The Green Sheet Online Edition
August 13, 2007 • Issue 07:08:01
Size up your sales pitch
As every good salesperson knows, there's more
than one way to close a deal. Hundreds of
books have been written on the subject of selling,
and there are as many solid strategies for
landing customers as there are great salespeople.
But even with such extensive resources available, many
ISOs and merchant level salespeople lose business
because they haven't mastered a strategy that's both an
extremely simple concept and an incredibly subtle tool
for winning sales: the ability to shape your presentation
to the client's unique needs.
It's tempting to find an approach that works well and
deploy it in every situation. A killer pitch that doesn't
need much modification can be effective. But to post truly
extraordinary sales numbers, you will need to be able to
adapt your pitch to a host of customer needs.
One of the simplest ways to customize your pitches
is to modify your approach to retailer size. You're
selling the same basic product to every merchant: the
electronic payment processing services of the company
But you will sell more (and profit more) if you learn
to emphasize the aspects of that product that are most
appealing to each specific client, based on business size
and the specific needs that size entails.
Selling to 'mom and pop'
Single-location retail merchants are a payments industry
mainstay. You'll need to cultivate this type of business.
What matters most to a deli owner or local restaurant is
not the vast technological network available through your
ISO or the great write-up your company received in a
national trade magazine. It's the reliable, personable one on-
one service you provide at every step of the payment
Small-business owners like to work with individuals they
trust. Developing a rapport with your most loyal clients,
or new store owners whose businesses you're cultivating,
will pay off substantially.
Logging one-on-one hours, whether on the golf course
or at community events, will strengthen your relationships
and make members of this merchant group far
less likely to jump ship when competitors they've never
before met walk in the door offering to match or beat your
If your company, like Cynergy Data, emphasizes
technology, sell that to merchants in terms they'll understand
and appreciate. Frame the technological services
you provide (from virtual back office software to instant
chargeback notification) in terms of instant benefits
To strengthen your presentations, ask yourself the following
- Can your software act as an extra employee, balancing
the books and tracking financial data?
- Does processing with you mean the merchant will have
more time for one-on-one relationships with his or her
- Is your equipment reliable and easy-to-use even for
people without advanced degrees or in-depth technological
- Can your customer service department be counted on
to treat merchants with respect, courtesy and personalized
service at all times?
Emphasize these points to small-business owners, and
they'll be much more likely to sign with you and remain
in your portfolio for years.
Selling to big fish
While personal relationships are extremely important
when selling to small-business owners, when you're
approaching larger operations it's the relationship
between your businesses that will close the deal.
Of course, tee time with key principals doesn't hurt, but to
win business from a mega-merchant, you'll need to frame
your approach in terms of a mutually beneficial partnership
Emphasize what makes your company a leader. Large,
successful retailers like to do business with equally prosperous
enterprises, if for no other reason than the big
guns have the service and support networks to handle
complex, high-volume businesses.
Remember to point out how customizable your technological
offerings are and the state-of-the-art nature of your
offerings, from terminals to customer service systems.
Do you serve other major clients in your prospect's market
space? This is one arena in which it never hurts to
drop a name. It will enhance your prestige in the eyes of
most large-business owners and increase the likelihood
that they will use your services.
When you're selling to mega retailers, make sure they
know your services can be adapted to fit with their existing
corporate images and needs. You can change for them;
they should not have to change for you. Customizable,
branded gift cards, for example, are an appealing option
for large merchants.
Equally valuable is your ability to create a specialty processing
system for them that takes into account business
type, processing volume, staffing needs and more. Also
important is forging a system that can make managing
multiple locations simple, as well as profitable.
Selling to all sizes
No matter what size a merchant is, certain things always
apply. Ease of use never loses its appeal, particularly since
so few merchants understand, or even want to understand,
the ins and outs of payment processing.
Customer service and technical support functions that
are available 24/7; easy to reach; equipped to handle
myriad issues; and staffed by warm, efficient experts are
immensely valuable, too.
And, ultimately, personal relationships speak volumes,
whether it's dinner and drinks with a small but reliable
client or a personal note to the Chief Executive Officer of
a major corporation. Whether you're selling big or selling
little, charisma never goes out of style.
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-theart
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
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