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The Green Sheet Online Edition

November 27, 2022 • Issue 22:11:02

Street SmartsSM

The niche-selling edge

By Natasa Cvijanovic
Tesla Payments

Jack of all trades, master of none is a common saying. One interpretation of this phrase is that it is typically used to refer to a person who is competent in various areas but not necessarily outstanding in any of them, as opposed to an individual who is an expert in one field. If you've ever heard of it, you understand the significance of finding your niche and distinguishing yourself from the competition.

Having a clearly defined niche market and positioning yourself as the go-to expert for a particular merchant type gives you an edge over generalist merchant level salespeople (MLSs) and allows you to take a more focused approach to making sales.

Rather than offering another generic merchant service, you may distinguish yourself as an expert by specializing in a particular field. In other words, it's proof of your expertise. When you position yourself as an industry expert, you set yourself apart from the competitors, draw in the targeted merchant and earn their trust.

In addition to differentiating yourself from the competition, focusing on a niche market helps your business gain market recognition. You can establish yourself as the go-to resource in the industry for a particular merchant vertical, demographic, etc., thereby attracting other merchants to your product and service.

Benefits of niche market selling

  • It improves customer service. Focusing on a target merchant type helps you focus on the quality of your customer service. Also, niche marketing lets you build stronger, more personalized relationships with your target merchant group.

    The more specific the niche, the easier it is to understand your target merchants' needs and deliver services that satisfy their needs when they arise. When you provide value for merchants who require your service, it is naturally easier to retain them over time and earn their referrals.

  • It reduces competition. Your chances of standing out from the competition of other MLSs vying for the attention of all merchants are significantly increased if you choose a specific market to specialize in. You will be more effective at prospecting, closing deals and retaining merchants.
  • It lowers marketing expenses. Understanding your merchant niche is essential to cut unnecessary marketing, advertising and promotional expenses. Instead of spending money on broad promotional efforts, you can cater your campaigns and cold-calling efforts to the needs of your target market.

Finding your niche

Now that I've covered the benefits of having a niche market I'll explore how MLSs can find their niche in the market, what kinds of niche markets exist and how MLS can differentiate themselves from the competition. Spend some time considering different verticals, and if you're having trouble deciding which niche to pursue, try the following:

  • Consider your passions and interests. Which areas do you have an interest in or experience in? What types of merchants have you had success with, and why?
  • Determine your merchant's issues, needs and wants, and then evaluate your products and services. What in your existing offering can meet or fix those needs?
  • Study the competition. You may have an excellent idea for a niche market, but you must consider how many companies you will compete with.
  • Consider the profitability of a potential niche market.

Targeting a specific merchant industry (such as the lodging, medical, petroleum, utilities, B2B, ecommerce and so on), product niche, region, or (if you're bilingual) culture/language may make for an excellent niche market.

Room for growth

Starting on a small scale is the best way to establish yourself and identify your niche. It is natural for your niche market to expand as your portfolio grows. You can propel your business into a larger, potentially more lucrative niche market by matching your products and services with a narrow group of current and potential merchants, as niche providers typically generate buzz and positive reviews.

If you're still using a shotgun approach to prospecting, there is a good chance you're losing merchants to niche-focused competitors. To differentiate yourself from the competition, please pause and consider how you may distinguish your service from your competitors.

By zeroing in on a specific merchant base, your company can increase its revenue and better utilize its other resources to win over merchants who will benefit most from your merchant service offering. These are the merchants who demand your product or service the most and, as a result, are more likely to sign with you and remain loyal clients.

Given the highly competitive nature of our market, focusing on a niche is not only sensible but also critical to your survival. end of article

Natasa Cvijanovic, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Payments, has a proven track record within the payment industry of cultivating successful relationships with ISOs, MLSs and strategic partners. In developing national sales channels, she provides training and coaching to sales partners to enable them to become better business partners and advocates for their merchants, and to assist them in building portfolios producing steady residual streams. She is also dedicated to consistently delivering high levels of professionalism, integrity, dependability and trustworthiness. Contact her at natasa@teslapayments.com.

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.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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