This is the question I received today and I wanted to publish my response because this is a great question! We all know that if we can somehow get a list of businesses in our area before they are open and we get in contact with them first, we are very likely to get that sale, so where do we find this information? Their are really only three possible sources for these leads and I have tried all three, so here is my recommendation on each:

1. Purchase a list.  infousa.com has a special program for providing hot leads each week and these are actually pretty good. 30% of the list will be decent prospects but, of course many other competitors will have the same list. Be prepared to act on the list immediately after receiving it! I used to get the list for some of our agents but, it was impossible to enforce a quick follow up and if they are not followed up on within 24 hours the list is basically a waste of money because 10 other processors will have contacted them already.

2. Referrals. This is by far the most cost effective and can come from a variety of sources. This happens when you have a tight local network. So, if you are marketing locally or have the ability to build a brand, simply stay in touch with your clients and potential clients via a monthly newsletter and you will get called on many new businesses before they make it into the list. I had an experience where I personally sold 2 brand new businesses in 3 weeks and both of them were referred to me by a client before they even had phone service. Many agents want these referral leads but, they are not willing to invest the time in a good monthly email newsletter / blog and if you don’t have that and /or a strong network on LinkedIn, you can forget about this channel.

3. Inbound leads. This is the toughest of the three to get and requires more resources than the other two. I say “resources” because you can get these with time or money. If you told me you had “X amount” to spend and you wanted to purchase good start up leads, I would tell you to start a good website with a landing page on new business start ups and use adwords to target specific keyword searches in your area. This approach would require using A/B testing where you set up 2 or 3 landing pages and test to find the most effective offer. If you want to invest time, create blog articles with keyword rich titles and content like, “New Business Signs up for Merchant Services in Harrisburg, PA!”  And then tell a story about a local business owner you set up recently. Within 2 or 3 months, this article should rank on the first page of google search results for the search, “Merchant Services for New Business in Harrisburg, PA” and if you can write 2 or 3 like this, these articles will pay off big time within 6 months or so as long as you have a good call to action in the blog post.

I hope this quick tip helps you build your merchant services business! If you found this article helpful, do me a favor and like it on facebook below or share it on your social media network to let your friends know about CCSalesPro!

James Shepherd james@ccsalespro.com

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