In today’s post, I would like to discuss how to partner with bookkeepers and accountants to sell merchant services. No one in your local community has better connections to small business owners than the book keepers and accountants. However, there is a major challenge when it comes to partnering up with them. I am going to cover how to overcome this challenge as well as specific programs that you can put in place to partner with them for merchant services and even payroll processing.

First of all, you have to understand the core problem. When you go to work with another bank, their main priority is to make money on everything. So, they are looking for a partner who can make money. When you work with a local bank, they will expect to get some sort of cut. Now, when working with an accountant or book keeper, it’s very different. With most CPA’s, they feel that it is borderline unethical to receive a commission when they refer a client to you for merchant services or payroll processing. This creates a problem. How do you motivate them to help you if they aren’t making any money off of it?

The first tip I am going to give you is networking. Networking is by far the most important and easiest way to get your foot in the door with a CPA or accountant. These are professions that already make a lot of money and aren’t trying to make millions of dollars. Most try to make only $70,000 to $80,000 a year from their practice and eventually build up their retirement. In order to achieve this financial goal, they need to hold themselves to the highest level of integrity.

After going to your clients, ask them, “Who do you use for your CPA?” Then ask these satisfied clients to write you a specific letter of recommendation that is made out to their CPA and how your credit card processing business has helped their business whether it’s by increasing their revenue, accepting new forms of payment, or cutting their costs which improved their cash flow. Continue to keep going to all of your happy clients, but do not go to the first CPA yet. What you will find is that there are only 3 or 4 main CPA’s in your town that everyone works with.

After going to about 20 to 30 clients for recommendations, the best way to get CPA’s or accountants on board is calling them and saying, “I have a recommendation letter from _______ and I just want to come in and only take about 10 minutes of your time to drop off this letter and give you a little information about my business and what we have to offer.” That will get you in the door, especially if you have 3 or 4 names of other clients. Let them know, “I just wanted you to have this and I will give you a stack of my business cards. I wanted to let you know that if you ever have a client in need of these services, feel free to contact me. I also would love to take you out to lunch sometime so we can get to know each other a little bit better. I am a local business owner myself, and love getting to know other locals. Is there day that works for you?”

So, all you really have to do is get letters of recommendation and take them out to lunch. Honestly, 75% of the time it won’t even cost you money to become their provider of choice. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t. Most merchant services reps don’t know how to deal with CPA’s and they come off as if they are trying to sell them or offer money, which a CPA doesn’t like.

When you take them out to lunch, be sure to actually talk to them a little bit and get to know them. That way, you get an idea of how aggressive they are at business or how much they want to make money.

A couple of other  effective ideas I have used in the past are offering to pay them a set monthly fee for some form of advertising in their business. For instance, I pay CPA’s to do two things. One is to have my sticker with “Transaction Expert” on their window, desk, or drawer. The other is to have a holder for my business cards (which is really cheap to get online) with my logo and that holds about 30 to 50 cards. You can say, ” I would like to give you $100 a month as an advertising fee. If nobody takes my card, I will not hold you responsible for that. That’s fine. If people do, well then that’s great since we both benefit because I will help them out.” That’s a good way to do it because it help them to not feel like their selling out their clients for money. It’s just advertising. You can get them a residual split as well. These are more for the CPA’s and accountants who are aggressive about making a profit. You can offer them a percentage cut.

Payroll processing is a little different. Many CPA firms do the payroll processing themselves. My recommendation would be to ask the CPA if they would like to be connect with PayPros, and then I can connect them with the president of the company. Just email me, james@ccsalespro.com. I would be glad to make the introduction, or even have you make the introduction, and see if they can work out a deal. Most CPA’s do payroll processing for their customers, but hate it. It’s a major drain on their time and they don’t really make much money from it. When they send those deals to PayPros, you can get a referral cut, and actually have them be the agent with PayPros where they are just outsourcing it. PayPros works very well with CPA’s and accountants, plus it is another way for you to make a profit.

I hope you enjoyed this sales tip and be sure to check out even more sales tips at http://www.ccsalespro.com/category/blog/.


James Shepherd

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