• McLean Starr posted an update 6 days, 11 hours ago

    Merchant services such as POS systems and credit card processing are an invaluable part of any

    retail business, and as such the job of a merchant service company is critical. The role that the sales

    agents of these companies play is just as important, as they are the intermediaries that make all of these

    deals work. If you are a sales agent, you are going to need a partner company that is on your side, or

    else you are not setting yourself up for success, and you are bound to disappoint your customers as

    well.

    As a sales agent, you’re running a business, so it’s actually your responsibility to make sure that

    you have everything that you need to get the job done. Part of that responsibility encompasses choosing

    a merchant services company that you would be proud to be partners with. In business, relationships

    are everything, and you need to choose the kind of relationship that will benefit all parties involved, or

    else it won’t be sustainable. Because of this, it is important to “shop around” and make sure that you

    have carefully examined the terms that you will be working with.

    Not all companies will be worth it because they may be trying to get you to push a shoddy

    product or to try to sell way above market price, so you must choose carefully. There are a few key

    things that you should keep an eye out for that will indicate a promising choice, and ideally the

    company that you choose as your partner should exhibit all of these traits and provide you with all of

    these resources. Let’s take a look at them closely to get a better idea of what your business will require:

    1) A Win-Win Partnership

    Of course, a business (even yours) will always act in its own self-interest, so agreements will

    often be skewed at least slightly in the favor of the merchant service company that you’re working with.

    The point is to carefully review the terms and make sure that they are at least fair before you go ahead

    and sign up. It may seem like overkill, but you might even want to hire a specialized lawyer to look

    over the paperwork if you feel like you might miss something or if you’re not totally sure what you’re

    getting into. At any rate, make sure you have an exact idea of what the terms are before you get started

    or it may come back to haunt you later. As “the little guy,” you have a lot more to lose when things go

    wrong.

    Here are a few things you’re going to want to keep in mind when you’re looking over your

    agreement:

    – You shouldn’t be liable for your merchant’s losses or chargebacks. Make sure that this is

    stated plainly in black and white. You shouldn’t have to bear any of the risk of the merchants and

    should be held blameless in the event of losses. You also shouldn’t have to pay for any chargebacks that

    the merchant experiences.

    – Your revenue sharing model should be balanced. This is especially true when it comes to

    your residuals. Make sure that you have a fair amount coming to you for every sale. You do all of the

    heavy lifting to get the lead, so you deserve a cut of the profits for as long as that customer pays.

    – Don’t let them force you into exclusivity. Don’t allow yourself to be seduced by a single

    company because you never know how things are going to turn out, especially if you’re new to the

    business. Relationships can fall apart, or you might notice better deals with new companies as you

    work. Never paint yourself into a corner and sign any kind of exclusivity agreement.

    – Make sure that you get what you’re entitled to, even after a contract ends. Part of what

    makes merchant services so lucrative is that you will have access to residual income streams even long

    after your initial sale. As the sales agent who established that lead, you are entitled to the residuals from

    the merchants that you have sold to. It doesn’t matter if your contract with the merchant services

    company expires or is severed in some other way, you must be able to still receive that income for the

    life of the merchant’s account. More importantly, you should be able to sell these residual streams as

    well, or secure loans against them.

    – Make sure that you can move your merchants to another processor in the event that you

    are not paid. Normally, credit card processing sales aren’t going to want you to take the leads you gave them

    and then switch them to another processor, but you may have to do this to protect your asset. This may

    take some negotiation, but you’re going to want to establish that if the merchant services company fails

    to pay you your residuals from a given merchant, that you can switch the merchant to another service

    provider.

    This is not a completely exhaustive list, which is why you will want to check with a lawyer if

    you can. Speaking of lawyers, make sure that your contract specifies that you can recover attorney’s

    fees in the even of a lawsuit.

    2) A Price Scheme That Works

    Selling merchant services is a line of work with a huge potential for both active and passive

    income. As you might expect, this means that you’re certainly not the only sales agent out there and

    that you have tons of competition. Though it is always best to not attempt to compete on price, and to

    focus on value creation for your customer, you won’t get very far if your prices are too high.

    Try to negotiate to get the best deal with the payment processor or else you are going to have a

    hard time selling your wares. The fees for your merchant can really add up, so make sure that you are

    passing on the savings. In the long run, the better deal your clients get, the better your residuals are

    likely to be. Remember that you are helping your merchants to stay in business.

    Perform your due diligence and make all the calculations before you determine if a deal is

    worth it or not.

    3) Multiple Payment Processors

    Your merchant service partner ideally should allow your merchant to use many different

    payment processing services. The more options, the better, because there’s nothing worse than losing a