A Detailed Guide to Selling Merchant Services

The United States’ payment processing industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. In May 2022, ReportLinker stated that the market is expected to expand from 90.9 billion USD in 2022 to 147.4 billion USD by 2027. This represents a 10.1 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (or CAGR) for the forecast period.

A top-tier merchant services provider — such as Stax — can play a key role in a company’s growth. This full-service payment solutions partner helps business owners provide customers with efficient payment processing services. In today’s digital payments marketplace, a quality merchant services company should also offer flawless customer support for businesses’ eCommerce needs.

In the competitive merchant services industry, an effective salesperson can be very successful in selling credit card processing services. But first you should build (and maintain) a relationship with each business client and prospect. Over time, you’ll gain satisfied customers and build a steady flow of referrals.


  • A merchant services provider facilitates the point of sale system, payment gateway, and other components needed for credit card processing services.
  • To sell merchant services, you must decide if a Registered ISO or independent sales agent structure is a better choice.
  • The term ISO stands for Independent Sales Organization. This company markets merchant services for a bigger ISO or a large payment processor. 

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What Are Merchant Services?  

The term “merchant services” includes multiple functions pertaining to merchants’ payment processing operations. For starters, the merchant services provider facilitates the point of sale system, payment gateway (for eCommerce transactions), and other components needed for credit card processing services.

The merchant services company furnishes all hardware, software, and materials to support these operations. Equally important, the provider offers ongoing customer support to its business owners.

Stax, for example, provides multiple solutions to enable merchants to accept various payment methods across different channels (e.g., in-store, online, on mobile, etc). In addition to providing payment processing software, Stax also offers several hardware options based on the merchant’s needs.

A merchant services sales rep may serve retailers, restaurant owners, and convenience store owners. Mobile plumbers, mobile auto detailers, and professional service providers like law firms also have payment processing needs.

How to Sell Merchant Services

First and foremost, you must build a solid foundation for your merchant services sales business. Determine your business structure with guidance from your sales agent program. If necessary, obtain assistance from a Certified Public Accountant familiar with sales-related businesses’ needs.

Is a Registered ISO or independent agent the right choice?

Decide if a Registered ISO or independent sales agent structure is a better choice. For reference, the term ISO stands for Independent Sales Organization. This company markets merchant services for a bigger ISO or a large payment processor. The ISO generally continues to service each account after the sale.

A Registered ISO must create a legal corporation, be approved by the credit card companies, and be accepted by a major payment processor. Registered ISO agents can subcontract their merchant marketing work to other independent agents. In contrast, an unregistered ISO can’t subcontract their services, so they act as an independent agent.

All that being said, here are some tips to position yourself for merchant services sales success:

Set a concrete sales goal

As with other sales jobs, setting a goal is the first step to achieving it. Determine how many clients you want to obtain every month and how much income you want to make. Keep this goal at the forefront of everything you do.

Design a client-getting strategy

If you meet your cold calling goals but don’t have a sales strategy, you won’t get the desired results. Before visiting a single prospect, develop a concrete sales strategy. Use your sales agent program and proven sales principles for guidance.

Create an effective sales pitch

Most business owners have seen their share of halfhearted sales pitches. The salesperson has obviously not done their homework and therefore knows very little about the business’ real-world needs. In such cases, the sales rep delivers a prepackaged sales pitch and crosses their fingers that it works.

Instead, research each prospect before contacting them. Learn about their challenges, and develop a concrete solution that effectively meets their needs and budget. Then, visualize a successful outcome.

Consistently deliver real value

Every successful sales transaction is based on value. In return for the prospect’s commitment, they want a targeted solution that helps to grow their business. Deliver this value by showing that your solution is leaps and bounds above competitors’ offerings. Show them that you’re committed to supporting their success.

What are Some Tips for Selling Merchant Services the Right Way?  

