When I do an install, or just about anytime I come into contact with my clients, I remind them, “The biggest favor you can do for me is to refer me to someone else!” A referral is a slam dunk, and a slam dunk is a high-percentage shot. The more of those you take, the easier it gets to achieve your goals and live your dreams!
I just told you why referrals are so important, but how do we get them? When you sign up a merchant, the first referrals are handed to you on a silver platter. The merchant has to give you two references, and these are usually suppliers of B2B companies that must accept credit cards. So while they might be a little more seasoned, everyone likes saving money.
Ingrain this in your mind: “A penny saved is indeed a penny earned.”
If you write ten deals in a month and you get twenty references, do you think you can write one or two of those? Of course you can! As soon as they are approved and installed, give their suppliers a call, mention your new clients, and try to switch them. Ask your merchants, “Do you have any friends or other suppliers that might enjoy the savings on credit card processing I have helped you guys with?” If they stumble, just ask them if they know any business owners you could call who are accepting credit cards. Don’t forget, when you do get a referral, you need to treat them like gold or you will never get another one from that client—and even worse, if you make them look bad, you might lose that client, too! One of the best ways to get referrals from your clients is to become their client. I signed up an auto repair business, and they work on my truck when I need it. It’s funny because when I pay with my credit or debit card, they always say I’m getting a rebate. There are ten businesses in their industrial complex, and they have referred three others to me. One of them even came to my Christmas party! The old saying is still true today: “What comes around goes around.” So deliver a quality product, provide extraordinary
customer service, and only good things can happen to you and your business!
We have been talking about getting referrals from clients or people you know, but who else can we get referrals from? Here is a small list: banks, accountants, bookkeepers, lawyers, food distribution companies, restaurant suppliers, or any B2B company that works with multiple businesses that accept credit cards.
In my mind, there are two types of referrals: paid and unpaid. We have only talked about unpaid so far, so let’s talk about paid referrals. First of all, besides the chamber of commerce, there are many lead groups out there, and like the chamber they require an annual fee of as much as $200 or as little as $60. With these groups you have to weigh the cost and your time, but in most cases, if your cost is $100 annually for the fee and your time (yes, your time has value) and you get back two deals that pay you $1,000 over the next year, then it’s worth it. So give it a try, and in most cases I think it will be worth your while. Like everything else, you need to track it.
The one thing you do not want to do is say something like, “I’m not interested in paid referrals.” If someone dropped $372.50 in your lap, would you take it? Plain and simple, a paid referral is just another expense on your road to stardom. Most of the banks out there that offer credit card processing to their clients go through a processing partner like ours. Start by visiting every bank manager in your area and introducing yourself; tell them about your company and that you are looking for partners to facilitate your business. Tell them how you can help retail, MOTO, or even ecommerce
businesses with account setup, installation, technical support, and customer
service. Tell them you would like to offer them 50 percent of the processing revenue, or whatever deal you wish to strike. If you use this percentage, in your first year you make a $200 bonus and $172.50 in residuals, and they get $172.50. That’s $372.50 in the first year, all because you’re willing to share. Are you kidding me?
Some bankers will say they are already in a contract. Ask them when it is up and then give them a call a couple of months before the deadline. We can help you put together a professional proposal with your offer. Get a few of those and you are in Fat City!
You can offer paid referrals or partnerships to any business or nonprofit that will send you business; there is nothing immoral or illegal about it. We have contracts ready that you can tailor to your situation, and when you show them a contract, they know you’re serious about paying them. You may have to send them a 1099 at the end of the year, but that is a good thing, as odds are that if you paid them $600 in a year, then you made at least $800. Get ten paid referral partners who are sending you two deals per
month, and it’s decision time because it’s time to expand!
Thanks for your interest in this great business. Call me at (301) 829-3331 when you are ready to get started.
James Darle Jones
A.k.a. Jimmy the Man