In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, businesses of all sizes are constantly seeking efficient and secure payment solutions to meet the demands of their customers. As a local agent specializing in credit card processing services, you have the opportunity to empower businesses in your community by offering tailored payment processing solutions that can help them thrive.
But how do you position yourself as the go-to expert and effectively sell your services in a competitive market? In this comprehensive article, we will guide you through the essential steps and strategies to successfully sell credit card processing services as a local agent. From understanding your target market and building a solid reputation to crafting a compelling value proposition and leveraging strategic partnerships, you’ll gain the tools and insights needed to excel in this rapidly growing industry.
How To Sell Credit Card Processing Services As A Local Agent
Build your local business network
As a local agent selling credit card processing services, building your network within the business community is essential. Networking with local merchants, restaurants, retail shops, service providers, and other businesses allows you to establish trust, provide value, and eventually pitch your services.
Getting involved with local business organizations, chambers of commerce, civic groups, and networking events allows you to connect with owners and decision-makers in a genuine and helpful manner. Offer to sponsor an event, provide a presentation, or simply share useful information that benefits other local businesses. Your goal is to be viewed as a valued partner and resource, not just another salesperson.
Providing value first and foremost establishes you as someone who understands business needs and is dedicated to helping businesses succeed. Whether it’s a reference to a helpful service provider, an introduction to a key partnership, or recommendations on expansions and new initiatives, helping local companies achieve their goals builds loyalty.
Only once a sufficient level of trust and partnership has been built should you enter into a sales discussion about credit card processing services or other offerings from reputable providers you represent. A responsive, flexible, and local agent will always serve the needs of their business community first and sales targets second. By enhancing local commerce, your business will thrive as more businesses achieve new levels of success with your help.
Choose a reputable credit card processor
As a local agent providing credit card processing services, partnering with a reputable credit card processor is critical. Major providers like PayPal, Square, Merchant E Solutions, and First Data each offer a range of features, fees, technology, support, and more. Comparing options based on factors that matter most to your local merchants is essential to choosing a partner that will serve you and your clients well.
Consider fees, both for each transaction and ongoing monthly or annual fees. Lower fees mean more money in your merchants’ pockets, so evaluate all costs involved. Are there extra charges for mobile payments, international transactions, refunds, or other special processes? The processing path should be as streamlined and affordable as possible.
Features and capabilities are also important to determine if it supports your clients’ needs. Does it enable mobile payments, chip cards, recurring billing, installment payments, or more? A context-aware system with tools for location-based targeting, customer engagement, and operational efficiency is ideal for local businesses.
Reliability, security, and speed are unquestionably required. Downtime or data breaches are unacceptable and could seriously damage business relationships. Look for a processor with a proven, robust infrastructure, advanced fraud protection, and fast settlement times.
Getting certified and properly trained on the processors you represent is essential. Ongoing education ensures you stay up-to-date with changes, continue optimizing your merchants’ setups, and build a reputation as an expert in navigating payment processing solutions. Certification communicates your credibility and adds value for any business utilizing your services.
Determine your target market and niche
As you work to build your network and partner with credit card processors, determining where to focus your efforts is key. Will you aim to sign up small local businesses or also chase larger enterprises? Serve narrow niche markets or cast a wide net across many industries? Aligning your offerings to meet the specific needs of businesses in your target market will lead to the most success.
Serving small local businesses like restaurants, retail shops, service providers, and professional service firms is a natural path for most local agents. These types of businesses have simpler needs, smaller transaction volumes, and tighter budgets, so standardized plans and affordable pricing models work well. You’ll build deeper relationships by focusing on this segment.
However, some areas may also have mid-sized or larger regional businesses or even national chains with locations in your market. Chasing these larger companies could mean higher fees but also greater potential. Make sure any processors and plans you represent can scale appropriately before pursuing this target market.
Niche markets, like local food & beverage, medical, or financial service companies, have more limited options and competition, so opportunities for partnership and custom solutions abound. You’ll gain specialized expertise that fuels referral business across niches. The downside is you’ll need to represent multiple niches to build real scale, requiring extra work.
A wide range of industries, from retail to professional services, offers a larger volume of potential clients but also more competition. It’s easier to get lost in the crowd with a wide net, so strong brand positioning and a flexible, value-added approach become essential. With an extra effort to stand out, diversity of clients is possible but narrower focuses often see quicker wins.
Build your business and service model
Once you have established your network, chosen reputable partners, and determined where to focus your efforts, developing the business and service models that will operationalize your agency is critical. The choices you make now will set the foundation for success and growth.
Will you work as an independent agent or look to partner with other local agents and businesses? There are pros and cons to each. As an independent, you have full control and keep all revenue, but handling everything yourself can limit scale. Partnering introduces more support and opportunities but also means sharing profits. Evaluate options based on your strengths, interests, local opportunities, and business goals.
Pricing and plans are important to consider. Will you offer standard plans or also custom solutions for clients with unique needs? What mix of monthly fees, transaction fees, equipment fees, and additional service fees will maximize revenue while still seeming affordable? Tiered pricing for volume and commitment can benefit both you and the merchants. Leave room for negotiation while ensuring you profit from every partnership.
Commissions and your business model belong together. If only acting as an agent, how much of the processor fees will come to you as commission? If providing additional services, how will those be priced and compensation determined? Be very transparent on all costs, fees, and processes to maintain integrity. Your commission should also motivate you to provide exceptional service, $$$support ongoing optimization of your client’s payment needs.$$$
Tools, resources, and technology play a key role in enabling success for both you and your merchants. Determine what type of point-of-sale systems, software integrations, mobile services, equipment, and more will strengthen offerings for your specific target market. Some partners provide proprietary solutions while others allow Open APIs and third-party options. Consider all aspects of your client’s businesses to choose solutions that incrementally build value over time through your partnership.
