As exciting as it can be to begin a sales career in merchant services (or credit card processing), there’s a lot to learn in the beginning. If you don’t have the proper support and guidance, trying to navigate through this lucrative but complicated industry will be more difficult than necessary. Merchant services pricing is notoriously complex, and there are countless pitfalls newly-minted sales agents can fall into without proper training. This is why companies offer merchant-services agent programs, which help new agents get started. However, some programs are better than others.
Here are a few features that every merchant-services agent program should have:
An Informative Course on Industry Terms
Interchange, basis points, PCI compliance—these are just some of the terms a merchant sales consultant needs to know. In addition, getting familiar with the names and functionality of credit card processing equipment, such as point-of-sale systems and EMV-compliant terminals, can be crucial to an agent’s success.
As a result, a merchant-services agent program should include a detailed course on industry-related terms and topics to help you learn as much as possible. This will make it easier to explain the rates, fees and programs your company offers. The better you understand this information, the easier it will be to communicate comfortably with a potential client.
Training on Pricing
As mentioned above, merchant services pricing can confuse even the most sophisticated and number-savvy professionals. And to make matters worse, industry providers often veil their pricing structure to their merchant customers on their monthly bill (commonly known as a merchant statement). This helps providers keep their customers in the dark about what they’re paying and why, and prevents competitors from identifying savings opportunities.
Those who understand this industry pricing and can dissect every type of merchant statement have a decided advantage over those who don’t. Make sure your provider is able and willing to train you on merchant services pricing to give you this competitive edge.
A List of Key Benefits Offered to Clients
Once you have the terminology down, you should then learn about the specific ways in which your employer stands out from other merchant service providers. For example, they may offer clients next-funding, free online reporting, or customized processing solutions. These can be important features to merchants, so you should know about them to help convert prospects into clients. If you’re not properly informed of such benefits, you won’t be able to make an effective sales pitch.
A Step-by-Step Breakdown of the Sales Process
Every merchant service provider has a different sales process agents must follow. But if you are not given a step-by-step guide explaining what that process entails, you’re likely to face some challenges as a result. Plus, such a breakdown will give you a better idea of what the relationship is like between agents and other company employees, what each person’s role is in the organization, and what it’s like working there, overall.
A Clear Explanation of Commission and Residuals
A merchant services agent program should clearly lay out exactly how you will be paid. Just as sales processes vary from provider to provider, merchant services commission structures and reporting detail can look wildly different. Some companies, for instance, offer monthly residuals to their sales agents for as long as that merchant is a client. Others pay upfront bonuses for deals you sign and offer little or no residual income. However your commission and/or residuals work, it’s important to completely understand how that system works. Ask potential employers to see a sample commission statement, and be sure to find out how they handle agent questions about commissions.