There is an opening pitch which works every single time! The right opening pitch is probably the most difficult thing for sales people to create and...
The Mark of a Great Opening Pitch – Selling Merchant Services
Suppose you’re ready to walk into a business or call on the phone. You’re wondering, “What should I say when first meeting a merchant?” or “How can I create a great opening pitch?” While helping agents in our 6-Week Jump-Start Program, I’ve developed an interesting metric for the opening pitch. The metric I’ve been using is […]
Suppose you’re ready to walk into a business or call on the phone. You’re wondering, “What should I say when first meeting a merchant?” or “How can I create a great opening pitch?” While helping agents in our 6-Week Jump-Start Program, I’ve developed an interesting metric for the opening pitch.
The metric I’ve been using is this: What percentage of prospects asks a question following the opening statement? You should get 30% to 50% of prospects asking a question after your opening. Consider these examples:
# 1. I know one agent selling cash discounting who uses a pitch similar to this:
“Hey, I know you get all kinds of people coming in here pitching you merchant services. There’s always that constant barrage. I’m not here today to talk about any traditional processing. The reason I’m here is to introduce a program that is $89 a month. There are no transaction fees, no percentage fees, and no other monthly fees. There is nothing – just an $89 a month program. Whatever you are paying in credit card processing fees right now would just be $89 on this program.”
Then he just stops. How you end is very important. What will the merchant say if you stop there? The merchant will probably ask, “Well, how do you do that?” However, adding onto the end of that opening pitch could really ruin it. By adding something like, “Is that something in which you are interested?” you are seeking a response rather than a question. The opening pitch is very good when you get that question at the end of it. That is really, really powerful.
“Hi, my name is _________. I stopped by today because I’m a consultant. I try to help businesses reduce or even cut potentially 20% to 30% off one of the largest expenses on the profit and loss statement, on the income statement.” Stop right there. When you say that, what would prospects say? They will probably ask, “Which one?” The agent I know who is using this pitch is getting that question often. Sometimes prospects even joke with him a little bit by asking, “Well, yeah, how about my payroll? Can you reduce that one by 50%?” Then they ask, “Which one are you talking about?” That gives him the opportunity to continue, “Well, I’m sure you noticed on your statement how big your payment processing fee is relative to even your rent. A lot of people pay more to process credit card payments than they do for their rent. My goal as a consultant is to review those charges and see if there is something I can do.” Then go into the rest of the pitch.
There are definitely other opening pitches you can utilize. I used an opening pitch for years that got a controlled response. It didn’t actually get a question at the end of it. My question for prospects at the end of the opening was, “Do you know who you are currently processing with?” No matter what they said, I already had my response prepared. But I’ve noticed as the market has gotten a little bit tougher to sell in over the years, you shouldn’t put all your cards on the table in your opening pitch. You may want to make that opening statement without ever even mentioning merchant services or credit card processing, especially if you are in a metropolitan area such as Dallas, TX, New York City, San Francisco, or LA. You don’t really want your opening pitch to be all about merchant services. If it is, at the end of the opening pitch they’ll say, “I’m not interested. Get out of here.” So, instead of a response, try to restructure your opening to elicit a question.
When prospects ask you a question, that means they expect a reply. So, then there is further opportunity for you to say something. However, when prospects say, “I’m not interested,” they don’t want you to say anything else other than, “Okay, have a nice day.” To continue the conversation would go against the grain. If you can keep that process going where the prospect and you are engaged in a back-and-forth conversation, it’s really going to help you.
My challenge to you today is really, really simple. Think about your opening pitch. Of course, I realize there is usually a little bit of small talk when you first walk in or talk on the phone. But the opening pitch is that 15 to 30, or maybe 45 second pitch when you present what you’re selling. See if you can create an opening pitch that will entice prospects to ask a question when you stop talking. Rather than “yes” or “no,” or some other response, getting a question will allow you to continue the conversation.
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