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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Legislative outlook:
Some clouds but no rain

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group


Industry Update

New fees, more money for Visa, MasterCard

RBS, Heartland PCI compliance revoked: What's next?

A token of payments to come

Raising the ACH bar

Virtucard for virtual goods


Bill Pirtle

Breaches across America
installment two

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Boom time for prepaid game card market

Global payroll done with SaaS

The state of escheatment


Be the toast of hosts

Scott Henry

Sluggish economy spurs faster payments

Nasreen Quibria
Association for Financial Professionals

Mobile payments? Not yet

Biff Matthews
CardWare International


Street SmartsSM:
Who are you?

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang

Pull back the expense curtain

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Downshifting to rev up sales

Christian Murray
Global eTelecom Inc.

PCI versus tricky technology

Michael Wright
Panoptic Security Inc.

Five magical questions in making sales

Daniel Wadleigh
Marketing Consultant

Company Profile

UseMyBank Services Inc.

Data Delivery Services Inc.

New Products

Instant mobile processing

MerchantWare Mobile
Company: Merchant Warehouse

A most literate check reader

Company: Parascript LLC


See it, believe it



Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

April 13, 2009  •  Issue 09:04:01

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Five magical questions in making sales

By Daniel Wadleigh

Underlying every sale (or missed sale) is the value system of a particular customer. As an ISO or merchant level salesperson, it's important to understand what a prospect deems valuable about a product or service - and then appeal to that value system in your sales pitch.

Here are five magical questions for unveiling a customer's hidden value system:

  1. What is the most important factor in selecting a credit card processor?
  2. How do you measure the value of your processor?
  3. Would you feel comfortable switching processors if a different one were up to your standards?
  4. What else is important to you in a payment consultant?
  5. If you made a decision to switch processors (or obtain one for the first time), what would induce the decision?

The answers to the first three questions will reveal what merchants want from a processor, the methods they use for choosing a processor and whether assurance of value is the overriding factor in making a selection.

Questions four and five are potential follow-ups that mine a little deeper if a merchant stays on the fence. For example, if your buyer answers no to question three, the next two questions might prompt him or her to reconsider by appealing further to that person's value system and asking more explicitly what would help seal the deal.

Fuel the fire

Once you've uncovered somebody's value system, it's time to attempt making a sale. Two conditions must be in place to complete a sale:

  1. A merchant wants a product or service
  2. A merchant is ready to pay for it

Either the merchant already has a desire or you need to illustrate one. A good way to go about this is through the use of imagery - using pictures or words to help convey a product or service's value. For example, in selling a processing terminal to a grocery store chain whose owner values efficiency, you might have the buyer imagine the store's checkout lines moving faster, and the smiles on the faces of customers as they move briskly through.

It is unlikely that you will generate significant new business strictly from merchants with a built-in readiness to buy. In many cases, you'll have to goad merchants to buy who are lukewarm, or even cold, toward your initial offer.

Enhance value

Sometimes the final selling point is a special offer that forces a quick decision, lest your prospective customer miss out on a unique opportunity. Usually such an offer takes the form of a discount, but there are better options. Savvy merchants (and consumers) tend to distrust discounts, especially when they don't know what your markup is.

Don't sell yourself short. Learn how to add value rather than subtract it; sell the product, not the price.

And use the answers from the five magical questions to home in on a particular selling point. If a merchant says the most important factor in selecting a processor is the availability of technical help, a good offer might be: "Sign today and we'll help you design a new Web page for your company."

Effective selling often involves moving from the general to the specific. First, figure out what a client generally looks for as a buyer, and then move to the value of a specific product or service that fits the person's professed interests - relating the benefits of that product to his or her values whenever possible.

Understand your prospects, and you'll understand what will drive them to rely on you and you alone for their merchant services. By acquainting yourself with their individual attitudes and preferences, you can steer them to the right products or services and sell them in the most compelling way.

Daniel Wadleigh is a veteran marketing consultant in the payments industry. He offers an educational program that is available on a PowerPoint presentation and designed to help ISOs elevate themselves above the competition. For more information, please call him at 512-803-0956

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | Simpay | USAePay | Impact Paysystems | Board Studios