Getting Started as an Agent: 3 Tips for Finding Prospects

So you’ve just started a career as an independent sales agent. You’ve attended trainings, learned the payment terminology, and invested in new marketing materials. Now you’re probably wondering where you can find sales opportunities to start making some money. Finding prospects may seem challenging, but it can be fairly simple if you use the right techniques. Some of the easiest and most obvious opportunities are often overlooked by agents. Here are a few tips to help you get started with finding prospects.

Start with Your Family and Friends

The easiest place to start seeking out prospects is with your family members and your circle of friends. Your family and friends are your biggest supporters and want to see you succeed in your career. Even if they do not own a business themselves or have a need for merchant services, they may have a friend or a neighbor in their community who could be a potential business opportunity for you.

Ask your family and friends to mention your new venture in merchant services to their coworkers. Their coworkers may know someone who knows someone and so on, in turn leading to more potential business opportunities Be sure to distribute your business cards to your family and friends so they can easily share your contact information directly with their contacts.

Go Where You Know

Almost every day you spend money somewhere in your community, whether it’s at a coffee shop, dry cleaner, or restaurant. The next time you stop into one of these businesses, ask the business owner out of curiosity who processes their credit cards. This will allow you to lead into speaking about your processing options and valued added services. Small business owners are regularly approached by salesmen which they may turn away, but when they are approached by a familiar face, and a good customer, they will be more likely to listen and carry on a conversation. Make sure you’re prepared to explain your offerings and how you can improve their business by reducing their costs.

Also, think of those businesses you have visited in the past that are still cash only businesses. Cash only businesses are missing out on a significant amount of business by not accepting credit cards. As many of these mom-and-pop shops are most likely stuck in their ways of accepting cash only, be prepared to respond to their objections by explaining the multiple benefits of accepting credit cards. 

Some of these businesses have community boards where you can post a business card or a flyer. Don’t pass these opportunities by – take advantage of any and all free advertising.

Leverage LinkedIn

Everyone has heard the importance of networking and how business is all about who you know. The same goes for a career in sales – networking is critical to be successful. Social and professional networking sites, in particular LinkedIn, have made it much easier to network. LinkedIn is a great way to increase your business contacts, grow professionally, and expand your knowledge within your industry. If you’re new to LinkedIn, start out by adding LinkedIn connections of people you know or may have done business with in the past. If you haven’t spoken to the individual recently, send him or her a friendly message and let them know about your new career. The more people who know about your new business, the more opportunities you’ll likely receive.

LinkedIn also has numerous groups filled with business professionals who share valuable information on a regular basis. Within these groups, discussions are started, events are promoted, and content is shared. Engage in the group conversations to increase your presence in the payments industry. Look for event announcements of where your target market would most likely be and try to attend as many events as you can. Most importantly, stay active on LinkedIn and you’ll be more likely to find more prospects.

Prospecting is a continuous learning experience. Once you start prospecting with these three techniques, you’ll learn which ones have worked best for you and how you can expand your lead generation efforts.