The Green Sheet Online Edition
July 09, 2007 • Issue 07:07:01
Sell something every merchant craves
A major obstacle faced by ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) is that merchants more often than not don't care who their credit card processor is. They are focused on the key drivers of their businesses: merchandizing, pricing, inventory management and so forth.
While those of us who work in payment processing know merchants can improve the daily workings of their businesses - and save a considerable amount of money - by choosing an outstanding service provider, it's often difficult to convince merchants that what a processor offers is a crucial part of their long-term growth.
But what if you could sell merchants a product with immediate, tangible benefits for every aspect of their businesses - from marketing and sales to payroll?
Sell cash advance programs, and you'll do just that.
Limitless opportunity, painless payback
Funding partners (including Cynergy Data's recommended cash advance provider, Merchant Cash and Capital) whose programs are specifically designed for our industry have made selling cash advances to merchants easier and more effective than ever.
Under a typical program, merchants can quickly be approved for as much as $125,000 in cash, a figure generated by a quick analysis of their credit card processing volume and typical daily receipts.
ISOs can offer this funding to a merchant with no strings attached.
Provided it's earmarked for a legitimate business purpose (no long weekends in Vegas or replenishing children's college funds, please), merchants are free to use this cash to develop advertising, direct mail and media programs; purchase much needed new equipment; fight rising overhead costs; and much more.
Some merchants may be skeptical about receiving large advances, fearing aggressive bill collectors or unrealistic and inflexible payback terms. But most processing-specific merchant cash programs offer a simple, completely painless payback option that you can use to win over even the most reluctant merchant customers.
Turning a terminal into cash
Here's how it works: When your merchant receives the initial advance, based on some basic data provided about the business (credit card processing volume, average ticket, etc.), the merchant is assigned a small, fixed percentage of the advance to pay back daily.
The idea of daily payments may seem cumbersome, but it's actually the easiest bill the merchant will ever pay: The percentage is automatically deducted from the retailer's credit, debit and gift card sales each day.
The merchant's terminal becomes a gateway to cash. Paying it back is not only simple, but also highly flexible because merchants are paying back a percentage, not a set amount, each day.
When business is good, more progress is made in repaying the debt. And when business lags, merchants pay back smaller amounts, so they're not at risk of sinking deeper into debt. It's a win-win deal for all your merchant customers.
These payback terms make cash advances an appealing opportunity for even the most skeptical merchants. Just use your best sales skills to accentuate the benefits of the program and overcome "it's too good to be true" reservations.
Even high-risk merchants (those with spotty credit histories or unstable business performance) can be relatively safe targets for this sort of cash advance because the payback is automatic and, therefore, automatically enforced.
The icing on the cake
Here's the most convenient thing about cash advance from an ISO's perspective: You can profit from an advance forever - for 30 seconds of work. Now that's effective time management.
Simply by giving prospective or current merchants information on a cash program and encouraging them to call or e-mail for more details, you can make either an instant bonus or a percentage of the merchant's future sales.
As cash advance programs rise in popularity, make sure to shop around for a provider that delivers what it promises and takes the best care of referral partners.
The easiest way to incorporate cash advance into your portfolio of sales tools is to think of it as a product like any other. Master the basics of the program and how it works (this article should give you a good start) and present it as one of many reasons merchants should switch their processing to you.
After all, it's impossible to tell which offers will register best with which merchants. Though, with cash sales, you've already overcome one huge obstacle: Every merchant already knows what the product is and how important an influx of cash is to a business.
Ultimately, cash sales are good for you and for your merchants. Because the advances must be used for legitimate business purposes, the funds are bound to improve your merchants' sales, marketing and general visibility.
And when business booms for your merchants, you know what that means for you: sizeable residual checks and, best of all, lower merchant attrition rates.
So the next time you head out on a sales call, include in your presentation some information that enables you to sell cash. Remember, it's the one product every merchant needs. In fact, it's the one product that no merchant business can live without.
Marcelo Paladini is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Cynergy Data, a merchant acquirer that distinguishes itself by relying on creativity and technology to maximize service. Cynergy offers its ISOs: Vimas, cutting edge back-office management software; Vimas Tracking, a ticketing system that makes responses to customers fast, accurate and efficient; Brand Central Station, a Web site of free marketing tools; plus state-of-the-art training, products, services and value-added programs, all designed to take its ISO partners way beyond their competitors. For more information on Cynergy, e-mail Mike Grossman at