While working for many years with thousands of agents and hundreds of sales managers in this industry, I’ve discovered three reasons NOT to sell merchant services.
I hope these will help you if you’re struggling. And I hope these may give you direction as to whether the industry is a good fit for you.
#1. Obviously, if you don’t know how to sell, don’t get in.
This is not an industry which offers great training in sales basics. I have many training courses and free training information. However, even in my training, I assume you have a basic concept of how to sell things to people.
If you don’t have basic sales experience from previously selling insurance, cars, security systems, etc., this isn’t the best industry for you to learn how to sell.
Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule. You may find a local ISO willing to work with you in the field for a year. But this industry is very sales competitive and usually not a good fit for someone without a basic sales skill set.
#2. You MUST be ready to work hard independently.
Whether a W2 or 1099 contractor, most situations in the industry offer plenty of freedom and flexibility. People love that about our industry.
However, that can work against someone accustomed to structure and accountability. In this industry, you’ll quickly come to grips with the question, “Do you have the ability to make yourself go to work on a regular, consistent basis over a long period of time?”
If you lack that discipline or character, get it very quickly or find a different opportunity. As usual, there are some exceptions to the rule.
Some opportunities, especially if selling internally, will provide structure and accountability. But probably 95% of the industry opportunities for sales professionals require extra discipline and character to get out of bed and go to work in the morning.
If you lack that discipline, don’t beat yourself up or think you’re a lazy person. You may be. But, more likely, you haven’t been trained properly and are nervous to take action. You may be afraid of looking like an idiot because you don’t know what you’re talking about. (I’ll get to that in reason #3.)
You may have good character and work ethic. But you have been accustomed to following instruction while working for someone else. In this industry, you must fix that quickly or move on.
Give yourself a timeline and ultimatum. Establish accountability partnerships with friends or a spouse or significant other. Say, “I’m going to text at the end of the day to tell how many hours I worked, how many prospecting visits I did, or how many phone calls I made. If I don’t achieve these minimum activity objectives the next three weeks, I’m going to get another job.”
Continue to audit yourself long-term. If you aren’t doing those minimum things, you probably don’t have the skill set yet to be totally independent.
That doesn’t make you a bad or lazy person or less valuable. That simply means you’re not ready to be totally independent. You need to find an opportunity where structure and accountability exist if you want to reach your true potential.
#3 – most important to me. Please don’t get into the industry if you’re not ready to learn and challenge yourself with all the changes going on in this industry.
I talk to some who join the industry because it seems so simple, such an easy thing to sell. They think you only need to say, “I’m going to save you money.” I have bad news if you think that.
Although that might’ve been true ten years ago, today it’s a much more complex marketplace. To be successful, you must be willing to learn and adapt to the changes. Learning technology and integration with POS systems is vital. A lot goes into that.
Certainly, you can jump in with a basic knowledge and start making sales. But to be truly successful, there must be dedication to becoming a true merchant services professional / payments expert.
• Understand what a gateway is.
• Know what level 2 and level 3 processing are.
Of course, gaining that knowledge is a process. You won’t have it all on day one. But have the spirit of always learning, always figuring out new things, adapting.
This is a dynamic and rapidly changing industry. You’ll quickly be left behind without that spirit.
Think about the opportunity before jumping in. I believe it’s a TREMENDOUS opportunity. But make sure it’s the right fit for you.
- Know how to sell.
- Be ready to grow and learn.
- Be ready to work independently.