An effective sales strategy is a staple of any merchant services provider or vendor. Many touchpoints make up the merchant services sales cycle. Therefore, a strategy has to be comprehensive across all touchpoints to maximize leads and close sales.
In our digitally influenced world, online aspects of the sales cycle are often considered the number one focus, especially in the software services business. However, while it is a must, an online presence alone does not secure all possible sales.
Customers all respond differently. SEO, digital marketing, social engagement, and more traditional methods, like phone sales, hold equal value. Leads are valuable. A holistic strategy boosts conversation rates.
In this article, we’ll focus on how merchant service providers can use phone selling as a channel to reach customers.
If you’re wondering how to sell merchant services over the phone, the following tips will come in handy.
- An online presence alone does not secure all possible sales. SEO, digital marketing, social engagement, and more traditional methods, like phone sales, hold equal value.
- Phone calls help sales agents increase conversions, introduce services, and get instant feedback.
- Selling credit card processing services by phone leverages existing relationships to upsell your services.
Why Sell Merchant Services Over The Phone?
Phone sales is a tried, tested, and proven approach that’s been around for decades. Of course, it has changed significantly. The phone sales style of the past is not the advised method of today. But it is still hugely effective.
Earlier in 2022, Hubspot found fascinating statistics in support of the traditional cold call. 82% of buyers still accept meetings from cold calls. 57% of chief-level business leaders prefer sales calls. And most businesses predict that the old sales call is here to stay. At least for the next 12 months.
Benefits of Selling Services Over the Phone
When used correctly, cold- or warm-sales calls help your sales agents to sign up new merchant accounts. It allows you to introduce your product or service personally. And it will enable you to gauge customer interest and get feedback instantly.
Phone calls today are best used as a complementary sales tactic alongside other efforts which bring brand awareness. Get your brand in front of prospects enough, and the barrier of a cold call is removed. Brand recognition gets your salespeople in the door to secure meetings or convert sales.
4 Steps to Develop a Phone Sales Strategy
Business success requires planning. Your sales strategy is your action plan to generate revenue and convert leads and referrals into customers. Winging the process or glossing over the details leaves your strategy open to losing sales. Step number one is then apparent.
Define your overall sales strategy
Sales and marketing are complementary, and they should be intertwined, not siloed. This means that all marketing efforts need to be factored into the sales process.
Do you have online lead-generation campaigns? What is the next touchpoint of those leads? Are they added to an email campaign? Are in-person meetings needed to close sales? When is it appropriate to transfer online engagement into the real world?
Identify your audience
You should know who you’re targeting if you’re already marketing online. But if the entire process is new, this is what you want to understand about your audience:
- What type of business buys your service?
- What is the job title of your prospects? Is it the business owner, or are they in a specialized department?
- What size is their company?
- Where are they located?
- What are their pain points, and how do you solve them?
Establish what you want to achieve
Know your goals before you make calls. Whether it’s a meeting, conversion, or building brand awareness, you need to measure against a goal. This will help you measure ROI and improve your strategy over time.
Track your progress
Record keeping helps to ensure no lead slips through the cracks. CRMs or other systems let you capture all communications and contact information, like emails and phone numbers. This begins when they first become a lead and continues to the close. With this, you can automate many processes and set reminders for follow-up tasks.
What To Say To Prospects
Once your salespeople have their leads, they need a sales pitch optimized for results. Sales-y calls are out of vogue. Your communication style must be conversational. That means making a script that’s a bit off-script.
Ask open questions
For example, calls that begin with “How’ve you been?” have higher conversion rates. But this does not get a yes or no answer. If prospects give you information about how they’ve actually been, even if it’s busy, this is an opportunity to begin to build a relationship.
If a prospect says they’ve been busy with a project, you could ask about it. Is it the good, fun kind of busy, or frustrating busy? The longer you keep prospects on the phone, the more likely they will convert.
Set an agenda
Once you’ve built some rapport, set your agenda and stick to it. “I know you follow us online/downloaded our e-book/registered your interest in our XXX. We’re just following up/contacting you about XXX, I want to know a bit more about your/your company’s needs, and then we can talk about XXX.”
Stating the reason for your call, setting an agenda, and sticking to it, leads to high success rates.
Discussing pricing on the first call boosts sales. What’s more, it helps you qualify and disqualify clients. There’s no point chasing a small business that doesn’t have the means to buy your services.
Refer to common connections
It may not always be possible, but if you have any connections in common, refer to them. You could check for this by searching for your prospect on LinkedIn. Mention any shared links early in the call to build your reputation. This can boost conversion results by 70%.
Reliability is essential to building a reputation and closing sales. According to a study by CallHippo, 40% of leads aren’t followed up on after the first call. However, it takes up to six phone calls to convert a prospect into a customer. Tenacious sales reps build better relationships.
What Not to Say to Prospects
Never ask, “Is now a bad time?” This reduces your chance of converting by 40%. Similarly, never try to build rapport on a negative topic. Say, for example, the weather is atrocious. Try to find a positive, rather than commiserating together that the weather sucks. You want to lift the energy of the conversation.
Don’t bad-mouth peers in the industry, even if the prospect says something about your competitor. You could instead say, “Oh, no. I’m sorry to hear that. We have XYZ in place to ensure that (fill in how you ensure your business avoids whatever their issue was).”
Enhancing Your Service for Better Sales
Credit card processing services are a valuable product addition in the merchant services industry. With a SaaS solution like Stax Connect, software companies can provide payment processing services to their users. Control and security stay on your website or app. But as a reseller, residual credit card processing sales go to your business.
The best merchant services offer:
eCommerce sites can accept credit card payments provided by your business via Stax API.
Adding a point-of-sale system (POS) to the payment gateway allows your clients to accept credit cards, debit cards, and other payment solutions, including:
What’s more, Stax Connect has surcharging capabilities. This means customers can lower their payment processing fees. Either they pass the fees on to consumers, or they can offer cash discounts.
Credit card processing
Through Stax Connect, software providers can enhance their merchant processing functionality.
Payment processing integrations
Designing your payment processing solution is high-risk and hard work. It would help if you had full PCI and security compliance that can only come from an established payment processor. Stax Connect offers the following:
- Fast integration
- Deep insights
- Enrollment tools
- Activity and residual reporting
- Customer support team enablement
- Bank sponsorships
- Enrollment solutions
- Risk management
- Payment processing APIs and SDKs.
Beyond software, Stax Connect also integrates with POS terminals and mobile reader hardware to accept swipe, dip, and EMV payments. We are a registered ISO merchant services provider.
Selling Over the Phone: The Bottom Line
In today’s digital world, phone sales are often overlooked in favor of online methods. But they’re still hugely effective when done correctly. They are, in fact, still an essential part of the sales cycle.
Phone sales are perfect for merchant services providers introducing credit card processing services. In this case, most leads will already be contacts. Phone calls can then focus on upselling existing clients. This is a much easier task than cold-calling.
Remember, a well-executed phone sales strategy complements your efforts to increase brand awareness and reach new or existing customers. By building personal, over-the-phone relationships with customers, you create loyalty and customer advocates that will last long after the sale is made.
Even if they don’t buy on the first call, the impression of a phone call lasts longer than any impression online.
Lastly, recognize that an effective sales strategy starts with having a solid product. That’s why it’s best to team up with a credible payment partner like Stax Connect if you are looking to sell merchant services. Contact us to learn more about how we can work together so you can sell merchant services more effectively.