I would have to say that this article is probably the most requested article I have ever done. I have had so many agents tell me that their market is overly competitive. It is high time I provide some insight on how to break into tough markets. Let’s get right into it.
1. Power through the first ten to fifteen sales in a tight area with relentless drive and follow up. In order for this strategy to work, you must get ten or fifteen accounts. They need to be close enough to each other that there is a good chance other business owners in your community will know about two or three of them. You need to start out walking into thirty-five or forty businesses per day for a week or more. When you find someone who is interested, you follow up day after day after day until you get the statement. Then you do whatever you need to do in order to get the account.
2. Treat your customers like gold. Each account is your access point to many more accounts in your market. Therefore, once you get someone who is interested enough to choose you, treat them like the fifty accounts they represent. Install the terminal on time. Think through the install before you do it to make sure it will go smoothly. Walk into their business once per week the first month and then once per month after that. Check on them and build a relationship with them.
3. Leverage existing accounts by getting letters of reference and referrals. After you install the terminal, stop back the first time just to check on it. Then after the first statement comes, swing by and talk to the merchant. Be honest about the market. Say something like, “Bob, I really appreciate your business. First of all, I want to ask if you are 100% satisfied? (Hopefully the answer is “Yes.”) That’s great Bob! As you know, I am in a very competitive market. A lot of people are out there doing what I do but in a dishonest way, which hurts our whole industry. I really believe in my service. I want to help as many business owners as I can save money like you have and get the local service that I provide. I depend on my current customers to refer me to other business owners. I would like to ask for two small favors if I could. Would you be willing to write a short letter of reference for me basically stating that I did what I said I was going to do and saved you money? (They usually say “Yes.”) Also, do you know the names of any business owners in the area? It always helps if I have a name for whom to ask when I walk in.”
4. Differentiate yourself by bringing lots and lots of stuff with you on the first prospecting visit. Now that you have a letter of reference, email your ISO Support rep and get a pdf copy of that merchant’s first statement. Black out the account info and bring the following in with you on the first visit: -VX510 (To show the type of terminal you provide for free) -Letter of Reference -Copy of existing customer’s (same one who gave you a letter of reference) previous processing statement. -Copy of Processing Statement for the same merchant. -Copy of Statement Analysis for the same merchant.
5. Be bold, confident, and assumptive. Now you have put in the hours to get your first few accounts; treated them like gold; and gotten proof that you keep your word. Go in to businesses like a pro. Bring all this stuff in with you – so much that you can hardly carry it all! The business owner will be thrown off by this. When you walk in you can say something like, “Hi, my name is _____ with processor’s name. I have a meeting with Bob down the street today. But before I go there, Bob told me it might be a good idea to stop in here and talk to Frank. Is he here?” When Frank comes out, you say something like, “Hey Frank, my name is ______. I was just on my way to meet with Bob at XYZ Company to go over his first credit card processing statement from my company. I know you probably get fifty guys a week coming in here saying they can save you money. I actually have a copy of the statement with me along with a letter of recommendation from Bob. He told me your name and said I should stop in here to talk to you about your processing. Who are you using right now?” If you are in a very competitive market, remember that customer loyalty is very low. People switch all the time. This information should cause you to do two things.
First, realize that as long as you can prove you are legitimate to business owners in your market and can really save them money, it should be very easy to get them to switch to you. Secondly, once you get them, you better build a solid relationship. Your portfolio will always be at risk in this type of market.
Hope this helps!