Saturday, May 30 2020
No matter what business you're in, you're not going to get very far without going out there and finding prospective customers. Whether you do this in person or via the Internet, you're going to have to find a strategy to funnel new customers into your business. There are lots of different ways to do this, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to come up with everything on your own. There are already proven marketing strategies for selling merchant accounts that exist, and you can simply use those models and apply them to your own business. Especially if you are new to this field, don't waste your time trying a million things that might not work, when you can employ time-tested techniques.
The key is to keep things simple. No matter what specific tactics you go with, your strategy should involve finding your niche or market, finding out what they need, delivering that need, and then spreading the word about your services. At its core, that is basically it, but let's take a more detailed look at these various aspects:
Finding Your Market - Ask yourself a few questions. For example, who would use your services? In your mind, who is the ideal customer and who do you envision yourself working with? What kind of merchants have the sorts of problems that you know for a fact that you can solve? If you're already selling, what kinds of businesses seem to buy from you the most?
From these questions, you can begin to narrow down where the money is. Let's say for instance that you are selling POS services as a merchant services agent that come with a free terminal and a low monthly fee. You might find that small startups and coffee shops gravitate to your product more than larger warehouse stores. If you focus on the people who are truly interested in your product because you actually solve their problems efficiently, then you won't have to do much persuading. The best ROI when it comes to marketing happens when people already want to be sold to, so it's important to identify who that is and not waste your time trying to seduce people who would be less interested.
Finding Out What They Need - Of course, as trends in technology and in the market change, your clients' needs will be changing, too, so you should make sure that your concept of their needs is constantly evolving. However, you will want to have a general idea of what your clients are looking for at any given moment.
Think to yourself: Why would they want to buy from me? If you can't answer that question, then you have not catered your products to their needs enough and you may not know how to truly solve their problems. The cure for this is to listen. What products do your current clients give you good feedback about? What do they complain about? If you've lost clients before, why did you lose them? If a client chose you over a competitor, why was that?
Delivering What They Need - Once you know what they want, you have to have the ability to deliver it of course. This is why you shouldn't marry yourself to a single merchant service company. First and foremost, you need to deliver what your market wants, and the company that you choose as a partner needs to cater to that need. This is why you should keep your options open and always be on the lookout for new and better solutions to your customers' problems.
Spreading the Word - In other words, you must market your services, or else few people will know that you even exist. When people recommend you to their colleagues, this is of course the best kind of marketing, but before you've built up a reputation, you're going to have to tell people about yourself. There are several ways you can do this. For example, you can attempt to pay for leads that you meet in person, you can go the telemarketing route, you can pay for leads online, or you can even run pay per click (PPC) campaigns to draw new customers in. They all have their virtues, and you should choose a tactic that plays on your strengths.
Now that you know about your audience and can deliver on their needs, as well as spread the word about your services, how do you turn your prospects into customers and continue growing your business? That is the age-old sales question, indeed. Follow these general steps, and you can begin to see growth:
Step 1) Find Prospects the Right Way - This happens before you even begin persuading the prospect of anything. The first step to converting people is to find the right people so you're not wasting your time! Don't cast a net so wide that you find yourself talking to people who are completely uninterested in what you have, or even people who are only partial matches who need lots of convincing. Especially when your business is young, you don't have time to waste. Put effort into prospects that have shown a previous interest in buying your kind of merchant services. You can do this by buying highly targeted leads or by getting referrals from other customers and businesses. You can also try hanging out where business owners do, for example at local entrepreneur or business meet-ups.
Another great way to do this is to keep an eye out for new businesses as they open. If you sell POS systems as a merchant services agent for liquor stores for instance, look up who has purchased a license lately. You can even start by servicing people that you know personally who are in your professional network.
Step 2) Give Them What They Need - Solve people's problems, and they will sing your praises. Testimonials from other business owners can be very powerful when drawing in more business. Make sure that your existing customers have nothing but good things to say about you, and the rest will often take care of itself.
Step 3) Make Friends - Referrals are some of the best sources of merchant account sales. Partner up with others who are in business-to-business fields, but who are not direct competitors and have them refer their customers to you. For example, you can work with CPA's, printing companies, or even web designers. Basically, if you know someone who would be working with new businesses constantly, offer to trade leads with them if the customer genuinely needs the service (and they often will). Using these techniques, you will find that getting prospects and converting them into paying customers is a lot easier. Above all, always remember to deliver good service and you will always have an eager customer base.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Merchant Services Prospecting and Marketing
Saturday, May 30 2020
One of the most lucrative fields that you can get into as a salesperson is selling to other businesses and especially selling merchant accounts. Unlike most end consumers, business owners keenly understand the value of investing wisely in long-term solutions, and not merely throwing away their money on something cheap. If you want to truly contribute value to other business owners, while making a decent paycheck every month yourself, one of the best ways to do that is to offer quality merchant services. You will be invaluable to your clients, and if you serve them well, they will continue to look to you for ways to make their business more efficient.
