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Shaw Merchant Group
Friday, April 01 2022
Stop Selling and Start Expanding Your Merchant Portfolio

For most businesspeople who work in the merchant services industry, your number one goal is often going to be to get more accounts. Just about everyone in this business tends to focus on those numbers. The strategy for getting there is usually the same, too: Sell, sell, and sell some more.

In my case, though, I've always taken the path less trodden. As counterintuitive as it sounds, in my experience the best way to get as many new merchants as possible is actually to stop selling to people.

Now, at first blush, this may sound silly to you. You may be chuckling to yourself and saying, “Yeah, I guess I'll just wait around until the customers just jump into my lap and beg me to sign them up, right?” Hear me out for a second, though, before you dismiss the idea entirely.

We're all customers at some point—sometimes every single day. You've probably had the experience of being “sold to” and having some random sales associate trying to pitch you a product. Since you're in sales as well, the little spiels that they try to throw your way may be extra transparent, but believe me when I say that all consumers in general know the deal by now. Basically nearly every salesperson will say a few key things:

  • Why they're awesome and their competitor is lacking.
  • Why their competitor is trying to overcharge you, rip you off, or give you inferior service.
  • How amazing their own product or service is.

They go on and on about the features of their product—like you care. They may even interrupt you when you're about to ask a question or make a suggestion because they weren't done running their script. Lots of times you may not even ask for this; you're assaulted with attention the moment you walk into a store with commission-based sales associates.

Do you respond well to these kinds of tactics? Maybe every once in awhile, they might say something that will make you interested. Chances are, though, you probably couldn't wait for them to be done listening to their own voice so that you could get back to what you were doing, right? You might even remember these sorts of encounters long after they happen, and promise to yourself that you won't be “that guy.”

But then why do so many people still try to sell merchant services this way? You might not realize that you're even doing it, but if you're trying to convince and persuade someone into signing a deal, you're going about it the wrong way. So many potentially talented people shy away from sales exactly because of this reason—because selling has a bad reputation from these high-pressure tactics.

You hate it when people “sell” to you, so why would you do this to your merchants?

In my mind, taking a different approach is not only objectively better, but it helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors. If you're not sure what approach you've been taking, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Does your opening statement to prospective merchants amount to telling them how much money they will save?
  • Do you give them a little speech or a pitch before anything else?
  • Are there go-to “lines” that you say to every merchant to “make the case” for your product?

If so, you're using the same approach as most of your competitors—you are going through the traditional “selling” motions.

You can turn things around, however. You simply have to become more conscious of these bad habit cycles in order to rid yourself of them. It might be a little weird to switch from strategies that you're very used to, but if I did it, then you certainly can too. Here are some tips:

1. Have their consent every step of the way. Make sure that they want to hear you, first of all. Don't assume they want to hear your pitch.

2. Focus on their needs first. Don't bother rattling off features before you even know what the merchant needs. Ask them important questions about how their credit card processor could be better. This will keep both of your from wasting your time. You don't want to try to sell someone a product that they don't need.

3. Shut up and listen closely. Stop talking. Just listen to what they have to say. If there is a pause, just wait. Keep them talking as much as possible so that you can learn about them.

4. You can leave. Don't put them in a position where you have overstayed your welcome, but they are too polite to kick you out. Give them many openings to dismiss you. There's no use wasting your time on someone who doesn't want to work with you.

Focus on following these tips and you might just find that things work out surprisingly well. When you get rid of the partial matches and only work with people who really want your services, you can charge a price that's fair to both of you, and you won't have to compete on price quite as much. In the end, this makes for a much healthier profit for you, and it also insures that you're not running around annoying random merchants who don't want what you're selling. It saves everyone a lot of trouble.

Maybe you're already implementing this sort of selling style. If so, how did it work out for you? Did it increase or decrease your revenue? Do you have any tips for others on how to focus on problem-solving over selling? Let me know.

Posted by: Scott Shaw AT 10:08 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

Starting a Merchant Services Company?

Starting a merchant services company involves several key steps to establish a successful business. The first step is to conduct market research to understand the demand for merchant services in your target market. This research will help you identify potential competitors, determine the needs of merchants, and pinpoint pricing strategies that will be competitive. Once you have a solid understanding of the market, you can begin to create a business plan that outlines your goals, target market, revenue projections, and marketing strategies. This plan will serve as a roadmap for your business and help you stay focused on your objectives.

