Today, here in the midwest, the sun was out and it was fairly decent temperature wise, soooo, I decided to go out and hit the streets. I don’t need to go out like I did in the old days. You see, I already have a fairly large client base so I mainly take care of them and referrals.
While I was out though, I decided to just do a little bit of cold calling just to see what’s going on out there. My approach has always been a bit different than what is typically taught to new reps in the industry. I tend to generally just start a friendly conversation and then gradually ask them some questions about how business is going. One of he approaches I take after they warm up a bit is to say something like this…”I’m in the credit card processing business and I’ll bet I’m the first one you’ve talked to in what, a couple hours or so?”. This usually gets a chuckle out of them, especially at this time of year when there’s a whole new batch of new reps that are hitting the street.
I don’t talk about rate with them much because I’m not necessarily interested in starting my relationship with them soley based on that. In fact, I’m am more interested in developing a mutually rewarding long-term relationship with them. Especially at this time of the year, I ask them what their impression has been of the people that have been contacting them.
In the majority of cases, it seems like their experience is very similar. The rep comes in and if the merchant even gives them a bit of their attention, the scenario seems to play out much the same. The merchant will ask questions that the rep doesn’t know the anwer to (and they really should but that’s not the kind of training they get). The rep excuses themselves for a minute while they get their new sales manager on the phone to get prompted fo the next “line of questions”. And, in the greatest majority of cases, they are selling solely on rate and usually aren’t providing the “whole story”. Anyway, if you are a merchant, you have likely experienced this yourself.
The whole reason I bring this up is quite simply that springtime is when we always tend to see a surge of new people coming into the industry and merchants really need to be on guard. Maybe you have been with the same provider for a while and something these new reps say prompt you to break out a statement for their “review”. After all, you should shop these services about every three years or so, just to stay on top of things, just like you would your insurance or cell phone service.
In fact, I always encourage my merchants to go ahead and entertain offers from others and let me take a look to see if it is legitimate or not. If, by some chance, the offer is real and I don’t feel I can compete, I’ll send them on with my blessings. Since I have a great relationship with my merchants, and I typically do proactive rate reviews annually, they rarely leave.
The bottom line in all of this rambling is simply that, as a merchant, you absolutely need to become more thoroughly informed regarding this ever-increasing cost center in your business. My FREE email course (that you can enroll in by filling in the form tothe right).
Thanks for coming by and please tell others about what you have discovered here.