Why start selling on your own, though? Isn't that a lot more work? What are the benefits if you're already working in a commission-based kind of job? Well, here are a few of the major ones:
More Control - Even if you're working in a field where you get a relative amount of independence, like in sales, you still don't have complete control, and your whole work life revolves around satisfying someone else's numbers. You may have your own personal selling style, but the overall strategy that the company follows—the direction in which “the ship” is being steered—is not determined by you, but by someone else. This may not be such a bad thing for some people, but it also means that your livelihood is ultimately in someone else's hands. What if the owners of the company that you work for make a dumb decision that spells the end of the business? You will have to suffer the consequences anyway, even though it wasn't your fault.
More Cash - Of course, if you own your own business, you have the potential to make a lot more money than someone who doesn't. If you're an independent contractor, at the end of the day, the people above you are raking in the most money. Sure, as a merchant account sales person, you might make a hefty percentage of that, but the fact of the matter is that your potential for financial growth is stunted. If you have a business that you control yourself, it is basically up to you how much money you want to make, and you keep more of the fruits of your hard work.
The Potential for Scale - The thing about a normal job, even a merchant services sales job, where you're working for someone else, is that you rarely have the possibility to scale things up. In other words, you can't “replicate” yourself by hiring someone else to do some of your tasks, and this can greatly reduce your long-term income potential. When you run your own merchant services business, you can choose to run it in many different ways, but one way is to outsource the work slowly until your business can practically run on its own. For true residual, passive income, this is the kind of situation that you will want to be in. This is what makes it possible for you to work because you want to, and to make money even in your sleep. You just can't do this when you work for someone else.
Now, you may be thinking: How do I start my own merchant service business? Maybe you've been a salesperson for awhile—maybe you've even been selling POS equipment and other important retail tools—but you're not sure how to make that leap into selling for yourself.
Well, unless you've invented and designed your own solutions, you're going to have to start by forming a partnership with a company that you believe in. They're going to have to make a product that you can really get behind because, if you're building a business for yourself, most of your money is ultimately going to come from the back-end, from repeat customers. This is why it is so important to take a step back and think about quality above anything else. By all means, find a program that is lucrative, but don't ever sell a product that you wouldn't feel enthusiastic about using yourself. In the end, this is what is really going to create repeat business.
What traits do you look for in a merchant solutions company, then? Don't be taken in by any fancy bells and whistles. Basically, these are the things you are going to want to see:
A History of Reliability - Again, there's no sense in selling shoddy services or products. Look up reviews of the company and decide if they are any good. Research their products and make sure that they are user-friendly. Find a way to use them if you can. The easiest products to sell are the ones that are actually good because they basically sell themselves time and time again.
Generous Revenue - Share Since this is going to be the core of your business, you are going to want to find a merchant services partner program that gives you a good cut of the sales. If you're doing all the work of finding and maintaining leads, then you need a fair percentage of what that customer is paying.
Residual Income - Part of what makes selling merchant services and POS services so lucrative is that there is often a monthly fee involved or else the merchant services company takes a percentage of the user's sales. As a partner, make sure that you have access to a significant portion of that long-term income as well. This is what is going to pay you month after month, even long after you have made the initial sale. This is where most of your money is, really.
Lots of Options and Flexibility - The company you work with should have lots of different options when it comes to revenue sharing, that way you will be able to build a strategy out of the one that best suits your business.
So, what specific company can you go with that will fulfill all of these needs? There are a few, but one of the best and most reliable is the North American Bancard Agent Program. They provide real value to their clients, so you should have no trouble working with them and building a stream of residual income from their products. Ultimately, though, just focus on solving your customers' problems and finding a company that can help you do that, and you should be able to start building your own merchant services business.
Friday, May 29 2020
One of the first things you are going to need to consider when you start your journey in the credit card processing business is what merchant services ISO program you are going to work with. Whether you are planning to become a merchant services agent or an ISO yourself working under a larger company, it's important to examine all of your options. If you're not cautious, you might find yourself signing up for a bad deal or even getting scammed out of your residuals.
So which is the best program to sign up with? Well, the short answer is that there is no “best” program for everyone. Each ISO is different, and so is each sales agent. Everyone has different goals, and so it's important to find a company that will be a good fit.
However, a lot of agents are seeing success working with North American Bancard. They offer some great commissions and residuals, and are a great choice if you're a beginner in this field. North American Bancard agent program has a diverse amount of products and services that you can offer to many kinds of businesses, so you don't have to worry about turning away merchants just because they work in a certain industry or are considered “high risk.”
North American Bancard agent program is one of the best in the country and has relationships with many different processing banks, which allows them to be versatile with the kinds of businesses that they accept.
Is Your Merchant High-Risk? No Problem! - Competition is a great thing for customers in a free market, but it certainly reduces profit margins for providers. One way that credit card processors can stand to increase their profits is to expand their range of customers and get into the so-called “high-risk” arena. Indeed, working with overseas customers or customers who run businesses in tobacco, alcohol, or adult industries can be a bit riskier, but the revenue can also be substantially higher. Many times, merchants who are seeking a high-risk account have already been rejected when applying for normal merchant accounts, and they will be more than happy to work with you. Signing up with North American Bancard, you don't have to turn away merchants in this extremely lucrative niche!
How Much Can I Make? - North American Bancard offers residuals and splits that are similar to what you might encounter if you approach a large ISO directly. The draw here, though, is that North American Bancard allows you to work with many different processors, and greatly simplifies the processes of becoming a merchant services agent. You won't have to sign up with a dozen different merchant services ISO programs just to have a decent amount of options.
