Welcome to the final episode- for now- in my series on selling to specific business types.  Learn how to gain entry to and unlock the potential of selling merchant services to multi-location businesses.  My two game-changing tips here will help you get sales in this profitable industry.  Also, I invite you to take advantage of my experience to insure you get the revenue you deserve on these deals!

Read the previous article here:  http://bit.ly/2ioci56  Leverage Sales to Specialty Shops – How to Sell Merchant Services to Retail Specialty Shops

#1 game changer:  Use different wording.  There are a couple of words which make a huge difference in your pitch.  Change how you describe yourself.  You are no longer a business, a payment professional, or a sales rep when you sell to multi-location businesses.  Rather, you are a vendor.  As a vendor, you do not provide a proposal, a rate quote, or side-by-side comparison.  A vendor provides a bid.  That one tip will probably quadruple your sales in this industry.

When selling in a multi-location business, you’ll hear responses like, “No, we are corporate” or “The owner is not here.  It’s corporate.”  But DON’T WALK OUT!  Always ask a follow-up question.  You might walk away from $50,000 or $60,000 profit for yourself by leaving off the follow-up question.  You are killing yourself if you walk out.  Follow-up with this response, “Oh, I didn’t realize that.  How many locations do you guys have?  Is it regional or nationwide?”  Ask that question every time! 

If the businesses are nationwide, that’s the time to leave.  Trust me that you are not on the level to sell a nationwide company.  (If you are working on a national account, shoot me an email.)  If you’ve never done one before, you definitely won’t be doing it now!

For regional businesses ask, “Is there a corporate office or main place?  Where is corporate?”  They may tell you the main office is a couple hours away.  Then you may ask, “Do you have any idea to whom I would talk to put in a bid?  Who deals with vendors and bids?”  They will understand that request.  There is a bid process, so that is a normal question.  Learn the location of corporate or get a phone number.  Call them and say, “Hey, my name is James Shepherd. I’ve got a company based out of ____.  We are a vendor for payment processing services.  Who would I talk with to put in a bid for that?”  When you get to the right person, say, “I’d like to put in a bid for the payment processing services.  How does the bidding process with that work?  Are you guys accepting bids now, or is there a schedule for it?”

Here is the WRONG pitch for a call to the controller of the account for a multiple-location business:

“Hey, my name is James Shepherd.  I’ve got a local business.  We offer payment processing services.  I wanted to see if I could give you a comparison of your rates.”

That pitch leaves this impression –

  • someone working from home and desperate for money
  • someone who will mess up their merchant services then go to another state

This is the pitch you want instead:

“Hi, my name is James Shepherd.  I have a quick question for you.  I’m a vendor and am looking to put in a bid on the payment processing.  How would I go about doing that?”

If you already know the business is multi-location, that is your whole pitch, other than finding out the location of the corporate office.

#2 game changer – be patient!  The sales cycle is longer when selling merchant services to multi-location businesses.  Sometimes corporate companies only look at bids once a year or every two years or even every three years.  Get yourself into the bid process and eventually you are going to be evaluated.  All of the normal, usual significant issues are irrelevant when selling to multi-location businesses.  They own their own software.  They have their own point of sale system.  Money is no issue.  Paying $3000 or $4000 to switch payment providers to their software vendor is not an obstacle.  For this industry the priority consideration is return on investment.  All they care about is the numbers.  Go to your processor with the statement.  Look at it together and ask if we can make an exception.

When you talk to your processor and get an exception made on the pricing, make sure you also discuss an exception to your Schedule A cost.  (Processors won’t appreciate my telling you this!)  Your schedule A per item fee might usually be five or six cents.  Now you’ll be dealing with someone doing $700,000 a month in volume, so you should ask your processor for a favor on that.  Let’s assume your processor will take that fee down.  Now your next question is, “How much money am I going to make?  Are you going to take my cost down to three cents?”  Make sure the processor isn’t making tons of money while you make nothing.  People I know have spent months on big mega deals, then make only $200 a month on twenty-seven locations.  Understand your margin.

If you don’t know what your margin is or don’t even understand what that means, go to instantquotetool.com.  Take my training course on how to read a processing statement, advanced statement analysis.  Soon you’ll start to understand a little bit more about this topic.

Thanks for enjoying this mini-series with me.  I hope each episode has been helpful to you.  Watch for more helpful episodes on topics of interest to the merchant services industry!


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