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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

August 24, 2020 • Issue 20:08:02


You have a story to tell

Having excellent command of your company's offerings and those of your competitors, a good grasp of the payments industry, and working knowledge of targeted vertical markets are requirements for anyone seeking to provide payment processing and other business services to merchants.

Meeting those requirements is a tall order. But that's not all a budding ISO or merchant level salesperson needs. After all, the industry is full of professionals who have mastered the basics and are competing for merchant accounts by offering the same or comparable products and services that you offer.

So what else is required? A strong connection with the people you want to have as customers not just now but long into in the future, too. And how do you do that? Through story. A compelling story. A story that engages your ideal merchants' emotions and propels them to act.

Probe for understanding

To create a story that will serve your purposes, you first need to know who your prospective customers are and what they want—which you likely already have a good sense of if you've been asking merchants probing questions and listening with complete focus to what they've been telling you. And, according to Felicia Spahr, copywriter, author, marketer and coach, you also need to "prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you understand them."

To deepen your understanding of your intended customers, ask such questions as what are the merchants you're targeting passionate about, is there a need they have that you and only you can fill, what are the key points in your company's journey from its founding to today, does it offer something no other company can provide? Is there something uniquely memorable about your company's philosophy, leadership or history? What parts of your evolution are your intended targets likely to admire most?

Organize for results

When it comes time to organize your story, Spahr describes a three-step formula that can help you determine what story to tell, how to write it and what you need to say to get the desired response: First, find your origin story. This need not be long. For an extreme example, Walt Disney famously began his story with, "It all started with a dream, and a mouse." After that, use a simplified hero's journey story model that goes from how things were (a less than desirable situation people can relate to), to the conflict/challenge (the realization that things needed to change) to the resolution (the actions you took to improve things). And then close with a teaser that prompts your prospect to take the action you want them to take.

Keep in mind that when shaping your own or your company's story, it should be factual but written like fiction to fully engage readers and hold their attention. Also remember that the story must be truthful and accurately reflect where your business is today, not where you aspire it to be.

You see, to succeed, especially in an increasingly commoditized industry such as ours, you have to become more in your customers' eyes than what you sell. Telling a compelling story that is uniquely your own is one way to do just that. end of article

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

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