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How to Sell Merchant Services Like the Godfather

I just finished watching the Godfather trilogy over the Holiday season, so I just couldn’t resist using this title. Below I have 7 tips from the Godfather that I think will help you improve your merchant services business. #1 – Value your connections more than your commissions. From the very first scene in the Godfather, […]

I just finished watching the Godfather trilogy over the Holiday season, so I just couldn’t resist using this title. Below I have 7 tips from the Godfather that I think will help you improve your merchant services business.

#1 – Value your connections more than your commissions. From the very first scene in the Godfather, we learn the value of connections. The Godfather is offered money for doing a “service” and instead he requests friendship and loyalty. If you want to build a large processing business and particularly a strong referral base, you need connections and you need to value your connections more than your commissions. What have you done for your clients lately? Think of something that you could do, to add value to your clients and as you develop a strong network of clients who appreciate the value you bring to the table, you will find it easier and easier to grow your business.

#2 – Your family is most important. “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.” This is a quote from the first Godfather. The biggest mistake Michael makes and the one that haunts him the rest of his life is leaving his family at a time of need to do business. This ends up ruining his marriage and alienating his children. One of our core values at CCSalesPro is “Always Living” and this means living life on purpose. Take time for your family today, don’t wait to invest in the important relationships of life. If you think, “I will spend more time with my family once I reach the top” you will end up like Michael in the third Godfather, old, alone, filled with regrets and still trying to find the top of a ladder that doesn’t exist.

#3 – Start small and build a solid future for your family. In the second Godfather, half of the movie is a prequel to the first Godfather where we get to see Vito Corleone building his business from the ground up. He started small and built a solid business.  My biggest mistake in my early twenties was trying to build a business too quickly. I started out purchasing houses to renovate and then I thought I would start a construction company and then a real estate company and the next thing you know, I had a highly leveraged mess on my hands as the real estate market came crashing down. When I came to the merchant services industry I decided on a couple things. I would not use debt to build my business, I would use my own work. I also decided that I would never delegate anything for which I didn’t already have proven procedures. There is nothing wrong with starting small, on your own. If you stick with it for a while, you will be surprised how good it feels to have a stable business, a strong residual income stream and the experience to grow your business on a solid foundation.

#4 – Think as those around you think. One of my favorite quotes from the Godfather is when Michael tells Tom, “My father taught me to think as those around me think and on that level anything is possible.” One of the best ways you can improve your sales pitch is to look at each small segment in your pitch and ask, “What is the customer probably thinking at this point in my pitch?” Be honest with yourself.  Think about what your wife is thinking, what your children’s world is like right now. Try to imagine what your competitors are thinking when they do something you think is stupid. Why do they think they are right and you are wrong? When you start to think like those around you, it opens up all kinds of possibilities and allows you to have a clear picture of your surroundings.

#5 – Understand how a business deal really work. A business deal is not always easy to figure out. Too many agents zero in on something that they want to pitch before they really understand the deal. In the first Godfather a potential business partner pitches the Godfather on a deal that he assumes the Godfather will want to be a part of based on financial gain and security for his money. He is totally caught off guard when the Godfather tells him that his real concern is that his connections will not like this new business deal and he might lose influence and damage his image. Don’t be the person who tries to pitch the business owner before you understand their concerns. Here are three things you need to understand about a merchant services deal before you go for the final pitch.

  • Who is really making the decision? It almost always come down to one person in the end.
  • What is the decision makers relationship status with their current processor. Do they have a personal connection of any kind? Do they hate their current processor?
  • Does this business owner trust you yet? If not, what will it take to get them to trust you?

#6 – Learn the value of silence. One of my favorite scenes in the Godfather part 3 is when Michael is in his hospital room after Vincent makes a decision he does not approve of. He has three top people there and after stating his case he says, “Do you understand?” and then slowly stares down each one in complete silence until they say, “Yes.” Obviously his tone of voice wouldn’t go over well in front of a client but, make no mistake, silence can get you a yes more times than you might think. Once you make your case, close the deal and then stop talking, it is that simple. “Bob, I believe we have the best service and I would like to get a terminal set up for you next week.” …followed by complete silence until Bob speaks. Try that out sometime.

#7 – Do Business. You may not like the Godfather and obviously none of us would condone the violence, choice of profession and many other things in the movie but, the Godfather is full of people who made things happen. Get up and get to work. Do some business today. Right now, it is 12:17am on a Sunday night and my inbox is empty. There is literally nothing else tonight that I can take action on. I am excited to get up tomorrow morning and do business! I plan to get to my office at 8am and I plan to work until 10pm. I have an entire day scheduled to spend with my family later this week and I am taking 3 evenings off, so that means tomorrow I have a lot to accomplish and I am going to get it done. Get motivated to build your business!  Make it happen, do business!  I hope you enjoyed this short blog article,


James Shepherd

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