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Overcoming the Holiday Sales Slump

CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast episode. Join the Conversation: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Instagram SnapChat Google+ SoundCloud Here are two keys for making sales during the holidays. This is admittedly the most difficult time of year to make sales in merchant services, one reason being merchants are extremely […]

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Here are two keys for making sales during the holidays. This is admittedly the most difficult time of year to make sales in merchant services, one reason being merchants are extremely busy!
1. Approaching the correct business types. Avoid retail businesses who are definitely not interested in switching services at this busy time of year. Next in order of avoidance would be restaurants for similar reasons. Focus on business types not hugely affected by the holidays such as auto repair, tire & lube, some stand-alone businesses which provide services (hair and nail salons, contractor businesses.) This season offers a good opportunity for you to branch out into different business types than you may usually contact.
2. Be prepared to address the inevitable objection that the merchant is too busy and will ask you to come back after the first of the year. A fundamental principle in sales is that when you expect a particular objection from merchants, address that objection in your opening pitch in order to “steal their thunder.” As I’ve taught in my course “Directing the sale flow,” you want to establish a step-by-step process. Your first step is to simply gather some information from prospects.
Here is an example of the opening pitch in this circumstance: “My name is James Shepherd. How are you doing today? Great. I totally understand that, obviously, you’re way too busy to make a decision like this right now, but the reason I came by is that I offer merchant services [explain what you offer – credit card processing, web design, etc.] At this busy time of year, I simply like to prepare a proposal I can bring to you after the first of the year when things slow down. Could I have your permission to do that for you?”
You’ll be surprised at the positive reception you get from merchants if you use this type of approach. They usually appreciate your respecting their time.
[To answer your question, this IS about making sales rather than putting them off.]
At this point in the process, you will need to make a judgement call. Get the information you need by obtaining the statement (if you still use this archaic method) or by using your instant quote tool. Depending on how busy the merchant is and how much the annual or three-year savings are (never use the monthly savings figure), you’ll want to respond with this type of pitch:
“Wow! Susan, I know I said I’d come back after the first of the year since you and I both are honestly pretty busy. However, I’m going to be saving a lot of money for you here! Since this IS a busy time of year when your sales may be up 50% and if I can save you as much as 20% on your credit card processing, I could save you more these next 4-5 weeks than at any other time of year! I’d hate for you to miss that kind of opportunity. I’ll tell you what I’d be willing to do. I wouldn’t want to cause you any problem by canceling your current service, but I’d like to deliver your new terminal and allow you to use that for the next few busy weeks while your current terminal is still available sitting under the counter. That would also offer you the benefit of a back-up in case of any problem during the busy season. Then when I return in January, we can review your savings and move forward if you’re satisfied.”
Selling month-to-month agreements at this time of year can also be used for your benefit. You must embrace reality. There ARE people who won’t buy right now who would be very interested after the first of the year. When you find those people, save that solid information after trying to make the sale. You should have a huge first couple weeks in January when you return to those prospects.
This time of year is the absolutely perfect time for you to use our instant quote tool. Business owners, and everyone else, are in a big hurry. If you need to ask for two or three statements to fax and return next week, the merchants will not be interested; you are fortunate to have their attention right now! Make the most of the moment. If you haven’t already taken advantage of our free 30-day trial, please go to instantquotetool.com and start right now. It will be very valuable to you.
Here’s an example pitch: “I know you are really busy. I wouldn’t dream of asking for a statement or doing any kind of full review. But because this is the busiest time of year when the savings can be the greatest, I would like to take truly only 2-3 minutes of your time to ask three quick questions. I have a tool right here on my phone where I can make a PDF proposal, mail it to you, then walk out of the store until January when business is slower and we can review it together. I like to prepare for a big January this way since my business is slow right now while yours is not! Does that sound fair?”
That pitch works amazingly. If you’re not familiar with the instant quote tool, the three questions you ask merchants are:
1. Their total volume – they usually know this.
2. Their average ticket size. My algorithm will give an average with which merchants can agree or change in answer to your question.
3. Roughly the amount paid in total fees last month to process this volume. This information is optional. If they can give you this figure, the algorithm can figure savings.
The quote tool is already preloaded for you. All your pricing and programs are installed. No matter which processor you use, the programs are already in the system. The algorithm calculates interchange; it does all the work for you. You will have a beautiful PDF proposal in minutes without asking for a statement.
Hopefully these tips will help you. Feel free to email me at ccsalespro.com. I’m always glad to hear from you and to answer questions. We are online all the time at snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, ccsalespro.com, YouTube.com/ccsalespro, and Twitter.com/ccsalespro. We have full time people who just manage our social media; so you know where to find me if you have any questions!
Have a great week!

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