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The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 27, 2023 • Issue 23:03:02

AI selling: run, don't walk

By Adrian Talapan
Fee Navigator

If you're selling merchant services, you've probably heard you're only as good as your last sale. Sales managers in the 21st century aren't looking back; they're looking ahead and expect their teams to do the same.

There's been a paradigm shift in how we sell products and services and communicate with customers and prospects.

You've probably heard of the "race to the bottom," when your sales pitch is all about price. It makes sense to lead with value-added services and vertical industry knowledge, but at some point your prospects will ask what these services cost. You need to be ready.

Don't let anyone tell you price is a bad thing. Businesspeople care about the bottom line and make decisions daily based on price, bringing previous experiences and expectations to the table. If you look uncomfortable, embarrassed or unsure about your offerings, your prospects will probably feel the same way and may even wonder what you're hiding.

Selling 4.0

As every salesperson knows, being asked, "how much?" is a bonafide buying sign. How you respond in that moment will make the difference between a yes and maybe. Here's the challenge: payment processing is complicated. Transactions are evaluated and priced individually, in real time, by complex rules engines and interchange tables.

Instead of getting deep in the weeds on pricing, send a secure link to your prospect's connected device. Let them create a proforma on the fly by uploading statements or entering basic data, and let artificial intelligence do the rest. Your digital assistant can show prospects how to lower costs and boost profits while you stay engaged and focused on relationship value.

In merchant services, the way you demonstrate value and differentiate from competitors begins and ends with technology. Why not harness advanced AI to close sales and open relationships?

Selling 4.0. isn't about locking someone into a contract or making them dependent on you. It's about forging a true partnership of equals. It's about providing tools and technology that enable merchants to control their businesses from anywhere.

Digital fluency

Merchant level salespeople (MLSs) were digital before digital was cool. As companies embrace digital transformation in the post-pandemic era, MLSs have a strategic advantage as one of the earliest groups to promote digital solutions, payments being just one of them. Even payment transactions have evolved from authorization and settlement to agile, transparent interactions.

As we evolve from standalone POS to integrated systems and software-as-a-service, merchants are becoming more technically savvy and MLSs are becoming more consultative. The digital commerce ecosystem is built on open source communications, APIs and advanced automated technologies. It takes more than industry knowledge to succeed. It takes digital fluency.

Want to demonstrate the power and reach of your services and improve your closing ratio? Let your tech help move the conversation from presentation to application signing in these proven ways:

  • AI-powered instant merchant statement analysis: Send a personalized link to your prospect to generate an instant analysis or offer this capability on your website. This will demonstrate your technical know-how and ability to deliver services on demand.
  • Calculators: Share a calculator with your prospect to help them evaluate options, and use predictive analytics to guide decisions on pricing and service models.
  • Integration with everything: Merchants use different systems, and your ability to deliver the custom solutions they need—fast, cost-effective, and secure—makes the difference.
  • Instant customized offers: Maintain momentum and confirm discussion points by sending an instant proposal to your prospect with your branding and contact information.
  • Smart appointment setting: Prequalify your prospects and make the most of their time by inviting them to upload information, merchant statements and share other concerns with your digital assistant before your scheduled sales meeting.
  • Text and email communications: Stay top-of-mind with customers through smart automated text and email messaging. Your digital assistant will use conversational AI to follow up and keep prospects engaged throughout the sales cycle.

These are examples of what you can do with a capable AI assistant at your side. In the current economic climate, it's only natural for merchants to complain about rising costs. You can empathize and, more importantly, with the help of intelligent digital assistants, help them make informed decisions that will impact their businesses for years to come. end of article

Adrian Talapan is co-founder and CEO of Fee Navigator, the leading AI-powered technology platform that simplifies and automates merchant acquisition and retention. Contact him at linkedin.com/in/adriantalapan.

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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