After developing a business plan, the next step in starting a merchant services company is to establish relationships with banks, payment processors, and other financial institutions. These partnerships are crucial in order to be able to offer a range of merchant services, such as payment processing, point-of-sale systems, and e-commerce solutions. Additionally, you will need to obtain any necessary licenses and permits to legally operate your business. Once you have everything in place, you can begin marketing your services to potential clients and building relationships with merchants who may benefit from your comprehensive merchant services offerings. With dedication, hard work, and a strategic approach, you can successfully launch and grow a merchant services company in a competitive industry.

Becoming a credit card processing agent can be a lucrative and rewarding career choice for individuals looking to enter the world of sales and financial services. By partnering with a reputable ISO (Independent Sales Organization) and offering point of sale solutions to businesses, you can earn a substantial income while helping merchants streamline their payment processing operations. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the steps to becoming a credit card processing agent, explore the best ISO agent programs for selling point of sale solutions, and provide insights into the earning potential in the merchant services industry.

How to Become a Credit Card Processing Agent

1. Understand the Industry: Before embarking on a career as a credit card processing agent, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the payment processing industry. Learn about different types of merchant accounts, payment gateways, and processing fees to better serve your clients.

2. Obtain the Necessary Licenses: In order to legally sell merchant services, you may need to obtain a business license or register as a sales agent with a reputable ISO. Check with your local government agencies to ensure that you are compliant with all regulations.

3. Choose a Reputable ISO Partner: Partnering with a reputable ISO is crucial to your success as a credit card processing agent. Look for companies that offer competitive rates, top-notch customer service, and a comprehensive training program for their agents.

4. Complete Training and Certification: Many ISOs provide training programs for new agents to learn about the company's products and services, as well as sales techniques and industry best practices. Take advantage of these resources to build your knowledge and skills.

5. Build a Sales Strategy: Develop a sales strategy that targets businesses in need of point of sale solutions. Identify your target market, create a compelling pitch, and leverage your network to generate leads and close deals.

6. Provide Excellent Customer Service: Building long-term relationships with your clients is key to your success as a credit card processing agent. Be responsive to their needs, address any issues promptly, and go above and beyond to deliver exceptional service.

7. Stay Updated on Industry Trends: The payment processing industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies and regulations impacting the landscape. Stay informed about industry trends and innovations to better serve your clients and stay ahead of the competition.

Best ISO Agent Programs for Selling Point of Sale Solutions

1. First Data: First Data is a leading provider of payment processing solutions, offering a comprehensive suite of point of sale solutions for businesses of all sizes. Their ISO agent program provides competitive rates, dedicated support, and cutting-edge technology to help you succeed in the merchant services industry.

2. North American Bancard: North American Bancard is another trusted name in the payment processing industry, offering a range of point of sale solutions for businesses. Their ISO agent program provides generous commissions, ongoing training, and marketing support to help you grow your sales.

3. TSYS: TSYS is a global payment solutions provider known for its innovative technology and industry expertise. Their ISO agent program offers a competitive commission structure, access to cutting-edge payment solutions, and personalized support to help you succeed as a credit card processing agent.

4. Worldpay: Worldpay is a leading provider of payment processing solutions, offering a variety of point of sale solutions for businesses in various industries. Their ISO agent program provides competitive rates, marketing support, and resources to help you build a successful merchant services business.

5. Square: Square is a popular payment processing platform that offers point of sale solutions for small businesses. Their ISO agent program provides a simple and straightforward commission structure, as well as access to Square's suite of payment processing tools and services.

Earning Potential in the Merchant Services Industry

1. Commissions: As a credit card processing agent, you can earn commissions on every sale you make, typically ranging from 0.25% to 1% of the transaction volume. Some ISOs may offer additional bonuses or incentives for meeting sales targets or acquiring new clients.

2. Residual Income: In addition to upfront commissions, many ISO agent programs also offer residual income, which is a percentage of the ongoing transaction volume generated by your clients. This can provide a steady stream of passive income over time as you build your client portfolio.

