January is when many people revamp aspects of their lives and businesses, aiming to reach new heights in the coming year. For ISOs and merchant level salespeople this can mean reexamining a sales presentation that has grown so routine it comes across as more canned than inviting.
That isn't to say routines are bad. "Routines are an essential business strategy both to reduce mistakes and to improve efficiency," Paul H. Green wrote in Good Selling!SM: The Basics. I agree. However, it's important to avoid falling into ruts that prevent you from interacting in a fresh, authentic way.
So, how do you evaluate and revamp your sales pitches? Here are some ideas:
Stay informed about shifts in the overall business environment, and in payments specifically, that signal certain popular approaches have become turnoffs for the majority of prospects. One case in point is the hard close.
"Thanks to the Internet, the buyers of today now have an unlimited amount of information available at their fingertips," tech writer Maria Waida stated in a November 2017 Zendesk Sell blog post "They're less likely to respond to a pushy sales pitch since they're far more educated on their available options. Instead of trying to convince them why your solution is superior, engage in an open dialogue."
Also, make sure your pitch is current in every aspect. Know your products and services inside out. Your statements need to accurately reflect your company's offerings, so that your ISO and processor can deliver what you promise. Every detail must be correct.
Reflect on what merchants have told you recently about pain points. Determine if new issues have come up, and research how your company can help, so you'll be able to provide real solutions to new problems. And find case studies that back up your claims.
In "Five-step plan for cross-selling to merchants," The Green Sheet, Oct. 23, 2017, Womply's Barry Davis, wrote, "When cross-selling, you have to be able to put the product into the context of everyday business problems. The best way to do that is to use data and case studies in the sales process. Merchants want validation and social proof. Case studies show that other successful businesses are using the product and getting results. Data adds objective backing to an otherwise subjective sales pitch."
Before setting an appointment, ascertain whether now is the right time for the prospect to engage with you. Then do research so you arrive with a good sense of what the merchant's issues are likely to be and how you can address them.
Then, when you're on the scene:
And remember to get help when you need it. We are a community of payment pros. You never have to go it alone.
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