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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Capital flow in acquiring

News

Industry Update

PCI SSC steps up data security education

MasterCard on target with first quarter gains

Money and tech conference focused on mobile

Features

Research Rundown

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Gift card regs unraveled

The debate over rebates

Views

Deregulation, regulation and you

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group

Payments 2010: The revolution has arrived

Brandes Elitch
CrossCheck Inc.

Stemming the attrition tide

Biff Matthews
CardWare International

Education

Street SmartsSM:
High risk, high reward

Ken Musante
Eureka Payments LLC

Outsourcing customer support? Think again

Nicholas Cucci
Network Merchants Inc.

Residual protection at 'portability moments'

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Succeeding at PCI compliance - Part 1:
Planning the initial rollout

Dawn M. Martinez
First Data Corp.

Always be opening

Dale S. Laszig
Castles Technology Co. Ltd.

Company Profile

Transaction Network Services Inc.

New Products

A sweet POS

TouchSuite Pro
Invenstar LLC

Cloud-based terminal and cash register

SoundPOS
SoundPOS LLC

Inspiration

Clean up your stuff to clean up financially

Departments

10 Years ago in
The Green Sheet

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 24, 2010  •  Issue 10:05:02

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Always be opening

By Dale S. Laszig

Some people take a formulaic approach to closing sales, showing us ways to be brave and ask for the order. These techniques, like the snow plow, will get us down the mountain, but will later have to be discarded as we gain the confidence to just show up and have honest discussions with business owners.

Obviously, the number of discussions we have is proportionate to the number of sales we make, or what sales managers refer to as the closing ratio. What about the opening ratio, which can tell us how many merchants we need to call before we get a confirmed appointment?

We're not just competing with other merchant level salespeople (MLSs) anymore; ads, newsletters and offers of all kinds clamor for merchants' attention in today's competitive market.

Here is a program to help MLSs rise above the clutter, get confirmed appointments with decision-makers and open more sales.

Embrace technology

Anyone who works in the electronic transactions industry is in the technology business. If you don't have a good grasp of networking basics and understand how transactions flow from the POS through authorization and settlement, an abundance of resources in our industry can help you bridge that gap.

Ask your ISO or processor for suggestions on training programs. Our industry's regional tradeshows have exhibits and seminars on technology trends. Many hardware vendors offer webinars that build brand awareness while educating us on relevant industry topics.

Third-party Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) security providers routinely stage compliance day events to present the complex, changing guidelines of the PCI DSS so that we in turn can educate our merchants.

ETA University (www.electran.org) offers an extensive curriculum of online courses, including technology subjects. Bankcard Bootcamp (www.bankcardbootcamp.com) and the Field Guide Seminars (www.fieldguideforisos.com) are tried and tested training programs for payments industry professionals.

Reading blogs is another way to stay in touch with payments industry technology, which is constantly evolving and changing. CardWare International (www.cardwareinternational.com) and Retail Cloud (www.retailcloud.com) post articles monthly on a variety of business and technical matters.

If you think you don't have time for this, imagine how merchants feel. Credit card processing is not their core business, but it directly affects them. Many are seeking ways to create security, mobility and integration strategies, and are hearing conflicting reports from different sources.

Knowledgeable MLSs can demonstrate how to leverage payment technology and become valuable, trusted guides for these merchants.

Work SMART

It is common knowledge that effective sales professionals sell on value, not price. What program differentiators has your organization implemented that will add value to merchant relationships? How can we apply what we learn about technology into SMART solutions (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-limited)?

Time-limited agreements are a payments industry standard. Many merchants signing an application will ask about the agreement's terms, including when they will be able to opt out of the agreement without incurring a cancellation fee.

While most agreements are self-renewing, merchants who are routinely contacted by their MLSs and enjoy good service will be less likely to leave at the end of a contract term.

Make a difference

When you are passionate about sharing your industry knowledge, merchants will be more receptive to your message. Your enthusiasm and sincere interest in learning more about merchants and their specific issues will create an opening for more enlightened, interactive discussions.

As Paul Green wrote in Good Selling 2: Thirteen Weeks to Personal Success, "Over the years, I have found that my selling process has gradually improved, and I have become less and less conscious of any great final effort to close a sale.

If my approach is right, if I have been able to create sufficient interest and desire, then, when the time comes for action, the prospect is ready, eager and willing to buy."

There's no limit to how creative we can become as we embrace changing technology and endeavor to stay up-to-date on industry trends. We can use this knowledge to make a positive difference in the merchant community.

There may be times when you cannot offer a better alternative to an existing program; you may compliment someone on an excellent system and leave with a smile and a handshake. When you don't earn the business, you can still earn respect. When you don't close the sale, you can still open the door to future possibility.

Dale S. Laszig is Vice President of Sales in the United States for Castles Technology Co. Ltd., a manufacturer and global provider of smart card, contactless and POS solutions. She can be reached at 973-930-0331 or dale_laszig@castech.com.tw.

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

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