Here are some of the great advantages of using North American Bancard's program:
Contact North American Bancard today and get started!
Download PDF: Best Credit Card Processing Company to Work For
Wednesday, May 27 2020
Most successful merchant services agents are very dedicated to what they do. If you take this line of work seriously, you probably make it a priority to deliver the best customer service possible to your merchants. You may even be the type who makes himself available 7 days a week in order to serve his clients during busy times or even emergencies. If you are really making an effort to give the merchants what they need, then you should be fairly compensated for it, period. Is your payment processor giving you all of your money?
As terrible as it sounds, it's possible that you may get shortchanged by your processor. Even some people that I know who have been in the industry for awhile don't know with 100% certainty if they are getting the residuals that their contracts state that they should. After all, these documents can be complicated, and it's just so easy for a company to nickel and dime you without your realizing.
I had this sinking feeling that something like that might have been happening it me. I was pretty sure that if it had, I wouldn't readily notice it—I was too busy working on singing up clients and giving them the best possible customer service. I didn't consider it part of my job to spend my time making sure that my credit card processors were doing theirs.
Do you suspect that your own residuals are coming in short? Do you think that you're being paid less than what you actually made? This can certainly happen, and here are some common signs:
Are any of these factors true about your residuals? If so, then it's possible that you are not getting all of the money that is owned to you. This can be hugely detrimental to your business, especially when you're first starting out, because you really need every penny you can get to help you expand. You don't want a payment processor that is engaging in unfair business practices and trying to leech money away from you.
Because of this, it is extremely important that you have all of the details about your payment laid out before you sign up with a processor. Make sure you know exactly how they calculate your residuals, so that there is no guesswork. Just as your clients have the right to know what you are going to charge them for your merchant services, you have the right to know exactly what your payment processor will charge you. After all, payment processing fees are going to be one of the larger costs of your business, so you need to take this into consideration beforehand.
In order to make sure that you are getting what you truly deserve in terms of residuals, take a look at this checklist and make sure that everything is right:
If your payment processor loves to play the mysterious role and keeps you in the dark about all the details—for example, by not offering a break-down in their reports and only giving you general details—then maybe you should start shopping around for another company to work with. Honest companies typically make it a point to be transparent, and you should know that a shady processor that tries to hide details from you isn't your only choice in this business.
These days, I work with a company that truly honors transparency, and I can always expect them to give me an accurate report that stays true to the original contract. After spending nearly two decades working with different processors with varying results, I stopped allowing this kind of vagueness in reporting to be acceptable to me, and I'm very glad I did.
If you find yourself frustrated in a similar way by the statements that you receive, then maybe it's time that you raise your standards as well. Remember that there are tons of options out there, and that you don't need to stay with a processor that doesn't respect the agreement that you signed or that makes tons of mistakes when calculating your share.
So, have you ever experienced an inaccuracy in your statement? What did you do to fix it? Let me know your story, especially if your experience might be of value to others.
merchant services commission, credit card processing residual income, merchant services residual income, how much can i make selling merchant services
Wednesday, May 27 2020
If you are a first-time or small business owner, then you may have heard of flat-rate credit card processing. Every business needs a provider for credit card processing, as it is one of the most important aspects of any business--the ability to accept payments. However, choosing a provider and a fee structure can be a challenge that takes time, energy, and research. If you’re going to succeed, then you need to be familiar with every type of processing service and why they might be suitable for you. One of the most popular services purchased by small businesses when it comes to credit card pressing is flat-rate credit card processing.
Flat-rate credit card processing has many benefits, but it's not the right situation for every business. This brief analysis of flat-rate credit card processing will give you some insight that helps you decide whether flat-rate credit card processing is the right option for you, or if it's a bad choice for your specific business.
Credit card processing isn’t always the easiest concept or industry to understand
As a business owner, you are already aware of some of the struggles that you can experience when trying to determine a credit card processing provider. It is one of the most difficult things to do as a business owner, especially if you are trying to estimate the cost of accepting credit cards using a merchant services provider. Determining these costs can be difficult, which is why some business owners are drawn to a flat-rate processing model where the pricing is easier to understand.
However, these decisions depend on so many factors that it becomes a time-consuming task to determine which pricing model is best for you. To make it easier, this article will serve as a knowledge base and guide to helping you understand the factors that go into this decision and what concepts you need to understand.
Definition of flat-rate credit card processing
The first important concept of credit card processing to know is what exactly flat-rate credit card processing is. If you’re going to determine if it is the right choice for you, then knowing what it entails is the first and most important step. With an understanding of what flat-rate credit card processing is, you’ll be well on your way to understanding it at a deep enough level to decide whether it is the right choice for you.
Credit card processing isn’t free. It costs the merchant a fee to implement and accept payment processing solutions. The variable here is what the cost is. Just like in any purchase, there are varying costs from different providers. Though consumers don’t consider it, it is the reality of being a business owner. In addition to trying to find the lowest fee, merchants also face the possibility that credit card processing fees will vary within the credit processing provider that they choose.
