Now, I didn’t say you have to like it. But you should definitely learn from it.
As a payment processor, I work in a retention industry. So, while getting a sale is great, maintaining a relationship and keeping a client is much, much better because we make money every month off of our clients based on their processing volume. As the saying goes, it’s easier and less expensive to keep an existing client than it is to find a new one. In my industry, most established businesses already have a relationship with a processor, so typically my sales pitch is designed to compel them to switch. There are times where merchants are open to switching because of bad service, outdated equipment, or a host of other possible reasons, but more often than not, their primary motivation for switching is to save money.
That’s where I come in. As a skilled professional, I’m well versed in understanding a processing statement – which is intentionally designed to be difficult to understand. I can easily recognize their pricing structure, figure out what the other company’s profit margins are, and present the findings to the merchant. There are times where their pricing is already competitive, and I’ll let them know that. But, frequently their pricing isn’t competitive or they’re being grossly overcharged.
Typically, when that’s the case it’s a fairly easy sale. Every once in a while, I’ll run into that merchant who will take my proposal back to their existing provider and ask them to match the deal that I’m giving them – essentially leveraging my knowledge and expertise free of charge to get a better deal, leaving me out in the cold. It’s happened a few times. That seems like a pretty crappy thing to do right? I would agree with you. Not necessarily because they’ve wasted my time (after all, it wasn’t a waste on their end), but more so because they’re willing to trust a company that has been ripping them off all along.
If you found out your mechanic was ripping you off – overcharging you for certain things or charging you for things he didn’t actually do – would you continue to take your car to him even if he promised you a discount in the future when you called him out on it? Probably not. So, how someone could trust a bank or payment processor who’s been gouging them all along is beyond me.
But here’s the good news: that prospective client is actually doing you a favor. Ultimately, that’s not the kind of client that you want. Someone who has so little regard for your time and expertise is going to be a headache as a client and will make your life miserable. When I had that epiphany, it blew my mind. I know this is difficult for many sales professionals to fully grasp, especially if their struggling with low numbers, but you don’t want every single prospect as a client. The qualification process should be designed for you guys to feel each other out to make sure it’s a good fit for everyone. This is especially true in retention oriented businesses. So, when that prospect strings you along and leaves you high and dry, be thankful. For as much time as they’ve wasted, they’ve saved you lots more by exposing who they are and how they are. You’re a professional, not an order taker. The sooner you realize that, the better and more enjoyable your sales career will be.