How to sell merchant services.

Written by Jereme on

These four tips can help your sales teams perform better and lay the groundwork for accounts with high customer lifetime value. 

Selling merchant services offers point of sale value-added resellers (POS VARs) and independent sales organizations (ISOs) the opportunity to build their businesses with monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and stickier customer relationships. However, to fully capitalize on that opportunity, you need to understand how to sell merchant services. 

If you are new to the space or need to improve sales performance, here are four valuable tips that can help you optimize your sales processes. 

1. Master sales basics.

Selling merchant services, like selling any product or service, requires skill. Some people think they were born to sell, but most people need to learn how to be effective salespeople. Take advantage of training offered by your payments vendor partner, and consider taking a formal sales training course.  

Learning sales basics will help your team be more effective, but you’ll also need to build an effective process specifically for how to sell merchant services. For example, ensure your team qualifies leads before pursuing them. There is sometimes a tendency to chase any lead, especially if business volume is low. However, it’s smarter in the long run to invest time in deals that your team has a better chance of closing and that will evolve into long-term customers with a high customer lifetime value (CLV).

Your sales process should also include getting a copy of a prospective merchants’ current payment processing statement. This information will provide a clear picture of the payment services they use and fees they currently pay so you or your sales team can make a better offer – or disqualify the deal.

Payment processing fee calculations can be difficult for end users to understand, so it’s imperative that sales reps are as clear as possible about fees and timelines for implementation to manage new customers’ expectations. Transparency from the beginning lays a foundation for a good, long-term relationship. 

2. Maintain a customer focus.

Every retailer’s business is unique, so a sales rep can’t decide before an initial meeting exactly what a prospect will need. Effectively selling merchant services requires listening, identifying pain points, then offering solutions that will deliver the greatest value. 

For example, throughout the pandemic, merchants found value in virtual terminal technology, which enables card-not-present payments for orders made over the phone, electronic invoicing, automatic billing, and online reports to support socially distanced processes. Clients may be interested in same day or next day funding to ensure the cash flow they need, or they may need a modern Gift Card or Loyalty Program to keep up with their competition.

Also, you may be able to bundle solutions with third-party offerings to create an ideal system for your clients at a great price, demonstrating your commitment to partnering in their success and that you value their business. 

3. Ensure great customer service.

Sales reps should be prepared to answer questions about customer support. Confidence that your clients will receive the best service begins with working with a payments partner committed to treating your customers the way you would. Understand the types of experiences your customers can expect when requesting support while determining if your business has any role to play. Ultimately, you’ll want to work with a payments partner that provides responsiveness, attention, and personalized service that will reflect positively on your brand as well as theirs.  

4. Sell a product you trust.

Features, functionality, and security are non-negotiable when it comes to payment processing, but there are other factors to consider so that you know you are selling a product you can get behind. For example, does your payments partner have its own processing platform, or does it use another company’s infrastructure? It may seem like a minor consideration, but working with a partner with its own platform can make a substantial difference in your ability to deliver solutions your customers need. A payments partner with its own platform can factor feedback from you and your customers into its technology roadmap, updating its products and services to address your needs. 

However, if you work with a payments company that uses another organization’s infrastructure, you put yourself in a take-it-or-leave-it situation, relying on a platform with more points of failure due to the different outsourcing connections. Be sure to fully understand your payment partner’s fee structure, service offerings, and integrations. Ask about the flexibility they offer end users to adapt to changing circumstances, such as COVID-19 lockdowns and evolving consumer behaviors.

The definitive way to sell merchant services. 

Whether you only sell merchant services or sell payments as a part of a POS or retail management system, your sales team needs to learn – and keep learning – how payments work as a part of a total solution. The payments landscape is continually evolving and expanding to include contactless, automatic, and even cashierless in-person payments. Change is a certainty in this space.  

Build time for research and education into your sales team’s schedule to learn about new payments functionality, hardware, services, and value-adds. Your team needs to be informed enough to explain how they work and the value they can provide – and close more deals.