Monday, April 10 2017
There are a lot of aspects to choosing the best merchant services agent program for you. Not every company is created equal, and when you’re basically in business for yourself, you really have to make sure that you’re building the right relationships. Wasting your time with the wrong company—especially early on—can cost you lots of cash and residuals. It’s important to vet this kind of relationship just as you would any other business, or even personal, relationship.
Keep these tips in mind when you’re looking for a merchant services agent program:
Choose a Company With Good Support
Your ability to move your business forward will be largely dependent on the responsiveness of your merchant services company. If they can’t answer your questions (or your client’s questions) quickly, then you can miss out on important deals or just waste a whole lot of your time. In an industry where time is money, you have to have a partner that won’t ignore you when you need them most.
Make sure to test the customer service system or ask other sales agents about the company you’re considering before you sign any contracts. If they take a long time to call you back or address your concerns even before you have joined, then it’s not going to get any better once you’re an agent.
Choose a Company With Nothing to Hide
This goes along with good support and communication. Pick a partner that is focused on the practical aspects of making a business work instead of the cheesy marketing. You don’t want to sign up with a merchant services agent program only to find that your partner was “all sizzle and no steak” and that they were over-promising on what they could provide you. Make sure that they are very, very clear about the fee schedule and that they are willing to explain it to you. Watch out for any sleazy exclusivity deals that they might try to throw at you. Make sure that they provide you with plenty of analytics and data, as this will be important to your business.
Choose a Company That is Willing to Teach You
Credit card processing technology changes all the time, and you need to keep up with industry standards. This is why it’s important to find an ISO that will help you stay up to date. You need to know the equipment that you’re selling inside and out. Being the first to master the software of a new POS system will give you a leg up on the competition and will keep your clients happy. Make sure that your merchant services agent program offers online or in-person training sessions for everything you’re selling.
Choose a Company With a Great Array of Products
Every client that you will encounter is different and will have different needs. For example, may merchants want to borrow free terminals with low monthly fees because they are just starting out, while others would like to own their own equipment and require specialized software for their niche. By choosing a merchant service company that offers a wide range of products, you won’t limit yourself to only one kind of client. While finding a niche for yourself is great, you still want as much flexibility as possible, especially when you’re new to the business.
In addition, having a wide range of options allows better up-sells for you and your client. Along with POS systems, you can offer gift card services, loyalty card services, or online shopping carts to your clients. Look for a partner that allows you to offer merchant cash advances, too, as this can greatly boost your income. Any extra service that you can provide your clients makes you that much more ahead of the competition.
Choose a Company That Offers a Fair Contract
Read the fine print. Make sure that you are getting a decent cut of the fees and watch out for any strange clauses that might result in your losing your residuals after a certain amount of time. Also look for a company that allows you the option to sell your residuals for a lump sum upfront. Make sure that there isn’t a minimum amount of accounts that you need to open per month, or else you may find yourself losing your residuals if you decide to retire. Finally, never, ever sign an exclusivity agreement. For most sales agents, there is no advantage to this. You should have the flexibility to be able to drop an ISO and switch to another, or to work with more than one partner at a time.
Most importantly, do your research into the background of each company and don’t just go with the first ISO that looks okay. If you’re not sure what you’re getting into, enlist the help of an experienced sales agent!