The Green Sheet Online Edition
March 14, 2016 • Issue 16:03:01
The one man show: We've done so much with so little
The late ABC News anchor David Brinkley said, "The successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." If I could modify this quote for the payments industry, I would say, "The successful merchant level salesperson (MLS) is the one who can lay a firm foundation despite the very few bricks their ISOs have provided them." I believe this quote sums up the one man (or woman) show series perfectly.
As MLSs, the truth is that we are not fully equipped by our ISOs – or merchant service providers (MSPs) – with the knowledge, training, resources, research and innovative solutions that we need to succeed.
Instead, we are thrown out into one of the most competitive marketplaces in the world with only a couple of "bricks" (terminal brochures and a bunch of canned sales scripts). When it comes to bringing in new business, we're told we have to "figure it out" on our own. If we just so happen to find a way to do that, then the ISO will be right there, ready to board our accounts and pay us our upfront commissions and lifetime residuals.
Isn't it amazing to see what you can accomplish as a one man (or woman) show in this ever changing and competitive marketplace? Through our innovation, ambition, passion and intuition, we do manage to build our own foundations, and while doing so, we also build the foundations of our ISOs. It's stunning to see that so many of us end up successful since we were provided very little in terms of bricks or tools to construct said foundation.
Since the July 13, 2015 edition of The Green Sheet, I've covered topics related to various issues a person would juggle while operating as a one man (or woman) show in our industry. Here's a brief summary:
- Issue 15:07:01 (July 13, 2015): In the first article, I discussed the importance of strategic business planning by outlining how to determine your unique value proposition, as well as how to pinpoint the niche markets you will focus your resources (time, energy and capital) on. The truth is that as a one man show or a small office, you really can't be everything for everybody. Instead you should focus on specialization.
- Issue 15:08:01 (Aug. 10, 2015): Next, I addressed how you should select your ISO or MSP partners, which should align with your unique value proposition and strategic plans.
- Issue 15:09:01 (Sept. 14, 2015): In the third article, I began a discussion in relation to approaches in business-to-business (B2B) sales, pinpointing how many sales managers "train" their agents using outdated methods instead of focusing on the "New Age" approach, which incorporates innovative research, trends and strategic management of resources, rather than canned, robotic and routine sales scripts.
- Issue 15:11:01 (Nov. 9, 2015): In this article, I continued the discussion in relation to approaches in B2B sales, providing a more in-depth example of the New Age approach, along with more commentary on the differences between the old way of approaching B2B sales, versus the new way, which is better suited for the complex market we face today.
- Issue 15:12:01 (Dec. 14, 2015): I discussed herein ways to juggle your personal life, covering such aspects as managing stress, getting a college education, building your credit and managing family relations while you also work to build your residual portfolios.
- Issue 16:01:01 (Jan. 11, 2016): Next, I touched on the aspect of minimalism and expressed that it is OK for you to be a "piker" by setting smaller and more realistic compensation goals, instead of going along completely with the "rah rah" sales motivational speeches, which usually involve setting compensation goals that are out of reach for many.
- Issue 16:02:01 (Feb. 8, 2016): In the seventh article in the series, I touched on the difference between working as a W-2 employee and working as a 1099 independent contractor, and how I believe that if you are indeed a sales professional, working on a 1099 basis provides greater pay for the same level of production.
The discussion continues
My purpose in doing the series was to touch on issues that I feel are not discussed enough within the industry, especially the topic of how the landscape in which we sell has gotten more challenging due to more complex merchant problems that require complex solutions. Gone are the simple days of educating merchants on the benefits of accepting credit cards, giving merchants some savings on their rates or giving them free terminals in exchange for a 36-month commitment of processing business.
The sales process is now more complex, requiring MLSs to have more technical and analytical experience than they've ever been required to have before. I do not believe that most MLSs are being properly equipped for these challenges by their ISOs. As a result, I will be returning to The Green Sheet publication sooner than you think, with a more focused and structured industry discussion on complex problems that require complex solutions. I believe it's time to rebrand the MLS.
John Tucker is Managing Member of 1st Capital Loans LLC, as well as an M.B.A. graduate and holder of three bachelor's degrees in accounting, business management and journalism. Tucker has nearly nine years of professional experience in commercial finance and business development. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 586-480-2140.
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