One of the most significant and common reasons for credit card processing fees to fluctuate is the various fees charged by Visa, Mastercard, and other suppliers for using the card. In addition, there are fees charged by the issuing bank for the transaction and there are a couple more mouths to feed along the way. There are hundreds of services that are involved in this process and each one takes a different sized bite. For this reason, credit card processing fees can often fluctuate and have business owners confused about what they are actually paying to process credit card transactions.
To simplify things and make it easier for the merchant to understand, credit card processing companies have begun to offer flat-rate credit card processing fees. With flat-rate credit card processing fees, merchants are more able to predict exactly what the cost of accepting credit cards will be and forecast that into their profits and margin calculations. It comes with many benefits, but it’s not right for every business.
Benefits of Flat-Price Processing
As you can imagine, there are many benefits to flat-rate processing and that is why it is so commonly used by businesses that are seeking simplicity in their processing arrangements. When you have flat-price processing, there are a few aspects to love about your credit card processing agreement.
The first benefit of using flat-rate credit card processing is being able to have a predictable credit card processing fee each month. With predictability in the rates that you are charged to process credit card transactions, you can not only plan your expenses better, but you can also price goods and services better to provide you with a more consistent margin.
When you know what your processing rate is going to be, the need to fluctuate your item pricing will disappear. You can plan ahead and be sure of what you are going to be charged to process credit card transactions.
When you have a flat-rate processing plan, another benefit that you will be entitled to is the flexibility that comes with these processing plans. With flat-rate credit card processing plans, you often don’t have to get locked into long-term commitments that hinder your flexibility and make it difficult to plan ahead. For small businesses looking for short-term credit card processing or to lessen the long-term overhead for their business, this is the ideal situation.
Flexibility is also a benefit to any business that might be considered high-risk or in general need of agility due to possible changes in the business model, revenue, and other aspects affecting their business.
When you work with a flat-rate credit card processing contract, one of the most important benefits is the simplicity of the contract. As we touched on earlier, traditional credit card processing agreements will often feature clauses, charges, and fees that you don't even have access to seeing the details on. For this reason, in those arrangements, you can never tell exactly what your credit card processing fee will end up being.
However, with a flat-rate processing plan, you can always understand what the fees are and exactly how they impact your business. You can plan to include enough margin for your processing fees and make it easier to understand the implications of your credit card processing agreement.
Who is a good candidate for flat-rate processing?
If you are considering flat-rate processing for your business, you probably want to know a bit more information about who is a good candidate for flat-rate processing and which businesses should pursue flat-rate processing for their processing needs. It is very easy to identify merchants that are good fits for flat-rate processing because of the straightforward nature of flat-rate processing.
Startups are the ideal businesses for flat-rate processing because they usually need to have less overhead and a shorter contract. Startups are often young and unstable, so having a processor that is flexible in the terms is ideal. Startups also typically have a lower volume of transactions. Many credit card processing companies have solutions that are specifically geared towards the needs of startups and young companies.
Small and local businesses are another frequent customer of flat-rate processing solutions. This is because small and local businesses typically have a much lower volume of transactions than larger companies and they are unable to attain better rates. In addition, small businesses are slightly more unstable and higher risk than other companies and don’t have the leverage to get favorable contracts with other processing solutions.
Businesses that are higher risk industries also tend to use flat-rate processing because they are subject to riskier transactions that could lead to increased fees by processing companies. If they are able to get an account with a flat-rate processor, then high-risk businesses typically take that opportunity because it is a favorable situation for them.
Doing better than flat-rate processing
For some, flat-rate processing simply isn’t a great option. This leaves many wondering if it’s possible to get a better deal than flat-rate processing. It’s true, there are some downsides to flat-rate processing and that is the reason that some choose to pursue other options. It is possible to get a better deal than flat-rate processing has to offer, but there are certain conditions that you have to meet.
The first condition that you have to meet if you want to get a better deal on your processing than what flat-rate processing has to offer is that you have to be able to do a high volume of transactions. The higher the volume, the better deal you are going to get on your processing.
Another condition that you will have to meet if you are going to get a better rate than what most flat-rate processing solutions have to offer is you will most likely have to sign a longer-term contract for your processing needs. This means less flexibility, but it is possible that you will get a better rate, though it will be dynamic and subject to change.
If you are a business that cannot get flat-rate processing or you do a high volume of transactions for an established and long-lasting business, then you can possibly get a better deal by going with a solution other than flat-rate processing.
Tuesday, May 26 2020
Over time, working in the payment processing business and the Point of Sale business as a merchant services agent has slowly melded into one, thanks to customer demand for an all-in-one solution, and you may find yourself needing to offer this option to your own customers. POS terminals are easier to use these days than they were in the past, and most of your clients are going to be well familiar with the benefits that a good POS delivers over an old-fashioned cash register. If you give your clients the option of a POS solution, you'll be able to serve a more diverse range of customers, and even some very high volume accounts that will net you a decent profit in transaction fees. A merchant services ISO worth its salt will in turn have great free terminal offers that agents can pass on to the end users for no upfront cost.
Since the providers of more of these terminals can essentially lock customers to one specific processor, it is hard to sell to merchants if you can't offer your own POS solution. This gives the merchants a way out without having to pay the upfront costs of getting a neutral terminal. You can basically eliminate a huge factor in a merchant's hesitation to switch over to your service.
