As you take the important steps to grow your merchant portfolio into a solid, loyal base of customers, you will also become a more seasoned and confident payments professional. In this process, you‘ll quickly learn how valuable your customer portfolio is. Each customer not only represents a residual income, but they also reflect your success in what is arguably one of today’s most technically complex sales fields.
 
Altogether, your customers make up an important group of prospects to introduce new products to, and this provides an opportunity to increase earning potential through a known prospect channel. However, despite the fact up-selling is a highly accepted and rewarding practice in the merchant services industry, it doesn’t always come naturally for sales agents.
 
In part, this is because the first instinct of a payments sales person is to find and sign more new merchants. Sales quotas and ratios also play in, as often, companies only measure how many new customers are signed. Therefore, looking back to a customer that has already signed a deal isn’t very intuitive, and it can even be a detriment in some scenarios.
 
Furthermore, sales professionals in any industry will tend to gravitate toward products they know best and are the most comfortable pitching. Since selling merchant services is concentrated on foundational products, such as traditional debit and credit card processing, value-added product offerings are rarely as well understood by the sales force.

Focus on the relationship

All of these dynamics play into why the up-sell is often left on the back burner, despite the hard work an agent has already put into developing the initial relationship with a merchant.
 
“Agents often leave money on the table, because they fail to give new customers a full introduction to all the products and services a company offers,” stated Michael Gavin, Cayan’s Senior Vice President of Sales. “When this happens, the potential for additional residual income reduces each day the relationship goes untouched, and the risk of attrition also increases.”    
 
According to Gavin, we understand there are two sides to the selling coin and that portfolio maximization can’t always be top of mind for industry sales agents. However, they also know how beneficial active portfolio management can be for agents, so they work extensively to help them see portfolios in a different light. Cayan proactively provides its sales force with incentives, training resources and hands-on outreach to encourage customer relationship building.
 
“Mastering the up-sell is about having a full understanding of product offerings, as well as a solid relationship with the customer, then knowing how to match up the two. All products are not for all merchants, so without a clear picture of what a company offers and how it will assist certain sizes or types of merchants, agents will likely pass over up-sell opportunities,” noted Gavin.
 
Our training library offers dedicated resources to teach agents unique and innovative ways to maximize portfolio potential and increase income potential through value added service offerings. We also host regular webinars to teach agents how to pair products to business verticals, build rapport and increase communications with customers, cultivate personal up-sell productivity and establish a solid portfolio management plan.
 
Furthermore, as our relationship building programs start gaining agents up-sell traction,we always have trained relationship managers on deck to help them stay apprised of value-added promotional opportunities and answer questions about products, merchant needs and unique application requirements.
 
“Cayan’s team approach and focus on building sustainable customer relationships has helped me leverage my portfolio in ways I would never have imagined before,” stated Cayan agent, Tim H. “They’ve taught me how to effectively honor my customer’s needs simply by proactively offering value added products before my competitors do.”

​​Mining Your Portfolio’s Gold