So you have your first prospective client what do you do now? Well with out getting to crazy I’d say talk to them! Just kidding, well sort of.

When meeting with a merchant realize this, this business person is taking time out of their day to speak to you. No one who is busy is going to take time to have a conversation with you if they are not at least considering doing business with you. They might be combative or difficult, but realize this is because they have their defenses up. Odds are they have either had a bad experience in the past, or don’t really understand everything. So they put up a wall. They key to getting through this is to listen to them and ask questions. Sales is mostly listening. Too often sales people want to talk and pitch, that they haven’t even heard what the merchant wants or needs from them. Trust me if you can talk to the merchant and make a friend your chances of making a sale are that much better. Why? Because you’ve earned their trust. When someone says no they are telling you that you have not given them enough information to make a decision or they don’t trust you enough yet to do business. I think that getting to know them, their business , what they like and don’t like , things like that can open up a world of opportunity. If your dying to make a sale right then and their because you need the money, that desperation will come off. The customer will feel uneasy. Hopefully if you’ve put an action plan in place, built your network, and are selling today you won’t be in that spot. But sometimes it happens. The best advice I can tell you is to get it out of your mind. Leave your problems at the curb . Go in confident and relaxed. Have fun, it’s a challenge and enjoy the process.

What do say to a prospective client? There are many methods of approaching a customer. First of is this a warm lead or is it cold prospect? The tone of the two conversations are vastly different.
Let’s start off with the cold prospect. This is the most difficult aspect of sales. How do you take a cold prospect and turn them into a client. First things first. You need to make sure you are talking to the people who are the decision maker first. Presenting to any one else is a waste of time to both parties.  They can’t make the decision and probably have other things to do, worst case scenario this person may be acting as a gatekeeper. For ideas on getting past a gate keeper check out this article.

So lets assume that you’ve gotten to the decision maker. Remember their time is important so if they are having a conversation with you, there is a real opportunity to do business. First get to know the client. Building rapport is essential when doing sales. Ask questions, and listen, do not try to talk over the person or show them how much you know. Ask pertinent questions about the merchants business. What is there monthly sales volume? What is there average ticket?  What methods do they use to accept cards? Online? Face to face? both? Is there anything specifically that they require to accept cards? Next Day Funding, a payment gateway, pos system, or terminal? Do they own their equipment? Is it leased? Can you reprogram their existing equipment or do they need new equipment? What do they like about their current processor? What don’t they like? If there was one thing they could change about their current processor, what would that one thing be? Take note of their answers because this is going to determine how you present your offer. You can refer back to their answers to overcome objections that come up. The questions should bring up any pain points and any hot buttons with them.

How do you figure out how to itch them? Well I always throw in a few trial closes. This way you will know whether or not they are ready to move forward and if you’ve given them enough reasons to move forward and do business. plus it will bring out potential objections. Do not try to close to early, do not do a bunch of work just to have them say i will think about it. It is inefficient and can hamper your chances. Don’t skip steps and rush to close. This is a killer in sales. Here (click link to read full article) is a list of trial closes or you can come up with your own.

Now that you know the prospect is ready to move forward and do business how do you figure out how to price them. There are a few ways. I find the most effective way is to look at their statement. If you cannot read or break down a statement, you might need access to someone who can do statement analysis. This can turn a one sit close into a two sit close. It just depends on your ability to do the work and learn what you are looking at. Doing an in depth analysis will give you a more exact savings figure and better numbers. You can do a quick effective rate close and hope you have all the info you need, or you can just Price them in a different method. Remember, if you make a mistake and end up charging them more it can cause headaches down the line and merchant attrition. here is a quick break down of statements you might run across.

Standard Tiered or Interchange pass through:

All the info is right there so you can figure it out of one statement and adjust rates. Makes it easier to analyze on the spot price and close

Billback Definition

To understand the definition of billback, just take a closer look at the name….billback. That means that you will be billed back for some stuff that you weren’t billed for in the first place.
Here’s how it works…
The processor quotes you a flat rate of say 1.79% for ALL of your transactions for the month. But, if you know anything about interchange, then you know that not all transactions are created equal. Some transactions will have higher rates than others, even higher than 1.79%. That’s just the way VISA and MasterCard made the system. There are no exceptions! A rewards card will have a different interchange rate than a debit card.
So, if the processor is charging you 1.79% for every transaction, but not all of those transactions end up qualifying for that rate, then how does the processor recoup the difference?
The processor ends up charging you 1.79% for every transaction for that month regardless of what interchange category the transaction qualifies for. Then, in the following month, they look back at those transactions to see what rates they actually did qualify to and charge you for the difference on your next statement.
So, in effect, you end up needing two months worth of statements to figure out what the hell the processor has charged you in total for that specific month. Think that’s bad? Let’s define Enhanced Billback aka Enhanced Reduced Recovery.

Enhanced Billback Definition

Think billback, but just think of the “enhanced” part as enhanced margin. As in, more profit for the processor.
The only difference between billback and enhanced billback is that the processor “enhances” the billback part with their own little margin. I’m not even making this stuff up. The word enhanced literally means that they enhance the billback with more margin. Wow!

How to Identify Billback

I’m sure by now you’re thoroughly confused, and your eyes have probably glazed over. Trust me, even I had a rough time understanding this, but I suggest that you don’t over-analyze it, and don’t freak out. Here’s a visual to help you identify if you’re under billback or enhanced billback:
(Click to Enlarge)
Notice the “BB” in red? That stands for billback. Notice the Statement Period in green? It’s for May 2011, but notice the billback charges in blue? They’re for the previous month (April 2011).
You’ll have a similar statement if you’re under enhanced billback, expect instead of “BB” it will have the acronym “EBB.” Same with Enhanced Reduced Recovery (ERR).
Billback and Enhanced Billback…Buyer Beware” “, Merchant Maverick, January 2013” Web June 2014

Is your head spinning yet? If you are one of my agents I can have the analysis done for you. It might require a second visit to present the offer, but the numbers will be right and you can go in with the documents completed. If you can price it on the spot do it. Explain the offer and ask for the sale. THEN SHUT UP! I don’t mean that in a harsh way,but seriously don’t talk, remember the first one to talk loses. If the merchant accepts the offer, immediately fill out the paper work have them sign, collect a voided check, thank them for their time and leave. Do not ask unnecessary questions, bring up objections, anything. Get the signatures, collect the docs, tell them that you will reprogram their machine once the deal is approved (with me typically you can have the file built and deal approved on a retail client in around 3-4 hours from submission). If they need new equipment or have a POS system you will need to order their equipment and have it shipped or get a VAR sheet built for the POS and figure who is going to reprogram it (typically who ever services the POS).

If they say no? Then go back through your questions. You either missed the objection, didn’t get a thorough commitment, or missed something and went into your pitch to soon. I like to ask ” if the figures and terms are agreeable, are you ready to do business now?” Before I do the work of presenting an offer. If they say no I ask why not. If the objection is something I can overcome I do so. If not I ask more questions and get more information. If there is something preventing them from doing the deal, simply schedule an appointment for when they can make the decision and present to them at that time. If they want numbers on the spot but are not willing to commit, tell them you would like to do a complete analysis. It will allow you to set another appointment. When you come back trial close and get a commitment before you go over numbers. Tie them down. You’re playing the odds you will close more deals with a commitment.

Having the right partner helps in this situation. Someone that can help you prepare, can do analysis, has the right tools in place and a high level of agent and customer support. If you are confident in your processor, selling becomes much easier.

As always please call (248 245 0649)or email me with questions, if you want information on our agent program, if you would like me to address a topic or would like to do a guest blog.