POS Benefits and Customer Loyalty – POS systems do so much more than just take people's money; they are an important part of keeping track of the business's logistical concerns, and the business owner likely uses its processes on a daily basis. For example, a POS will handle credit cards, but it can also handle employee time clocks, sales reports, inventory tracking, and other important analytics. Since a POS can be so important and simplify so many daily actions, business owners will be more hesitant to switch to other providers once you have them “hooked” on your particular POS and its familiar interface. The last thing that business owners are looking to do is fix something that isn't broken, so they are likely to stay with you over the long-term. This makes for a much more consistent portfolio.
High Profit – Most merchants that are high volume, such as large restaurants and retail companies, must have a POS for all of its functions. Higher volume means more transaction fees, which means more profit for you. It would be harder to get these accounts if you could not offer your clients a POS solution.
Better Margins – Sure, if your a merchant services ISO or agent pitching lower rates to a merchant makes sense, and it may indeed convince them, but you'll have much more leverage if you throw a POS into the deal. You can also get away with charging more in fees this way because you're not focusing so much on competing at the price level.
Bonuses – Depending on the merchant services company that you're working with, you may also receive a bonus for every terminal that you provide to a merchant, even if you offered it to them for free.
Making Yourself the Better Option – When someone is a business owner, they want their life solutions to be as simple and easy as possible because they don't have time to mess around with the technology that they need to get the job done. Because of this, merchants are almost always going to prefer an all-in-one POS solution over just a simple credit card machine if they can get it for around the same price. By offering a POS, you are instantly making yourself a better option from other sales agents who are stuck in the past and aren't offering complete POS options.
Setting Yourself Up for the Future – The future is trending towards full POS options for most merchants as costs continue to plummet. If you give your merchants a POS now, you are effectively insuring yourself against obsolescence. Your clients will be less likely to be seduced by other sales agent in the future, since they will have everything that they need for quite some time.
POS Training – It might seem difficult to get started selling merchant accounts and POS systems to your clients if you never have before, or if you consider yourself to be technophobic. Luckily, we offer training to get you up to speed. Just let us teach you, and you will know exactly what you're doing faster than you probably thought possible. All of our courses—which you can take in person or online—are free, by the way.
The Basics of POS – Our first training course is an online one that you can take at your own pace, and that will show you the basics of how to sell merchant services and POS systems to your merchants. You will learn the ins and outs of the software and the hardware, as well as all of the back-end features that your clients will enjoy. You will also learn all about the benefits of POS systems over traditional credit card terminals, and you'll acquire plenty of material that you can use when you're persuading merchants to switch to your services.
Webinars – When you are done with the basic course and are ready to get started selling, this doesn't suddenly mean that your education is done. Just as technology changes, your knowledge about these terminals will have to evolve as well, so you would do well to learn as much as you can about these terminals. It will help you understand them better and offer good customer support. Join us regularly and we will give you all the latest updates on what you need to know. Become a merchant services agent and POS expert with us!
Certification – If you feel that you want to expand your credentials even more, you can become certified with us. Visit our training center in person, and you can join our certification program. It involves a four-day class where you learn all about the different POS sub-types that we produce for merchants, and it will give you a very deep understanding of the products that you're selling. From there, you will become extremely prepared to sell merchant accounts and POS systems to any kind of merchant and will be able to give professional-level demos to your clients. Optionally, you can become certified to install your own POS systems at your merchant's location.
A True Merchant Service Company – We don't just offer POS systems; we offer just about any sort of solution that a merchant will ever need. From our free POS terminals, to our stand-alone credit card machines, to our free cash register, we have exactly what you're looking for to suit the specific needs of your specific clients. Our terminals are technologically advanced and ergonomic, and are extremely competitive in terms of functionality.
Profitable Fee Schedule – You are in the business to make a profit, so you're going to want a Schedule A that will allow you to make the kind of money you need. Our Schedule A is quite competitive and we offer many other benefits to working with us. For example, you can receive very handsome sign-up bonuses through us, as well as a 75% residual split. We allow you to build custom solutions for your clients as well, so that you can be sure that you are giving them the best deal and that you are more likely to close. We offer lucrative buyouts to help you raise the capital that you need when you are growing, as well as ISO private label opportunities.
Get in touch with us today if you want to learn more about becoming a Credit Card Processing ISO or Agent!
Tuesday, May 26 2020
If you’ve been considering becoming a merchant services agent for a credit card processing company, you probably already realize that it can be a very lucrative career path. Even better, it’s the kind of work that allows you to make your own decisions and get out of the stuffy office to meet people face to face. As a sales agent, you’re basically your own boss and you act as the middle man between the credit card company and the client.
Does this sound like something you could get into? If so, then you’re at the start of an exciting and profitable path. However, as with any other kind of work, there’s always a learning curve, especially if you want to be the kind of agent that clients seek out again and again. In other words, there are certain traits that successful merchant services sales agents have that help them rise above the rest (and make more money).
Have a Plan
The first thing that you can do for yourself in any endeavor is to have a plan. When you’re a sales agent, you’re basically running a business like any other, though this can require a period of adjustment for those who are transitioning from the lifestyle of an employee.
