Leveraging Lessons Learned With Credit Card Processing

I have always said that there are only three acceptable results from a sales call: yes, no, or a firm next step. However, if you want to be the best credit card processing company, there is another result that often happens which you should consider, and it’s something I like to call a “lesson learned.”

Sometimes these lessons are learned the hard way, but there is almost always something that we can gain from the experience that will help make us more successful so we can become the best credit card processing company out there.

As I reflect back on 2015, several of these lessons come to mind. I’d like to share them with you in hopes that you too can have an even more prosperous 2016.

Lesson 1. A merchant does not need to be large in order to have an interest in a POS solution.

Terminals are no longer the default solution for mom and pop merchants. In the past, the only time a POS solution was part of the conversation was when the merchant salesperson brought it up. Now merchants are comfortable around tablet and computer-based solutions for all their financial needs, including payment processing.

As a result, it is necessary for merchant level salespeople to gain a working knowledge of the most common offerings, as well as their costs. This knowledge should not be restricted to just a few solutions. To help make sure you have the right solutions in your toolbox, talk to your payment processing company.

Lesson 2. There is no longer a one-size-fits-all processing solution for merchants.

The migration to EMV has brought several changes to the credit card processing industry. Merchants are upgrading their terminals and POS equipment to make sure that they can accept chip cards and help protect their businesses from fraud losses.

This shift created challenges for companies offering free terminals that were all one make and model. In some cases, the licenses for these terminals expired, or they had reached the end of their life cycle.

This is why salespeople need to be familiar with multiple terminals, and it’s better to strive to be the best credit card processing company rather than an expert on one specific terminal.

Lesson 3. Merchants want someone they can trust and whose word is their bond.

Many merchants have experienced multiple rate increases over the past two years. On many occasions, these increases were couched as increases to pass through fees, but in fact contained additional markups. This practice caused merchants to question their provider, and many decided to go elsewhere, resulting in attrition and lost revenue.

Unfortunately, no matter how trustworthy the salesperson is, there are some areas they just can’t control. And merchant price increases are one of them. That’s why it’s so critical that merchant level salespeople carefully select their partners, because both their reputation and their revenue are at stake.

The bottom line for any salesperson is that trustworthy support is key to building profitable, long-lasting relationships. And the first step in gaining a merchant’s trust is taking the time to identify a trustworthy partner.

Lesson 4. There are no shortcuts to sales.

At the beginning of 2015, the belief was that EMV made for a great sales opportunity. The problem – as I saw it then, and see it now – was that EMV was used solely as a sales opportunity, rather than an educational opportunity.

For example, I have fielded a number of calls from salespeople who said they converted a restaurant merchant, but the merchant was unable to make tip adjustments. As you probably know all too well, this has led to many unhappy merchants and sales reps. When I asked the reps if they had asked their partners about tip adjustments before deploying the terminal invariably they all said no, but it’s also important to point out that their processing partner failed to educate them on the topic as well.

This is why I say that there are no shortcuts to sales. Success comes only to those with a solid understanding of the industry, and a great partner to back them up.

Now that 2015 has come to a close, my hope is that you can benefit from these lessons learned so 2016 will be a great year for you. And don’t forget the importance of having a trusted processing partner to help you stay on top of key industry trends and changes.

What lessons did you learn last year, and how can you use them to your advantage to achieve new levels of success in 2016?

About Author

Jeff Fortney

Jeff Fortney

VP, ISO Channel Management

Jeff Fortney has 25 years of experience in payments, with a focus on helping ISOs and agents grow their portfolio. His experience encompasses all forms of payments. He has served on various industry committees and boards and is also an author in various trade publications. He and his wife of 40 years live in Plano, TX.

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