Today is a great day to be an independent sales organization or ISO agent. So, if you’re looking to grow your merchant services business, congratulations! You’re in the right industry at the right time.Did you know that banks only open 20% of merchant accounts, while ISOs open the other 80%? Furthermore, credit cards have the highest growth rate among core payment types. According to the Federal Reserve, credit card payments have an annual growth rate of 10.2% by volume and 6.3% by value. If e-commerce trends continue in their current direction (that is, towards creating an open, globalize market), ISOs will continue to play an important role and open merchant accounts to even more businesses.
Whether you’re just getting started as an ISO agent or have been in the business for years, there are several things you can do to increase your success rate. Here are a few different tactics you can use to excel at ISO sales and grow your merchant services business.
As an independent sales agent, you’re responsible for your own schedule. This means you need to find ways to keep yourself motivated, on track, and productive.To ensure you use your time effectively, try planning out each hour of your day. You might prefer to start your morning with an hour or two or cold calling, hold one meeting or demo before lunch and another immediately after, and follow up with existing customers in the afternoon.Once you find a daily routine that works for you and yields results, stick with it! Create calendar alerts to remind you to switch between tasks and set daily or weekly sales quotas to motivate yourself.
Social media is a powerful sales tool for several reasons. Not only is it free and easy to get started with, but it’s an invaluable resource for prospecting, outreach, and research.Since your target audience is merchants, LinkedIn is the best place for you to experiment with social selling. Connect with your real-life contacts and local businesses, reach out to leads, comment on community posts, and share relevant industry news to establish yourself as an ISO agent. You should join relevant LinkedIn groups and participate in the discussions. This is an easy way to get your name out there, build your reputation in the industry, and engage with potential leads.
This one is simple: talk to your friends, family, and local business owners about your merchant services business. Make sure they know what you’re offering and that you’re actively seeking new business opportunities.Though it might seem obvious, some ISO agents overlook the potential value of leveraging their existing network. Anyone you know might have a connection that could lead somewhere. So, be generous in handing out business cards, engage with small business owners whose shops and restaurants you frequent, and always be prepared to pitch the benefits of your offering should a potential lead appear in the wild.
Once you’ve got a few clients on your roster, you should be reaching out to them periodically to maintain positive relationships. Give them a quick call, drop by the store, or send a brief email to say hi and check in. However, another reason to follow-up is to find out if they have any contacts who might benefit from your merchant services. A warm introduction increases your odds of success, which means a good referral is always worth asking for. If you’re lucky, one referral could turn into a profitable, long-term relationship – and potentially result in even more referrals down the road.
When you first pitch your offering to a potential client, you aren’t really trying to convince them to open an account right then and there. Rather, you’re trying to convince them to rethink their payment processing in general.One of the biggest hurdles in ISO sales is that most merchants aren’t actively looking to switch providers. So, you often need to plant the seed that sparks that thought process. Talk about the importance of finding the right solution for their payment processing needs – but don’t push your own agenda until you’re certain they’re open to hearing your pitch.
If you’re struggling to make sales or experiencing a slump, don’t let the rejections go to your head. Merchant services is a competitive market and finding qualified contacts can be challenging. That said, the more you leverage your network and conduct cold outreach, the longer your list of contacts – and the higher your chances of success.At the end of the day, ISO sales is very much a numbers game. Successfully finding and connecting with clients who want to review their credit card processing takes time, dedication, and resilience.So, when someone turns you down, move on to the next name on your list. Keep your head held high and know that every rejection brings you one step closer to your next big win.
Part of being a great salesperson is gaining experience, but there’s plenty you can learn online about how to find prospects and close sales. Hopefully, you’ll also receive helpful training and support from your ISO or manager.The more you know about your product, the more convincingly you can sell it. Since credit card processing technology is changing all the time, you should make an effort to stay informed and in-the-know on the latest industry updates.Always embrace opportunities to learn something new – whether it’s about sales, your product, or your customers. After all, knowledge is power.
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