The fact that you have your own business is both a blessing and a responsibility. Yes, you have more freedom, but having a plan and carrying out every aspect of it becomes much more essential when you have no one else to turn to. Your credit card processor will certainly help you, but the direction that you want to take things is up to you.
What do you need to plan, specifically? Well, the most important thing you will need to decide ahead of time is how you will approach your market. Where will your revenue come from? Will you target people online? Will you do cold calling? Will you perform outreach to businesses in person?
Whatever the plan, choose one or just a few approaches to focus on. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Plan your focus and work your plan until you start getting some results (or not) and then pivot to another focus accordingly.
The point of the plan is to give you some sort of direction, so that you’re never lost in that no-man’s land of wondering what you should do next.
Leverage Your Social Network
Since finding a credit card processor can be an important step for a business owner, they often rely on referrals when they choose an agent to work with. Knowing this, make sure that you’re on everyone’s radar.
etwork and get to know people. Find people to spread the word about the services that you’re offering. You might even offer people pay for the referrals that they send you. It may sound a little weird at first, but it’s not that different from what you’re doing yourself relative to the credit card processing company. Either way, you probably won’t have trouble getting referrals from past clients for free if you’ve made them happy.
Just make yourself known in the community. Offer to help even when there’s no clear benefit for your upfront, and soon enough you will find merchants getting into contact with you. Trust is an extremely important element that cannot be underestimated, and you cultivate that through your connections and through offering people genuine value.
Pick the Right Partner
The decision of which merchant services ISO program to choose to work with is something that you should consider carefully. Not all credit card processors are created equal. Some might not offer very good customer service, or they might not have a good variety of plans and options, or they may simply not be willing to take on the type of clients that you want to serve.
You have to take many different factors into account. First and foremost, take a look at what the company has to offer your end users. Do they have free terminal plans? Are their fees exorbitant or fair? Play with the interface of the POS systems that they offer if you can. Are they easy to use? Do they use modern software and hardware that is lightweight and secure, or are they stuck in the last century? Try to find an ISO that offers equipment that is more or less future-proof, at least for the next few years. Look for a company that values change and is willing to adapt to the industry.
Get to know some merchants and merchant services agents who use the processor and get some feedback. Is the customer service good? Are they responsive and attentive? If you choose a partner that will be prone to abandon you, this can be a huge pain in the neck if something goes wrong, needless to say. Your merchants will be looking to you to keep their transaction systems running smoothly, and you need a partner who will be on your side.
Another thing to be clear on right away is whether or not they are willing to serve your future clients. The fact of the matter is that a lot of merchant services ISO’s will not work with businesses that they deem “high risk,” or businesses that tend to be subject to a lot of charge backs and fraud. Stolen credit cards and other issues are a sad reality of the economy, and in some industries these problems are more common, such as in ecommerce. A merchant services ISO may also refuse to work with a business that deals in “vice,” such as alcohol, tobacco, adult entertainment, and other similar kinds of markets. If you plan on working with clients in such industries, you need a partner who will support you.
If everything else checks out, you will have to go over your contract and fee schedule. Just as you don’t want the fees to be too high overall to avoid gouging your clients, you also want a fair cut of the fees for yourself. Make sure that your merchant services agent program will give you generous options for residuals and bonuses. At the same time, also keep your eyes peeled for any deals that seem way too good to be true. If you can fathom how the ISO is making money because it’s offering sales agents ridiculously good incentives, something is fishy. This is why it’s important to do your research thoroughly before signing up with a partner.
There are a few important things to watch out for in your contract, or else you may endanger your income. Make sure that there are no exclusivity clauses. If your merchant services ISO wants to force you into a exclusive relationship with them, find another one to work with. There is no reason that you should be able to work with more than one partner, and the freedom of being able to switch if one of them becomes irrelevant will make a huge difference for your business.
Something else to watch out for in the fine print are any quota requirements. If your partner requires you to open X amount of new accounts per month, or else you lose your residuals (even if your past clients are still with the company), then run far away. Find a partner company that allows you to rightfully own your residuals. This means that you keep them for the life of the account, regardless of any new accounts you open, and you should also be able to sell your residuals if you would rather have a lump sum.
Finally, find a company that will help train you on all of the equipment and software that they offer, and that will help you read all of the forms that you’ll be working with. You need to really know what you’re doing to be a success in this business—but we’ll talk more at length about that below:
Actually Know What You’re Doing
When it comes to any field—from credit card processing to underwater basket weaving—the number one thing that will make you successful is to serve your customers well. In fact, in a lot of ways, this is the only thing that really matters to your bottom line. Your clients have a problem, and you have to solve it well enough that they’re happy with what you gave them.
The only way that you can do that, though, is by knowing what you’re doing. Make sure to take advantage of all of the training materials that your credit card processor offers. Read the literature and even go to industry conferences and workshops if you can. You will learn huge amounts of information by listening to people who have already been playing the game for a long while.
When it comes to your income, it’s also important to know what you’re doing. Don’t just assume that your credit card processor is paying you what they owe. Learn to read your merchant statement and go through all of the details every month. If you’re confused, your ISO should help you. You can also recruit the help of more experienced sales agents.
Be Completely Honest
Trust is important in business. It’s what will keep people coming back. It is what will make people hesitate switching to your competitor. The only way to earn and keep people’s trust long term is to cultivate a reputation for honesty. This cannot be bought and you cannot use advertising tactics to get this. You can only earn it by being completely transparent and honest.
