By Jeffrey Shavitz
Charge Card Systems Inc.
I have met scores of experienced and prospective salespeople who tell me they want to sell merchant services, but then two weeks after I sign them on, they call (embarrassed), asking if I have an administrative position open. It takes just a few weeks working as one of the feet on the street to comprehend what it means to be a salesperson: it's hard work and it's a skill; it's not luck. Great salespeople deserve to make lots and lots of money. And they do.
Whenever I'm approached by office personnel who wish to earn what top merchant level salespeople (MLSs) earn, I say, respectfully, that we are a sales organization supporting our sales partners. If they want to try sales, I encourage them to "go for it." I also offer them a trial period so they can return to their former duties if they do not like selling for a living. In 100 percent of the cases, the employees have returned to their office jobs.
And this is good for all of us. We all have different strengths and perform different functions. Salespeople love getting the deal but need the technical and administrative personnel to support them.
The sooner entrepreneurial MLSs get help with downloads, paperwork and other activities unrelated to sales, the sooner they can achieve their sales goals. When entrepreneurs have others perform technical functions, they become true sales professionals.
Numerous ways exist to secure this kind of help. Examples include hiring a telemarketer to set appointments or using a direct mail firm to help with mailings on a regular basis (we have all tried to do this ourselves; typically the first mailing goes out on schedule, and subsequent mailings never happen).
When I started in this industry, I was fortunate to work with Adam Moss (who is now, many years later, Charge Card Systems Inc.'s National Sales Manager). I opened up many strategic partnerships and national merchants; Adam (with his sales and technology background) closed deals and got merchants up and running. This teamwork benefited both of us.
Find what works for you, but to use the cliché of 1+1 = 3, find additional resources to exponentially grow your business. We all have the same eight to 12 work hours in a day, but it's amazing how some people get a lot more done in that time frame. Why? Maybe it's work ethic, but I believe it's the division of labor and strategic planning of key personnel that helps achieve success.
My suggestion: take a day off from selling and have a strategic planning session. I would be shocked if your productivity didn't increase rapidly thereafter.
Jeffrey Shavitz is one of the founders of Charge Card Systems Inc. He is also an active member of The Green Sheet Advisory Board and the First Data ISO Advisory Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-878-4100. For additional information on CCS, please visit www.chargecardsystems.com/gsadvisoryboard or the company's corporate website at www.chargecardsystems.com.
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