The Green Sheet Online Edition
June 08, 2020 • Issue 20:06:01
Adapt or fade away
By Marc Beauchamp
We are knee deep into the economy's reopening, and I hope your local market is showing signs of economic activity. I don't know what the future holds, but I do know one constant in life and business is that shift happens. And current circumstances will require you to adapt your business model and sales tactics or risk fading into the abyss of failed business ventures.
To assist with this, I want to share several insights and hot topics I've been discussing with members in the Bankcard Life community.
Lead generation is the lifeblood of any business. For now, cold calling, setting appointments and meeting face to face, and in-person networking have been upended. Until the novel coronavirus is neutralized, business owners and salespeople may be hesitant to interact at the same levels they did previously. It is imperative to devise new strategies to generate high-quality leads. Here are four tactics to test:
- Conduct more cross selling. It's always easier to make an offer to an existing relationship than initiate a new one.
- Leverage B2B social media platforms like LinkedIn. Join targeted groups, add value and foster new relationships.
- Advertise on internet platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Paid advertising is extremely affordable right now.
- Increase outbound activities. Examples include phone calls, email outreach and customer interactions centered on targeted product offerings that add value to prospects' businesses.
With face-to-face sales slowing, pivot to a more productive approach. This means selling remotely utilizing current technology and frictionless boarding processes to convert and activate more merchants. Explore tools like these:
- CRMs with automated dialing features. These allow you to increase your contact ratios.
- Smart marketing campaign sequencing. This enables you to set up multiple email/phone/SMS text marketing sequences with in-depth analytics of customer engagement. Customize and personalize marketing activities from lead capture to closure.
- Online presentation tools.Webinar and screen-share programs have taken the world by storm. Set up a free Zoom account for face-to-face meetings, demos and sales calls. It's surprising how much rapport you can build through this technology.
- Online application and boarding processes. Most ISOs have easy to use, customizable online applications and boarding systems. Use any of the numerous e-sign programs to board merchants electronically.
Focus on great products and programs that reduce overhead, improve efficiency, provide security, increase cash flow and help merchants deal with consumer concerns. Evaluate your product lineup and determine whether it fills gaps and addresses concerns merchants are dealing with today. Here are my top recommendations:
- Online ordering solutions.Merchants want to save money by offering their own online ordering while also integrating to the popular online ordering providers.
- Contactless payment solutions. No one wants to touch money now; expect big increases in contactless transaction volumes.
- Surcharging/cash discounting.Merchants want to save money in these times, and customers want to support local businesses.
- Cloud-based POS. Merchants on legacy systems may need to update to current technology that provides data analytics, automated backups and remote access.
- B2B interchange optimization. Businesses continue to sell to other businesses. Interchange optimization is a perfect tool help them save money on level 2 and 3 card transactions, while maintaining profit margins.
- Ecommerce payment solutions. Many merchants are adding or expanding online stores. This is the time to enable merchants to move businesses online.
- Working capital solutions. Examples include asset-based loans, invoice factoring, equipment leasing and credit lines—products that will provide liquidity, restructure debt at better rates and expand availability to funds.
- POS financing. Merchants want to increase ticket size and make their goods and services more affordable. Customers want to conserve their open credit and pay over time. POS financing is a great solution to help both meet their needs.
The days of the traditional sales model are gone; adapt, or your business and portfolio will fade away.
Marc Beauchamp is author of Survive and Thrive in the Merchant Services Industry and founder of Bankcard Life, a community for payments professionals. He is offering a free copy of his book to all payments professionals at www.bankcardlife.com/greensheet. Marc welcomes your comments and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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