Don’t hide the bigger picture from your clients. Tell them exactly what is going on, exactly how much they are going to pay, and exactly what they can expect with the packages that you’re selling them. Teach them everything that they are willing to learn and show them as much as you can about the equipment and software that you’re giving them.
When a client feels that they can trust you, and they see that you went above and beyond what was expected, you have a loyal customer for life. Considering the potential value of long-term residuals in this business, the difference between being honest and trying to turn someone into a sucker for short term gains could be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Being a merchant services agent can be a great way to earn a piece of the very large credit card processing pie. The industry will only be growing larger in the next few years, and more opportunity will present itself to those who are highly motivated. Having said that, this is a very competitive field, and you will greatly improve your odds of success by following the guidelines above.
The credit card processing industry is like any other business, and your focus should be first and foremost with the customer. Pick the right merchant services agent program, use your social network, and make sure that you’re honest and that you know what you’re doing. After that, the rest should follow.
Tuesday, May 26 2020
No matter how lucrative the business, a merchant may find himself lacking liquid capital when he needs it the most. Fast-growing businesses need a way to pay for large upfront costs, and sometimes they might not be able to secure a traditional loan fast enough. Rather than waiting to save the money or struggling to find an investor through the usual avenues, merchants can also seek a merchant cash advance from their credit card processor. In fact, not only can this be a great solution for merchants, but it can be an incredibly lucrative opportunity for merchant cash advance sales agents and merchant cash advance ISO's.
If you're an agent who wants to increase your revenue substantially, you should probably consider looking into merchant cash advances. At the very least, look for a partner company that offers a good merchant cash advance ISO program as an option for your clients—you may find that they are more in demand than you might have initially thought.
How can merchant cash advances make you money, though? Well, first, let's a explore a few aspects of these deals and how they work:
What is a Merchant Cash Advance?
In short, this is when a credit card processing company buys a percentage of the merchant's future credit card sales, giving them cash up front. It's essentially a loan that is guaranteed by the future sales, and there's no need for collateral because the processor automatically repays itself every day. Perhaps you have experienced something similar as a consumer, where you guaranteed a short-term cash advance with a post-dated personal check. This works in a similar way, except with the promise of a portion of the merchant's revenue.
The merchants can then use this liquid capital in a number of ways, just as they would with any other loan. For example, they may purchase equipment to make their business more efficient, use the money to open new physical locations, update their technology, buy more inventory if they anticipate a spike in demand, or attempt to expand their business through marketing efforts. Generally, it's a good sign when your client intends to use the money to grow.
These cash advances are easier to acquire than normal business loans on the merchant's side, and they are somewhat less risky on the credit card processor's end, since they will automatically retrieve the funds from the merchant's sales that they process. So long as the merchant stays in business, default is unlikely. Usually the loan is repaid in full in less than a year.
How Will this Make You Money?
When you find a partner company that has a good merchant cash advance ISO program, you'll greatly increase the service that you can provide to your client. That alone is great, but just as with any deals that you help create between the end client and the processor, you will receive a commission based on what the processor makes.
Even better, if you choose a good program, you will often also have the choice of funding part of the deal on your own, which means that you will have a much greater share of the profit. Partnering with a company that has this kind of merchant cash advance program is therefore a great choice if you are ready to start investing your own money very heavily. If you find that your pool of merchants is limited or you simply don't want to concentrate on acquiring a huge volume of clients to increase your monthly income, you can raise your revenue per client by offering cash advances as a service to them.
The good news is that these days, taking advantage of this opportunity is as easy as partnering with Shaw Merchant Group. SMG can help boost your businesses' revenue by offering extremely competitive rates and deals that will help your merchants get the funding that they need.
What Happens When Your Merchant Gets a Cash Advance?
The process for offering a merchant cash advance to your client is rather simple. As soon as you are signed up with a program, such as the one offered by Shaw Merchant Group, you can make a deal with the merchant.
The merchant will agree to sell a certain amount of future sales to the processor (equal to the amount of the advance, plus interest), and they will receive all of the cash upfront. From there, the processor will either take a percentage of each of the sales automatically, or else they will take a certain amount every day from the merchant's bank account. This is very convenient for the merchant, since there's no extra paperwork to do every month and the payments happen silently. When the amount (plus interest) has been repaid, then the processor will stop automatically deducting this money and things will go back to how they were before the merchant cash advance.
Depending on how you arranged the deal, you will receive commission for this upfront. However, if you put your own money into the equation, you will receive interest from the payments in accordance with how much you invested. By the way, you can also receive commission for the portion of the loan that you did not fund, just as you normally would. This is part of what makes these kinds of deals very lucrative for merchant services sales agents and ISO's.
When you work with Shaw Merchant Group, you can choose to invest some of your money or none of it at all, so it really is up to you how much risk you would like to take. Since you work closely with your clients and understand their individual situations, you probably have a good idea of where you would like to put your money to work and which clients represent a better investment.
As you can see, offering merchant cash advances as a merchant cash advance ISO is a good move once you have some basic experience in the credit card processing business. Get in touch with Shaw Merchant Group and we can help you design a great solution for your clients that will help them to reach their goals faster.
