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The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 28, 2011 • Issue 11:03:02


Change minds, change behaviors

Human beings are naturally resistant to change. But, as ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs), it is your job to motivate merchants to change: change their thinking, change their habits.

How can you make change less intimidating for your merchant prospects? How can you encourage them to leave the safe familiarity of their old ways of doing things and sign with your service or use your equipment?

First, demystify

For many people, resistance to change stems from a fear of the unknown. When thinking about updating their transaction processing capabilities, merchants might wonder:

  • What, exactly, will happen if I switch to a new POS system?
  • What new services will I be able to offer as a result?
  • Will my customers see a positive difference if I upgrade?
  • What benefits will I see?
  • Is anyone in my area using the system I'm interested in?
  • What kind of training will I have to invest in?
  • How much will my checkout procedures change?
  • Will I have to buy new supplies?

Many merchants have questions like these on their minds. It is your job to answer them - even if your prospects never verbalize them. Be thorough; use specifics; cite details; ask questions. Make sure nothing goes unanswered.

Second, clarify

Remember, because your service or equipment is new to your prospects, its virtues can be hard for them to grasp initially - no matter how detailed your presentation is. And the more full-featured the product, the more intimidating the thought of being left alone with it is.

Your product or service can open merchants' eyes and build their hopes for improved business, but to build the type of confidence that motivates people to change, you must make it absolutely clear what your product or service is or does. For example, clarify the following for a new terminal:

  • Exactly what the terminal does
  • Exactly how it will be set up
  • Exactly when it will be up and ready
  • Exactly how the merchant's interface will be affected
  • Exactly what benefits the merchant will see (quieter printer, wireless capability, and so forth)
  • Which keystrokes do what
  • What kind of upgrades are available or needed
  • What kind of security is available
  • What kind of paper is used
  • What customizable features are available

And don't forget to have your prospect do some clarifying, too. Ask at different points in the sales process exactly what the merchant needs and wants. More things are likely to come to light when you ask a second or third time. You can't meet a customer's needs if you aren't certain what they are.

Third, compare

Once you've taken the unknowns out of the buying decision, compare your prospect's current situation to the improved environment that would result if he or she signed with you. When given the complete picture, your prospect will see that your offerings are superior - and that will motivate your potential customer to make changes that will enhance your bottom line. end of article

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