I recently met with a marketing agency to hear their proposal to redesign this website. It was painfully obvious that the group sitting across from me had no idea what Clearent even did. After some initial introductions, they asked me to explain what I didn’t like about the current website, which colors I’d like to use, and when I would like to have it completed. No one asked WHO Clearent’s target audiences were or even WHAT we hoped to achieve with the redesign project.
My impression of this group was initially positive until I realized that they were not at all prepared.
While most people know in theory that they should come prepared for meetings with prospective clients, some just don’t…for whatever reason. The most successful independent sales agents, however, dedicate time each day for preparation. And it sets them apart as ISO merchant services salespeople.
HOW to Prepare for ISO Merchant Services Sales Meetings?
Preparing well does not take much time and does not require a special talent. It just takes a few minutes every day. There are some easy things you can do to be ready for anything and really build a reputation for yourself. Remember that first and foremost, you are dealing with merchant services, which means that the merchant is the priority. Little things such as knowing the merchant’s name, understanding who their target audience is, and having all of the necessary paperwork on hand for your meeting can go a long way.
Another key aspect of preparing is being able to conduct meetings smoothly and successfully. The best agents know how important it is to appear polished and prepped, no matter the size of the business or the informality of the meeting.
To make preparation a daily habit, you can start incorporating some of these ideas into your everyday routine. I’ve listed the easiest tips first.
- Commit the key contact and merchant’s business name to memory. Seems like a no-brainer, but accidently calling someone by the wrong name can be a big setback on your credibility. It can also be pretty embarrassing! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shook someone’s hand and heard them say their name only to immediately forget it. Ugh. One trick that has helped me with this awkward first introduction memory loss is to immediately repeat the person’s name. For example, the person says “Hi, I’m John Doe.” I reply with, “Hi John, it’s nice to meet you.” Then, I try to address the person one or two more times by name during the conversation by saying something like, “So John, how long have you been with your company?”
- Equip your vehicle with office essentials. Try to keep an inventory of back-up pens, business cards, and paperwork with you so that you’re always ready for a meeting. Plus, having branded or personalized materials can help make a good first impression.
- Google the merchant’s business name and the name of the person you’ll be meeting. Sometimes, a simple thing like knowing their bio and mission can set you apart from competitors who have called on them in the past. If you’re not familiar with the industry, do some extra Googling to understand how it works and how they fit into it.
- Jot down some potential questions. Try to craft questions that show interest in their specific concern, and use that trust you establish to create a mutually beneficial sales relationship. If you’re having trouble, start simple and just try to break away from questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no.”
You don’t have to attempt all of these tips, just pick one to start with and be consistent with it. Pretty soon, it will be second nature for you like the 7 other habits of successful independent sales agents.