There is an old joke where a man goes to his doctor, raises his arm and states that “It hurts whenever I do this.” The doctor, being sarcastic, responds with, “Well, don’t do that then.” Another variation of this joke involves a common prescription to “take two aspirins and call me in the morning.” It didn’t really matter whether you have a headache or a broken arm.
Fortunately, these are all jokes, and that doctors don’t work like this in the real world. They are aware that pain is indicates a symptom of a problem and not necessarily the problem itself. A doctor’s goal is to determine and identify the existing problem and remedy it, if possible, rather than just healing the symptoms itself. For example, if are experiencing a certain weakness in your left arm, the pain you’re feeling could be the result of a pinched nerve, muscle fatigue, or a more severe heart attack. The doctor will then be asking questions, along with performing tests and scans to find the definite cause.
Experience Pain with Your Credit Card Processing Provider
In terms of credit card processing sales, there are about two reasons a merchant will be buying or signing with you: pain or gain. The area of gain is easier to measure; however, it doesn’t sustain as much. For example, if you offer your products and services at a lower price, the next person to offer the merchant an even lower price is going to win their business. So, the philosophy here is quite simple: no pain, no sale.
So, how do you determine pain using a merchant’s credit card processing provider and discover the root cause? Similar to what a doctor does. First, your listen to what they have to say, then you do your probing. It will begin with some simple questions:
“tell me about your current processing provider.”
“What do you like? What don’t you like?”
After throwing your questions, wait for their response and listen carefully to their answers. If the merchant starts with the price, reply with a straightforward comment like, “a majority of business owners focus primarily on price, and understandably so.” Then, ask if there is anything happening that concerns them, cost them money, or causes some unfortunate inconvenience and pain to them and their business.
Once you have determined their problem, expand on their pain. Keep in mind that their pain is a symptom, and not a root cause that you should treat.
Use questions that are more directional, like:
- Can you tell me a little more about…?
- What actions have you done about it?
- Was it effective?
- Is it still ongoing until now?
Again, whatever you are talking right now, the main key is to listen as attentively as you can. For example, if the merchant claims that their credit card processing company isn’t depositing their money on time, never assume that next day merchant funding is the most ideal solution for them. Instead, keep asking for more and more details.
Structure of Conversation
The conversation may go something like this
You: Can you tell me more about the matter? What are you seeing right now?
Merchant: I’ve been noticing that my money normally arrives within 48 hours, but sometimes I don’t get it for more than three days.
You: What actions have you done to check on that?
Merchant: I tried calling my credit card provider, but there’s no answer, so I sent a follow-up email. They responded, saying that they were looking at the issue, but haven’t heard anything else other than that. Since it happens on a random basis, I was assuming they would just fix it for me.
You: So, did it get fixed?
Merchant: Hardly, it occurred again just this Monday.
At this moment, you already have the necessary information to proceed with another set of probing questions. This could, however, be an issue with batch timing, or a problem with auto closing. The reason could be that the processor is holding that merchants money for some reason. It could also be as simple as needing next day merchant funding.
Wait For it To Materialize
Just be patient, even if some relevant solutions come to mind. Right now is not the time as it is still too early to solve the problem. At this moment, you should respond by saying, “I see a lot of areas where I can help you. However, since I am not your payments expert just yet, there isn’t much I can do for you. I genuinely believe I can solve this current issue and salvage you future pain though. I can also help you an a few other areas if given the opportunity.”
Never spill the beans and give the merchant the options you suggest to fix their problems. Otherwise, they can always decline and just let their current credit card processing provider to fix them. Again, be simple, general, and straightforward with your answers until they finally decide to sign with you. If the pain is more than enough to cost them money, you could likely match their current pricing. That’s after you have pointed out any padded credit card processing fees, of course. Once you manage to solve their pain, they will see you not as their vendor, but a potential partner as well.
Remember the philosophy: no pain, no sale.