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Top Five ISOs for Whom to Sell – Should I Sell Merchant Services?

This episode is an answer for an email I recently received from an agent new to the merchant services industry. His question was, “Who are the top five ISOs for whom to sell?” There are a thousand or more ISOs who are actively recruiting agents. How on earth are you supposed to know which […]


This episode is an answer for an email I recently received from an agent new to the merchant services industry.  His question was, “Who are the top five ISOs for whom to sell?”  There are a thousand or more ISOs who are actively recruiting agents.  How on earth are you supposed to know which one to choose?  This is a difficult decision.  Although I won’t specifically answer the question with a list of ISOs today, I’ll help you understand the differentiating factor which sets an ISO apart for new reps in the industry.  I know other people are asking the same question.

#1.  Back to the basics.  Ask yourself whether you should even sell merchant services.  I personally think merchant services is a very difficult introduction to sales.  If you do not have sales experience, my advice is don’t jump into selling merchant services.  There are easier things to sell than merchant services.  Even though I had good sales experience coming into the industry, I still needed a while to understand the industry.  It is challenging.  Merchant services is not impossible to sell at all; I know people making a fortune selling it!

So, if you don’t have sales experience, don’t sell merchant services.  Or if you are going to, find a local ISO who will hire you as a W-2 employee.

#2.  For those with sales experience but not merchant services experience.  The rep in my email made a statement saying he was less concerned about training than products.  His intention is to join a company who provides access to ride-alongs going door-to-door with a seasoned rep.  Unfortunately, there are VERY few ISOs – none of the top ones I know – who offer ride-alongs and extensive training to new reps.  Most ISOs do offer great products.  More similarities will be found between ISOs in terms of product offering, pricing set-up, and commission structure.  The training is the differentiator.

Here is a tip that will save hundreds hearing or reading this episode a lot of time.  The top five or ten ISOs – the ones for whom sales reps eventually sell, where most sales are made – have almost zero percent success rate in making somebody with no industry experience successful.  I’ve worked with most of these ISOs.  I expect angry emails from some executives at those companies, but I have worked with most of them and have recruited teams for them.  They have asked to send those with no industry experience to me.  They are simply not set up for training.

In the merchant services industry, there are three levels.  At the top is the acquirers or processors.  Tysys, Vantiv, First Data, WorldPay (until bought by Vantiv) are some of these.  The aquirers in my opinion are not a good choice even for someone with industry experience.  They are positioned best to serve registered ISOs.  A registered ISO is a company that wants to promote themselves as a processing company.  They register their brand with VISA and MasterCard, and they register through Vantiv, Tysys, etc.  Often, they register with two or three of them.  In that group of registered ISOs, there are some super ISOs.  These are very big and do all their own customer service and tech support.  Although these would be on my list of top places for whom to sell (they are amazing), they won’t give a new rep the skill set of learning how to sell merchant services.

Learning to sell merchant services can’t be learned exclusively even from my training videos.  I wish I could make a video which would magically spread spoofle dust to make an amazing merchant services sales rep.  The only way to thoroughly learn is to go into the field with somebody and sell.

#3.  Comparing processors.  After I referred the new rep to a processor, he asked, “How does that processor compare to this other one?”  The processor is one which would be on the top five or ten list.  They have a great solution and great technology.  However, I can’t recommend them to someone new in the industry because they offer no in-field training.  There is a possibility that in a few years, the rep might be working with that company.  However, I wouldn’t recommend starting there off the bat.  For someone new to the industry, go with an ISO who offers in-field training.  You may not be selling an amazing technology solution.  Perhaps one out of ten deals will be lost because the prospect wants better technology.  But the other nine out of ten deals will be lost because you don’t know how to sell them! You don’t understand merchant services.  You don’t know how to prospect.  You don’t know how to read a statement.  You don’t know how to talk to a merchant.  You don’t know how to overcome objections.  That’s why you are not going to make sales, not because you don’t have that one technology solution.

#4.  Should you sell for multiple processors?  This is such a great question from the email – one I get asked all the time.  There are more than one answers to the question, depending on where you are in the industry.  The answer for a new rep is “no.”  To do so would add a whole extra level of complexity.

Not only would there be learning how to prospect and to read a statement…

  • Must learn three different merchant applications;
  • Look at three different commission reports;
  • Deal with three different residual payouts.

Working for multiple processors will exponentially multiply the amount of complications.  There are reps who sell for multiple companies.  However, I’ve found one theme with successful reps in the industry – generally speaking, they sell for one main company.  They may use more than one processor or ISO for a specific need such as ecommerce set-up or special point of sale integration.  But by putting at least 85% to 90% of business with one company, they gain influence and relationship.

I encourage those new to the industry to watch some of my other videos.  There is some basic knowledge that will be helpful.  Go to instantquotetool.com to benefit from a wide range of training.  Sign up for the thirty-day free trial.  For instance, you’ll find a course to give a better understanding of commission.  You need a good commission.  Remember, the differentiating factor which will set an ISO apart for new reps is the training, the ride-along.  Compare those things.  Then see who comes out on top for you!

Thank you for submitting this question.  I hope you all have an awesome day!

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