(Part I of III) How To Present Merchant Services to Your POS Prospects
A question I come across a lot from our partners is “What is the best way for me to introduce merchant services to my clients?” It’s a great question and one that I enjoy answering.
There is no doubt the topic of merchant processing can be difficult to cover with merchants. Chances are, the business owner has been burned by a processor in the past or spends a good portion of their week dodging aggressive sales reps. The industry has gotten a bad wrap because of this.
As a co-founder of a restaurant point-of-sale company, I learned during my 10 years with the company that selling merchant services was more than saving people money. It involved building a relationship with merchants and earning their trust before they would consider switching. I was fortunate enough to have spent my time nurturing my point-of-sale clients. I had many great relationships, and my clients looked to me for advice on areas throughout their entire business. This made the topic of merchant processing much easier to present.
In this three part series, I will layout my experience in the POS and merchant processing industry and how I found success with relationship focus selling. Part One will include what questions to ask your POS Prospects (existing businesses that do not use your POS system) and when to ask them. In Part Two, I will discuss the best ways to approach your Current POS Clients (clients using your POS but another processor). Finally, Part Three will offer tips from Priority I.S. partner, Josh Carper with Gorilla Technologies. Josh will share his success and how he has signed ~99% of his point-of-sale merchants up for merchant processing.
It would be hard to find any merchant who enjoys talking about merchant services. The industry has been inundated with inexperienced sales people who deliver an amazing quote but fall short on service or delivering the pricing that was promised. However, ISVs and VARs are at a huge advantage when it comes to offering credit card processing to merchants. Aside from the expertise an ISV or VAR might have in the merchant’s industry, there are reasons merchants benefit by receiving the POS and merchant processing from a single source:
Perhaps the largest benefit of a merchant switching their processing over to the POS vendor is the consolidation of support. We all want our merchants to be happy. A happy merchant means repeat business and referrals. I have found the biggest gripe many merchants have with their POS or merchant processor is when an issue arises and both parties pass the blame off to one another. Every merchant has been there, and it is a huge headache for them. They just want their system to work and they want to know the right party is handling the situation. Imagine how refreshing it is for them to hear that their support for point-of-sale AND credit cards are directed to ONE phone number. In a partnership with Priority I.S., we have designed our support to never pass the blame. No matter if we field the call from the merchant or our partner, our staff is equipped with POS experience to understand the situation and work WITH the ISV or VAR until the situation is resolved.
EMV integration has thrown a wrench into the support process for many companies when it comes to the responsibilities of the POS provider and merchant processor. While many merchant processors attempt to download and deliver a semi-integrated unit for the ISV or VAR to use, they are more than likely unwilling to assist after installation. This can leave the merchant and POS provider in a tough predicament when issues arise. In the end, it is best for the merchant to receive their equipment from a processor that has a relationship with their POS provider.
Approach for Businesses in the Buildout Process
The obvious observation about new merchants in the buildout process is that the majority are going to install a POS system and almost all of them will need merchant services. Chances are, they have been hounded already by merchant processors, so selling on processing alone can be tough. I have always found new business owners are more willing to talk to me as a point-of-sale dealer rather than a merchant processor because the ROI and functionality of a POS system is much more interesting to talk about.
A good approach is to wait on mentioning merchant services until they have decided to come on board as a POS client. As you near closing, I recommend casually asking if they are still considering bids for merchant services. Remember, even if they have signed with ten other processors, their credit card agreement is not active until they run their first transaction, so it is not too late if they haven’t opened. This makes it much easier for both parties. You have proven to have earned their trust by selling them a POS, so they are going to look for input on other areas of their business.
Approach for Businesses That Are Currently Open
It is important to note that people do not like change. If a merchant is currently in business and using merchant processing, timing plays a huge role on if they will be willing to talk to another merchant processor or not. Depending on their situation, I would almost always lead with their POS system and ask if they are satisfied. I found they were more open to change when it came to the tangible technology they use on a daily basis. Chances are, they have recently felt the pain of bad support experience or the system is on its last leg, so they are more willing to entertain a discussion about POS rather than merchant services.
Be sure to look out for Part Two of this series, “Best Approaches for Offering Merchant Services to Your POS Clients” due out next week. If you have any questions on how you can you can offer merchant services to your prospects and clients, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com or (770) 318-3456.
Need a game plan on how to reach out to your prospects and clients? Contact me below so we can discuss strategy.