Before selling merchant services, a sales rep should educate themselves about the payments industry’s operation. Becoming familiar with current merchant services trends and new technologies is also important.

Learn about the credit card processing industry

Begin building your credit card processing industry knowledge base. First, gain information about the role of a credit card processor. This entity is generally the same as a merchant services provider.

Each merchant services provider chooses its pricing structure. Within this structure, the provider details the credit card processing fees and rates it charges businesses. Companies that operate in a high risk industry will pay more for that increased risk. In certain cases, the provider’s pricing structure may include a credit card surcharge or cash discounting component.

Finally, learn how a full-featured POS system can help to anchor a business’ growth. Handheld POS systems and card readers are key to processing sales for companies in diverse industries. This hardware, along with payment gateway software for eCommerce businesses, facilitates smooth credit card and debit card sales.

Build your knowledge of the company’s offerings

Establish a competitive advantage by taking the time to understand your company’s products and services. Immerse yourself in the provided sales materials so you can explain why your company provides the best merchant services. Over time, your hard work will pay off. You’ll be able to easily relate the company’s unique selling proposition to new business prospects.

Listen closely to each customer’s needs  

To excel in merchant services sales, a sales agent must actively cultivate the art of listening, which helps them learn about the business owner’s pain points and unmet needs. If the prospect is dissatisfied with their current payment processor, the sales agent should find out why.

Maybe the company’s merchant services package doesn’t correspond to the business’ needs. Maybe their current processing company sales rep delivered a packaged sales pitch rather than taking time to really engage the business owner in conversation. And finally, the sales rep didn’t bother to follow up after the sale.

Offer flexible payment options

In the merchant services industry, a “one size fits all” payment approach excludes many potential prospects. Businesses have varied funding streams and cash flow cycles. By providing multiple payment solutions, you’re more likely to obtain a “yes” from your sales interactions.

Consistently invest in referrals

A steady stream of referrals will fast-track your merchant services career. To set the stage for referral business, provide superb service satisfied clients will rave about. They’ll likely tell their friends, family, and business colleagues. Chances are that they’ll also spread the news on social media.

Develop a strategy to obtain referrals from happy clients. Follow up on all interactions, and over time you’ll build a regular flow of referrals that drives your business’ expansion.

Obtain ongoing sales training

Every merchant services company includes targeted sales training in its agent program. This carefully designed instruction will provide a good foundation for your work with prospects and customers.

To obtain an extra edge, read classic sales training books that have withstood the test of time. Delve into biographies of highly successful salespeople. Listen to podcasts featuring interviews with sales industry leaders. Take every opportunity to excel at your craft.


How much can you make selling merchant services?

Your merchant services sales income depends on two key factors. First, perform your due diligence before choosing a merchant services agent training program. Select a program that offers the product knowledge, sales tools, and support to position you for success.

Next, your merchant processing sales success depends on how much cold calling, follow up, and relationship building you do. Your pay will combine upfront commissions and residual income. You’ll receive a bit of residual income every time a business client processes a card transaction. Over time, you can earn over $100,000 per year.

Do you need a license to sell merchant services?

No, you don’t need a license to become a merchant services salesperson. However, you’ll need a superior work ethic and be comfortable interacting with people from diverse backgrounds.

Can you sell merchant services over the phone?

Yes, it’s technically possible to sell merchant services via phone. Just bear in mind that this means you must complete the entire process without having face-to-face interaction with your prospect. Therefore, it’s harder to establish a rapport, and you can’t read their body language.

However, highly skilled reps in many sales jobs have daily success with phone sales. You’ll need solid sales skills, previous client phone interaction experience, and a concrete plan.

Final Words

You’ll be much more successful in selling merchant services when you partner with the right providers—and this is where Stax comes in.

Stax is a recognized payments processing industry leader that serves businesses across multiple industries. Our scalable platform, and well-documented merchant cost savings, make our solution an attractive option for many businesses. Contact us to learn more.