Market your services to attract new clients
With your business and service models defined, you’re ready to start marketing credit card processing services to local businesses in your target market. Leverage the network you’ve built, provide value through your partnerships, and highlight why choosing you as their agent makes sense.
Bringing on new clients should start with referrals from happy existing clients and partners. Ask clients to share your information with their networks, leave reviews on your website and profiles, and simply let other businesses they work with know about their great experience with you. Word-of-mouth referrals from established, trusted partners in your local network are the most powerful way to grow.
Partnering with related local businesses provides natural opportunities to cross-promote to new potential clients. For example, give handouts or host an informational event at an accountant’s office, at a bank that serves a lot of small businesses, or at a co-working space. Offer to do a guest post or podcast interview with influencers in your space who have an entrepreneurial audience. Look for synergies everywhere.
Building a strong web presence demonstrates your expertise and commitment to the local business community. An informative website highlights your services, experience, partnership information, case studies, testimonials, and contact details. Profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram also raise brand awareness and establish you as a thought leader. Pay-per-click advertising on social media and search engines can drive targeted traffic to your profiles and site.
Sponsoring or speaking at relevant local events puts you in front of live audiences of potential clients. Whether at a chamber event, industries conference, meetup, or networking group, positioning yourself as an expert in credit card processing for local merchants drives interest in your services. Be sure to capture leads and follow up promptly.
Traditional advertising still has value for reaching new potential clients, especially combined with a strong online presence and live engagement. Things like direct mailers, flyers at local businesses, email marketing, and Google Ads can help spread the word about your agency, while your website and profiles provide more information for interested parties.
Provide excellent service to keep clients and grow referrals
Delivering an outstanding client experience is essential to building a successful and sustainable credit card processing services agency serving local businesses. Merchants will only recommend your services and continue as long-term clients if they feel fully supported and that you become a trusted partner, not just another vendor.
Onboarding new clients quickly and ensuring immediate success establishes the foundation of your partnership and their trust in you from the start. Be available whenever needed to guide them through the initial setup and address any questions or issues that come up. Make recommendations on how to optimize their payment acceptance based on their unique business needs and goals. Continually ask for feedback on how you can better support them.
Ongoing support and partnership should not end at onboarding. Continue regularly communicating with clients, not just when there are problems. Provide recommendations on securing funding, changing processors if needed to meet evolving business needs, and navigating industry trends. Be a resource for their business in all areas where payments and commerce intersect.
Rapid response time to any issues or frustrations is mandatory. Troubleshoot problems thoroughly until clients feel their concerns have been fully addressed and resolved. Apologize for any inconvenience caused by issues outside of your control. Commit to follow-up and ensure long-term resolution of any complex challenges. Trust and loyalty depend on it.
Regulating a strategic payment partnership requires actively listening to clients, understanding their business and goals, and bringing innovative solutions to meet new or changing needs. Strategic partnerships stand the test of time because both parties feel deeply invested in each other’s success and prosperity. Solutions should solve problems clients didn’t even know they had yet.
Referrals thrive on delighted clients and strategic partnerships built on ongoing trust, support, and value delivery. Asking for referrals is most impactful when done because clients want to share your services, not because you asked. Make referrals easy by providing customized content, tools, and talking points focused on their network and potential new clients. Monitor which referrals turn into new partnerships and continue optimizing to boost referral rates over time.
Consider adjacent services you can provide
As an agent providing credit card processing services to local businesses, looking at adjacent services you could offer clients is a great way to build deeper partnerships, increase loyalty, and boost revenue. Merchants will appreciate convenience and value, so options that synergize well with payment acceptance and streamline their business needs make the most sense.
Point-of-sale (POS) systems that integrate with the payment processors you represent are an obvious choice. Helping merchants choose POS solutions that fit their needs, set up the integration, and use the systems to their full advantage provides ongoing value. Many processors have POS partnerships while also allowing third-party options. Do your research to determine the best options for your market.
Mobile payment acceptance and mobile wallets are other adjacent services filling a real need for many local businesses today. Technology allows convenient payment acceptance anytime and anywhere, attracting new types of customers. Options like mobile-optimized POS systems, mobile card readers, and integrations with mobile payment apps allow you to provide tailored mobile commerce solutions.
Accounting and bookkeeping services provide an important foundation for any business and integrate closely with payments. Helping clients with things like accounts receivable/payable, financial reporting, payroll, taxes, and auditing or consulting ensures good financial management, compliance, and growth. Entry-level services up to full collaborative partnership models are possible here depending on your experience and partner options.
Business financing options including loans, lines of credit, merchant cash advances, and SBA approval assistance also complement payment acceptance naturally as funding needs often accompany growth. Research reputable lenders, learn about different types of financing for which businesses qualify, and provide guidance to help clients choose options that meet their needs without being predatory. Fees come from placing funded deals.
Other possibilities include business registrations and compliance, website and e-commerce services, professional consulting, and more. The options are quite endless but should always help streamline business needs, add value, strengthen partnerships, and ultimately boost both client satisfaction and retention as well as your own bottom line. Be transparent on any partnerships or fees involved with additional services to maintain integrity as you build out a suite of resources helping local companies thrive.