Download PDF: Merchant Cash Advance ISO and Agent Program Details
Tuesday, May 26 2020
Have you already analyzed all of your costs and you're ready to come to the merchant with your offer? Have you been wondering how to present it in the best way possible? It's important to keep a few guidelines in mind when you are making the presentation:
1. Assume that the “yes” was already said. The point of your presentation is to show the merchant all the details, not to make a close. Why? They are listening to you, so they are probably already sold. Make that assumption, and you'll be less prone to pushy sales tactics that will turn them off. After all, why wouldn't they buy from you if you're giving them the best deal?
2. While you are going over the fees with the merchant, keep things simple. They really don't need to know all the dirty details, and honestly they probably don't care and will just get confused. Point to some of the main critical items and discuss those, but don't get long-winded unless they ask. When comparing yourself to your competitors, by the way, it will seem suspicious and dishonest to the merchant if you don't throw in one or two negative things about your plan—just make it obvious that the good things overwhelm them.
3. Show your merchant their long-term savings. Avoid focusing on what they will save per month, and instead bring up the big picture, such as what they will save in a year or two years. These big numbers are not only more impressive, they are also the ones that matter to their business ultimately.
Explain your reasoning step by step as well, and how much you think they will save over the lifetime of the account. Bring up examples of what they could in turn invest that money in instead of credit card processing fees. Make the savings very concrete.
Finally, when you close, ask if they have any questions. This puts the ball in their court and makes them feel like there is transparency and obviousness in the interaction. If they have no questions, it also lets you know that you have done what you need to do.
4. Now you're ready to get to the paperwork. This is one of the most critical periods in the presentation, since you are changing modes and making the deal into a reality. Because of this, you need to use something that won't intimidate the prospect. If you very obviously ruffle around for paperwork and contracts and the like, the merchant could start to over-think things because the situation is getting “official.” Instead, make a smooth, quick transition to the paperwork. In fact, have the paperwork already out (under the cost analysis material that you were presenting), and you don't have to worry about this transition at all.
Once you quickly have laid out the paperwork, start immediately helping them to work through it. Ask some simple questions, like what the official name of their business is, what their legal name is, their address, and other details that make it obvious what you are doing. If they have a problem or object to your moving forward, don't worry, they will voice it! Otherwise, go until they say “no.”
5. Where you are more likely to meet resistance, of course, is when you have to input private information. Obviously, you don't know the merchant's bank account number or their SSN, and they probably don't want you to know it, either. In this case, give the merchant a pen and slide the paper towards them. Clearly indicate the section and have them fill it out, and always look away while they are writing the numbers. Don't make a show of it—just check your phone or something, or have some other polite excuse to not look at them until they are done. This private information is “inside” material, and people feel intimidated when “outsiders” get too close, so make it obvious that you're giving them space, or they may become hesitant, which is the last thing that you need.
6. Remember the follow up. When you successfully get them to sign, that's not the end of the story. You shouldn't suddenly abandon them just because you got what you wanted. Tell them that you're happy to work with them and ask them if they have any other questions. Stay with them for a bit to reassure them that their decision was the right one.
Monday, May 25 2020
When you're in the payment processing industry, you need relationships that you can count on and partners who can open doors to the right opportunities. If you run a growing business in merchant services, North American Bancard wants to be that reliable partner for you. Whether you are a sales agent, a small ISO, or are simply looking to get started in the industry, North American Bancard can help you reach for the stars. We are a broker with solid relationships throughout this industry, and we work with some of the best processing firms in the business. North American Bancard has helped countless sales agents and ISOs connect with the right merchants and build the kind of enterprises that make huge residuals for years to come.
For us, our number one priority is the customer and thier needs. We believe that a truly lucrative long-term business can only be achieved after carefully studying what the customer wants and providing the kind of solutions that will last well into the future. This is why North American Bancard offers a diverse collection of customizable solutions that you can bring to your clients in order to give them the exact kind of service that they need. This is also why NAB takes pride in living on the bleeding edge of the field and embracing new technology as it finds its way into the industry. In our view, this is the only way to guarantee a high retention rate among customers, and long-term passive income for ourselves and our sales agents. North American Bancard holds that seeing the bigger picture and serving a diverse amount of clients is the best approach to take.
North American Bancard has worked with many different sides of the industry, including merchant services ISOs, bankcard processors, merchant processing banks, electronic payment platforms, check processing companies, e-commerce, gift card processors, ATM distributors, as well as added-value product providers. We can use our strong connections in this industry to make your business reach its full potential and become the kind of success that you envisioned it to be.
With North American Bancard, you have experts on your side who can deliver results and give you advice. No matter what sort of solution you need to provide to your merchants, North American Bancard has a plan for you to make your vision a reality. Whether you are new or you have found yourself growing faster than you previously expected, get into contact with North American Bancard to find out what you can do to move forward. We offer merchant services ISO programs for those who are ready to take the next step, and merchant services sales agent recruitment programs for those who are looking to expand their business past a one-man operation. If you are an agent yourself who is looking for a challenge and a good ISO to work with, we can help you, too.
When you are fighting to reach your goals in the tough world of merchant services, you need a company who knows what they are doing. Let us help you grow faster than you ever thought possible!