Asking Good Questions When Selling Credit Card Processing: Habit #6 of Successful Salespeople

Here’s a scenario that I’m sure will sound familiar to anyone selling credit card processing or merchant services. An agent makes an appointment with a potential new merchant. He’s been selling for some time now, so he walks in confident in his solution and his ability to say all the right things. And he does. He works all the right angles he practiced and offers the merchant a deal that he thinks the merchant won’t be able to refuse. But he leaves without closing the sale or getting a positive response from the merchant.

What Went Wrong?

It’s frustrating when you think you’ve done all the right things, prepared perfectly, and still lost the sale. But time and time again, we all see the same patterns of failure in potential cases that should have gone well. Top agents selling credit card processing say that it’s not about what you forgot to say, it’s about what you shouldn’t have said.

The best agents know that the key to closing is asking good questions. Your entire approach to making a deal should hinge on letting the merchant tell you what they need, instead of you telling them what you think they need. That’s where a lot of good salespeople go wrong: they make their case so well that they forget to let the merchant voice their concerns. Often, there could be pain points that the merchant is trying to share, but they don’t know how to explain them. If you jump in and start pitching your solution right away, you could be doing yourself a disservice.

Selling Credit Card Processing Starts by Asking Questions

A couple months ago, we compiled the top 11 questions that our most successful partners and agents ask new merchants to earn their trust. The idea of asking these questions is that they will help you get the merchant to talk more and encourage you to talk less. That might sound absurd, but when selling credit card processing and merchant services, it’s critical. Merchants have a lot of concerns and pain, and they will tell you. You just have to ask and then listen.

Our own expert at selling credit card processing, Jeff Fortney writes about this topic a lot. He suggests that instead of asking “yes/no” questions (questions that can be answered without elaboration), ask questions such as “What are some strengths of your current processor? What are some problems?”

Making Asking Questions a Habit

Asking questions when you’re selling credit card processing should be a relatively easy habit to establish. And one that will increase your income.

The easiest way to get started is to shift your mindset from being a talker to a listener. Read our popular blog post Stop Selling and Start Growing for 4 steps for integrating a new style of presentation to your pitches.

The next step is to start asking the questions! You can do this by incorporating a few discovery-type questions into your initial meetings and calls. Basically, you want to utilize the idea of discovering specific information about your merchant, and use that information to inform how you tailor your pitch to them. You can use the 11 questions I referenced above as a good starting point. Even if you just include one or two in a conversation with a prospect, you’ll be doing yourself a favor when you follow up with them.

And finally, when you follow up with prospects, always try to mention your openness to hearing their questions, understanding their concerns, and communicating well with them. Merchants appreciate knowing that a real person with real passion for their work is helping them, and that their needs are a priority. This kind of emphasis will help strengthen your relationship with them.

About Author

Amanda Chamov

Amanda Chamov

Director of Marketing

Amanda leads Clearent’s marketing team. She enjoys simplifying complex topics such as credit card processing into easy-to-read articles and writing punchy subject lines. She lives in St. Louis with her husband and 3-year-old daughter.

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