Merchant level salespeople contending with uncertain economic changes should consider adopting sales tactics that eschew old-style methods, suggests Jeff Marcous, president and founder of Dharma Merchant Services, a Portland, Ore.-based independent sales organization. "Lying used to be a common sales tactic," Marcous told attendees at the Western States Acquirers Association conference this week in Anaheim, Calif. In the past, some merchants reported being told they could switch their merchant accounts without penalty, but the ISOs failed to disclose termination fees or downplayed them, he says. Marcous said his ISO's tactic is to tell merchants who say they have time left on their contracts to call back when the contracts expire. Dharma Merchant Services does not charge termination fees. Termination fees are a "good sales strategy," Marcous said, but "not ours." Instead, sales success should be about educating merchants "about the nature of payment processing. Let them know exactly what they're getting involved in," Marcous said. Fellow panelist Mark Dunn, founder of Field Guide Enterprises LLC, a Hartland, Wis.-based consulting firm, also advised sales agents to avoid conventional sales approaches. "Don't sell what you always sold," Dunn said. "Don't sell what will not make you decent profits."

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