We’re on the verge of major change in the ways consumers and businesses interact. Mobile payments, digital wallets, cryptocurrencies, and more are starting to catch on, and credit card payments have become the overwhelming preference for consumers.
What does all of this mean for local businesses? First off, it’s important to not get overwhelmed. You don’t need to know everything about all of these topics right away. But, you do need good advice from payments and technology experts about how to better serve the rapidly evolving needs of your customers. Your revenue depends on it!
As such, it’s time that the sales agents who sell merchant services, like credit card processing, get better at helping small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners and operators understand the technology landscape, and how various products and services can help them.
It’s easy to understand why SMBs have been slow to adopt technology. Local merchants are time-starved and can’t waste money on superfluous fluff. So, technology needs to solve everyday problems, not create new ones, and save time, not suck it away. This is where merchant level salespeople (MLSs) can make a big difference. (If you’re a MLS, read more from Womply’s Barry Davis in The Green Sheet.)
Small businesses are looking for help — they just need to know where to find it. As Womply President Cory Capoccia recently wrote in Forbes, 94% of U.S. small businesses will be using software-as-a-service (SaaS) by the end of this year, representing a huge adoption curve in recent years.
Clearly, small businesses are looking to software as a way to save time and run a better company. The opportunity for merchant services reps is to match the needs of small businesses to a broader menu of technology solutions. It’s a win-win: the merchant gets a valuable tool, and the sales rep makes more money.
For MLSs who are accustomed to selling primarily credit card processing, graduating to consultative sales is critical. Over the years, as credit card payments have gone mainstream, processors have started competing almost exclusively on price. That’s a race to the bottom. If MLSs can become true advisors who provide comprehensive solution sets, then credit card processing can avoid further commoditization.
All the conditions are lining up for a resurgence on Main Street. Consumer confidence in small businesses is at an all-time high. Consumer tastes for the original and unique is fueling movements like #buylocal and #eatlocal. And small business owners are finally warming up to the fact that technology can help them free up more time for the things only they can do.
All they need is for smart consultants to come knocking with simple solutions to their everyday problems. That’s where MLSs come in; that’s the big opportunity to literally come knocking with solutions. But first, sales agents must understand the growing challenges SMBs face and get smart on the menu of technology solutions themselves.
At Womply, we work with dozens of the top credit card processors and their ISOs and sales agents. We’ve also served more than 100,000 small businesses (and counting), so we’ve learned a thing or two about Main Street entrepreneurs. If you’d like more information or tips for moving to consultative merchant sales, give us a holler today.