of these multi-location businesses.  Start targeting them and watch what happens, not over night, but over the next 12 months watch what happens to your income as you start to go after these multi-location businesses and selling them merchant services.

Thanks for reading this article!

James Shepherd

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