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Creating a Successful Sales Launch for an ATM Offering

By Tommy Glenn

If you read my previous two articles, you now know if the ATM ISO/merchant level salesperson (MLS) market is right for you and at what level you should participate. Assuming you have decided to enter the ATM market, the next crucial step is creating a successful sales launch.

Before I review the more detailed aspects of the process, remember that all things worth pursuing require time and effort, so perseverance will be one of your greatest allies.

If you recognize this up front, and use it to your advantage, the odds of achieving your goals will improve tremendously.

Do Your Homework

The first step in implementing a successful sales effort is to do your homework. Just as you did research to determine at what level you would participate in the ATM market, do research and learn everything you can about your target market and competitors.

In regard to your target market, you need to know such things as how ATMs will benefit your merchant's business, what objections the business owner might have, and what type of ATM would be best suited for this market.

As for your competitors, you need to know everything you can about them including their product offerings, customer support capabilities and special promotions. Find out all of their strengths and weaknesses.

Define Your Program An effective sales program will integrate both the benefits of your ATM offering as well as the advantages of doing business with your company.

This is where selecting the best partner is vitally important to your long-term success and profitability.

Good partners will add strength to your program and will assist you in creating your own sales offering. While price is important, it will not make a great offering by itself.

Creating viable, competitive product offerings requires the combination of:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Knowledge
  • Support.

Target Customers

After creating your initial product offering and program, determine how to effectively present it to your potential customer base. My first suggestion is a no-brainer, but it's worth mentioning.

Initially, target your existing customers. Since you have an established relationship and a reputation with them, they will most likely be receptive to a new offering.

More importantly, they will be more likely to tolerate your learning curve and to tell you how your proposal compares with the competition.

Prioritize your current customer base, and contact those with whom you will have the highest probability of being successful, i.e. convenience or grocery stores, high volume restaurants/bars, high traffic hotels, etc.

A customer or company with high volume locations can generate as much business as several lower volume customers, and will generate significantly greater visibility for your ATM program.

(See my first article, "Will You Make More Money by Adding ATMs to Your Product Line?" The Green Sheet, May 23, issue 05:05:02, for other high potential markets.)

Another advantage to calling on your current customers first is that early success has a way of building upon itself, so put yourself in the best position possible to have some early success.

Look for New Customers

When you have mined your existing customer base and have had the opportunity to fine tune your product offering and program, focus on another group: new customers with high potential locations; and/or companies. Start by identifying the high potentials you want to approach in your marketplace.

After you have assembled your target list, create a multi-faceted approach for introducing your company and ATM offering. My suggestion is to use a combination of marketing efforts like telemarketing, direct mail and cold calls, if possible. If you visit the location, be sure and leave behind marketing material.

Using a multi-faceted approach puts you in front of the potential customer several times and is more likely to catch their attention. Remember that your competition also knows about this potential customer or is already in the location, so when given the opportunity, you need to be prepared to present your product offerings in the most professional, attractive manner possible.

Analyze your products, your product offerings and your presentation. Taking the time to ensure that your presentation is the best that it can be will pay big dividends in the end. Another effective approach is to focus on the market in which your organization has the most expertise or some specialized knowledge. Most organizations know how to do something well. Take that expertise and make it your market advantage.

Other things to consider:

  • What have I done to be successful with other products, and how does this apply to ATMs?
  • Can I create additional leverage with my current customer base by discussing possible leads that they might provide?
  • Are there any tradeshows or conferences I can attend that will help me market ATMs?

These are only a few of the many ways you will be able to effectively contribute to the successful launch or growth of your ATM program. One final note, spend adequate time planning and preparing, so when a great opportunity comes along, you are ready to make the most of it.

Tommy Glenn is President of Fort Worth, Texas-based NetBank Payment Systems (NPS). Glenn serves on the Board of Directors for ATMIA, the ATM Industry Association. He is also on the Board of Deliver Me, a service group that provides food, shelter and clothing for the elderly. E-mail him at, or call him at 817-334-8871.
NPS, formerly Financial Technologies Inc. (FTI), is the nation's third largest ATM deployer and the single source provider for payment processing solutions. It offers a full range of ATM products and services. NPS is a wholly owned subsidiary of NetBank, the first commercially successful Internet bank. Visit NPS' Web site at .

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