Are Your Sales Methods Wimpy?
Do you remember Wimpy? Some of you probably don’t but those who do remember Wimpy, remember him as being a silent scam artist who promised the famous phrase, “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today.” He never adhered to that promise. I never ascribed cartoons to real life but we can learn a few things from Wimpy and how we understand business relationships.
Back in the day, there was something called Trust. It was a little thing that was swapped like currency with the people that you interacted with on a daily basis. Today, trust has been traded for the Internet and now we have nothing to stand on. We must work harder to build relationships in any capacity and at the end of the day, you might still question if a developing level of trust is reciprocal.
Take trust and mix it with a sales position in 2015 and you have disaster. The countless nos you must endure to get to the few yeses and the pressure to close those yeses is exacerbated by the fear that a Wimpy or the Internet will come and take them away.
While reading Personal Touch Makes Big Difference in Small-Business Loans on the WSJ this morning, I immediately got a little upset. This is such a “Duh Article.” A “Duh Article” is one of those articles that are true, but so true in the fact that you end up saying, “Duh, I know that!” and wonder why such basic teachings become important when they are finally backed up by a case study. Did anyone really not think that personal relationships help? Or that Wimpy, the borrower you didn’t know, would not really pay you on Tuesday when you relied on just his word? It goes both ways.
Below are a few ways to avoid the Wimpy traits of sales when building a relationship between you and a business owner:
#1 Rule of Sales Relationships: What are you even selling?
You are selling money so it shouldn’t be that hard right? WRONG. Even though everyone could use an influx of capital, you have two factors that impact your sales in the MCA Industry. PRICE and PROMINENCE.
- Price: We are already slandered for putting a hefty price tag on advances and even if you say, “We offer factor rates as low as a 1.08!”, How many 1.08 deals do you really close?
- Prominence: Names, Logos, and Promises. Characterization plays a big part in what you represent. With so many MCA Entities popping up, how do you set yourself apart?
You have to offset the two factors by building the relationship and creating an understanding.
Example: Imagine you are selling a line of ketchup to every hamburger shop in the U.S.
Do they already have ketchup? They will eventually need to reorder. So where do they get it now? Are they content with this outlet or have they never thought to seek out an alternative? This is the same “question scenario” you have to answer when selling. Note: Replace Ketchup with Capital.
- Do they need capital now?
- Will they need more capital soon?
- How do they get capital when they need it?
- How can I deliver all of the above and be their new preferred choice?
If the answer to the first question is no, that’s okay, move on to the next question. You are more likely to close double the sales when you answer the second and third one. Either way, one of those will have an answer.
#2 Rule of Sales Relationships: Understand the Market you are Targeting
Who is your target market and do you understand them? This is one of those situations where I feel offering a factor to a manufacturing company that is based on invoices is just plain dumb. There are many alternative financing options that are more mainstream than you think and it all boils down to the top 3 things:
- Industry: Do you understand the industry you are selling to? You will connect better with your merchant if you understand the inner workings, schedule, and the ways they obtain their receivables. Their Industry is their passion. If you don’t connect with their passion (unless there is a dire need for emergency capital) you will not be taken seriously or remembered. Ask yourself, “how can I demonstrate an understanding of the way the business makes money or works with different vendors to get paid?”
- Credit: Don’t promise a low rate to a business that you know has a credit score below 600. Research the different tier programs PROVIDED to you by most Direct Funders. Categorize your tier sales structure and request examples of similar past funded industries from the Funders you work with.
- NEED:If they do need capital now, what is it for? This is a great conversation starter. Whether it’s a seasonal need, equipment-related, or plain ol’ working capital, probe the conversation by finding out their goals so you can better represent the merchant and fit them to a better funding program.
#3 Rule of Sales Relationships: The Follow up
This may go far beyond the basic sales guidelines, but categorize your prospects!
Example: Say you have a book of restaurants that you have connected with before and you know they are going to start gearing up for the holidays. Let them know you UNDERSTAND this time of year and how you can assist! Personalize the need of capital with something they base their business on. This is where direct marketing comes into play. If you remind them of who you are and that you are to assist them to manage the most stressful money making times of the year, they will think of you as their go-to when they NEED it.Last modified: August 24, 2015
Amanda Kingsley is the CEO of Sendto (A Company which previously assisted in the training, education, and connection of Brokers and Funders). Kingsley has been in the Merchant Cash Advance Industry for 4 years and has grown with the specific needs of every aspect of running a reputable broker/funding company. You can contact Amanda Kingsley on twitter @whoiskingsley