My job, part 3: Who would be a good prospect for me?

One of the most important things I have learned through my involvement with Memphis BNI is the importance of educating people as to what would make a good referral for me. So, in this journal entry, I will explain how I know when a person I’m talking to is a good prospect for my credit card merchant services business.

I’ll start with generalities and get more specific. On a general level, there are two types of people who would make good prospects for me:

1) Anyone opening a new business that needs to accept credit and debit cards. Retail stores, restaurants, mom-and-pop businesses. As I explained in an earlier journal entry, most small businesspeople don’t understand the credit card processing industry. Banks and processing companies are aware of this and lock them into contracts with very high rates, or with lots of hidden fees. If I can get to them before they sign one of those contracts, I can come out and educate them on the credit card business. Hopefully they will be grateful that someone gave them the personal attention, and sign up with me. But even if they don’t, at least they will be able to make an informed decision: they won’t be at the mercy of the banks anymore.

2) Anyone who owns a business with the Visa/Mastercard logos on the door. Those logos are a sign that they’re probably being charged too much for their credit and debit card processing. About 60-75% of all businesses are. I can come in, do a free statement analysis, and show them whether or not I can save them money. Most of the time I can save them anywhere from 300 up to a couple thousand bucks a year, depending on their sales volume and their current rates.

All right. Now let’s get more specific. Here are some cases that are almost dead giveaways that a business is overpaying for its credit card processing:

If you pay with a bank/debit card, and they hand you a receipt to sign. This means that the transaction will be processed as a credit card charge rather than a debit card. What they should be doing is handing you a keypad to punch in your 4-digit bank PIN. That’s a true debit charge, and it’s much, much cheaper for the business to do.

If you hear a business complaining about bad checks. We have an add-on product called check conversion and guaranty that can put a stop to bad check problems forever. You run the check through a swiper, and as long as you get proper ID, the money will be deposited in your account and will not come back out. If the check comes back NSF (non-sufficient funds), it’s my company’s problem, not yours.

Mobile businesses. Any business that does delivery, makes house calls, or does transportation (limos, for example). These businesses are almost always overpaying for credit card processing because they have to take card numbers over the phone and punch them in. Those are very expensive transactions because the card is not present – you’re not swiping it or seeing the customer face to face – and MC/Visa charge an extra-high penalty rate for every transaction. I can hook the businesses up with wireless terminals that they can take with them in the vehicles. That allows them to do card-present transactions and get a much lower rate. The savings on transaction fees more than makes up for the cost of the wireless terminals in most cases.

Businesses that would like to sell online. We have a full suite of products that can help them do that. In addition, I have experience developing web sites and programming in server-side web scripting languages like ASP, PHP, and CGI. I can get a company online painlessly and easily.

Those are a few tell-tale indicators that I can put more money on a business’s bottom line. So, if you come across a business that meets any of these qualifications, tell them you have a friend named Paul Ryburn who can possibly save them some money, and contact me and tell me to get in touch with them. Thanks!