3. Additional Revenue Streams: In addition to commissions and residual income, credit card processing agents may also earn revenue from ancillary services such as equipment leases, payment gateway fees, and value-added services. These additional revenue streams can further boost your earning potential in the merchant services industry.

4. Growth Opportunities: The merchant services industry is growing rapidly, with businesses of all sizes looking for innovative payment processing solutions. By building a strong client base and providing excellent service, you can expand your business and increase your earning potential over time.

5. Financial Freedom: With the right skills, dedication, and strategic planning, credit card processing agents have the potential to earn a substantial income and achieve financial freedom. By leveraging the resources and support provided by reputable ISOs, you can build a successful merchant services business and enjoy a rewarding career in the payment processing industry.

In conclusion, becoming a credit card processing agent can be a rewarding and lucrative career choice for individuals looking to enter the world of sales and financial services. By partnering with a reputable ISO, offering point of sale solutions to businesses, and providing excellent customer service, you can build a successful merchant services business and achieve financial freedom in the payment processing industry. With the right training, support, and determination, you can unlock your earning potential and thrive in this dynamic and growing industry.

With the rapid growth of e-commerce and online transactions, the demand for payment processing services has increased substantially. White label payment processing is a business model where a company offers payment processing services to merchants under their own brand name.

What is White Label Payment Processing?

White label payment processing is a service where a company provides payment processing services to merchants under their own branding. This means that the merchant will see the payment processor's branding, but the processing service is actually provided by a third-party company.

The white label payment processing provider takes care of all the technical aspects of payment processing, including payment gateways, security, and compliance, while the merchant focuses on growing their business.

Advantages of White Label Payment Processing:

1. Flexibility: White label payment processing allows merchants to customize the payment process to meet their specific requirements.

2. Branding: Merchants can ensure that the payment process aligns with their brand image, enhancing customer trust and loyalty.

3. Cost-effective: White label payment processing eliminates the need for merchants to invest in developing their payment processing system, saving them time and money.

4. Technical support: White label payment processing providers offer technical support to merchants, ensuring a smooth payment process.

How to Start Your Own Payment Processing Company

1. Research the Market: Before starting your payment processing company, it's crucial to research the market to understand the demand, competition, and potential opportunities.

2. Develop a Business Plan: Create a detailed business plan outlining your target market, revenue model, marketing strategy, and financial projections.

3. Obtain the Necessary Licenses: To operate a payment processing company, you will need to obtain licenses from regulatory authorities. Ensure you comply with all legal requirements.

4. Choose a White Label Payment Processing Provider: Select a white label payment processing provider that meets your requirements in terms of features, pricing, and customer support.

5. Customize Your Branding: Customize the payment processing service with your branding and integrate it seamlessly with your website or platform.

6. Market Your Services: Promote your payment processing services to merchants through marketing campaigns, partnerships, and networking events.

7. Provide Excellent Customer Support: Offer excellent customer support to merchants to build long-term relationships and grow your business.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Registered ISO for Merchant Services?

To become a Registered ISO (Independent Sales Organization) for merchant services, there are several costs involved, including:

1. Registration Fees: The registration fee to become an ISO can range from $500 to $5,000, depending on the payment processor and the services offered.

2. Compliance Costs: ISOs are required to comply with industry regulations, which may involve additional costs for training, audits, and certifications.

3. Technology Costs: ISOs need to invest in technology infrastructure, including payment gateways, security systems, and software development.

4. Sales and Marketing Costs: ISOs need to allocate budget for sales and marketing activities to promote their merchant services and attract new clients.

5. Miscellaneous Costs: Other costs may include insurance, legal fees, and operational expenses.

In conclusion, white label payment processing is a valuable business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to enter the payment processing industry. By partnering with a white label payment processing provider, you can offer payment processing services under your brand name, providing a seamless experience for merchants. Starting your payment processing company requires thorough research, planning, and investment, but with the right strategy and dedication, you can build a successful business in this growing industry.

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    Shaw Merchant Group is a registered DBA of EPX, a registered ISO of BMO Harris Bank N.A., Chicago, IL, Fresno First Bank, Fresno, CA, and Citizens Bank N.A., Providence, RI.

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