Preparing for the Holiday Season – A Checklist for Your Customers

Michael Gavin

November 6, 2014

It is almost the most wonderful time of the year which also means the busiest time of the year is quickly approaching for your customers. As an independent sales agent, supporting your customers and providing advice helps build credibility, maintain relationships, and retain customers. Whether your customers run a brick-and-mortar store or operate an online business, helping them prepare for the holiday rush can make it a successful, stress-free holiday season for them. Here are five tips to share with your customers to help them prepare and get the most out of the 2014 holiday season. 1. Stock Up Empty shelves, backordered items, and out of stock signs during the holiday season is frustrating for both consumers and retailers. Ensure your customers have the appropriate inventory...

3 Tips to Help Prepare Your Customers for Apple Pay, NFC and EMV

Michael Gavin

October 7, 2014

Apple Pay™, NFC and EMV have been all the buzz lately. Apple Pay, which uses Near Field Communication (NFC), will be available later this month and the EMV liability shift is only a year away. As these positive and exciting changes enter the payments industry, both you and your customers need to prepare for them. Last month when Apple announced the new iPhone© 6, iPhone© 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch, they also introduced their new payment service, Apple Pay, which uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to make secure transactions using contactless technology. To make a payment via Apple Pay, consumers can simply touch their finger to the Touch ID on their Apple device and tap, providing a seamless and effortless checkout process. Apple Pay’s mobile wallet allows consumers to...

Getting Started as an Agent: 3 Tips for Finding Prospects

Michael Gavin

September 17, 2014

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...

Gift Cards - Benefits and Value for SMBs

Michael Gavin

July 24, 2014

 If you own a business and don't already offer gift cards, it's time to rethink things. Regardless of what you sell, chances are that plenty of people would be interested in buying gift cards from your company. Without making them available, you're missing out on an amazing array of benefits and, most likely, are falling behind the competition. The bottom line is that there's no good reason not to offer gift cards. Not convinced? After considering a few basic statistics and learning about some of the top benefits, you’ll likely feel differently.Gift Cards are BoomingA quick glance at gift card statistics that were compiled by is quite revealing, to say the least. Did you know, for instance, that more than two-thirds of U.S. consumers have purchased at least one...

SMBs – Marketing Basics: 3 Keys

Michael Gavin

June 19, 2014

Sales – critical to business’ success. Marketing – critical to sales.  Sales and marketing and intertwined. One without the other would be like a car without an engine, or an engine without fuel. Whether an individual or a company, if you want to drive sales, you’re going to need marketing.  For many, especially small businesses or independent sales professionals, marketing can be overwhelming. But it’s not. With all of the online resources available today, anyone can set a foundation for effectively marketing their business or service offerings. There are really three (3) key steps that any business needs to take to build a successful marketing engine: the Plan, a Website and E-Marketing.  The Plan   Remember, don’t get overwhelmed. This plan should be...

What is "Merchant Services"?

Michael Gavin

May 21, 2014

Collecting and processing payments from your customers is a basic yet essential function of your business. Payment processing options are continuously expanding, making it critical for business owners to have a complete understanding of each available method. Merchant services is a broad term that is used to define a wide range of payment processing options. Most automatically associate merchant services with debit and credit card processing, but there are actually a wide range of other options encompassed in its broader definition.Merchant Services: Payment ProcessingDebit and Credit Cards – The merchant services umbrella is most typically associated with transactions that are paid for with a credit or debit card. Debit and credit are the most popular merchant services payment methods...

Why Your Business Should Upgrade from ‘Cash Only’

Michael Gavin

May 7, 2014

Businesses that refuse to accept non-cash payments may be missing out on a significant number of sales every month. The costs of upgrading to accepting credit cards and mobile payments may seem daunting, but the long term benefits should most definitely be examined before a final decision is made. A Reason To Stay "Cash Only"?Why hasn't your business made the switch to accepting credit cards? There may not be a clear answer as it’s not uncommon for small businesses not to accept credit cards simply because the need to do so has never seemed to arise.However, you may think you have a good reason for avoiding payments other than cash up until now. Accepting credit cards isn’t free. A recent article in Business News Daily details the various fees that a businesses are charged to accept...

Top 5 Reasons to Become an Independent Sales Agent

Michael Gavin

April 10, 2014

Personal interaction, flexibility, work-life balance, and money. It’s what many of us look to achieve from our careers over time. And yet, for the vast majority of us, it’s an aspiration that will never be fulfilled.  Changing careers and becoming an independent sales agent isn’t easy. It’s a major step for many, leaving behind the security of full- or part-time traditional employment and embarking on a new adventure. Independence is often a great source of motivation and drive, but it’s also a bit scary and risky as well. So, why would someone want to become an independent sales agent? Here are the top five reasons we hear from our agents.  Schedule: Gone are the days of 9 to 5. Independent sales agents make their own schedules, giving them complete flexibility to work as...

Great Marketing Tools for Agents

Michael Gavin

February 25, 2014

Everyone knows that in order to successfully promote yourself and grow your business, you need marketing. For many, especially new agents just getting started, the concept of marketing can be a daunting one. Where do I start? How much money do I need? What do I really need?  What is marketing exactly? It’s simply defined as ‘the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.’ When most people think of marketing, the think of the 4Ps: product, promotion, price and place. Marketing plans don’t have to be that complicated as long as they support your goals and objectives and are executable using your tools and resources. In fact, there are a ton of great resources online that you can use to help you build or refine your...

Leveraging loyalty to help your customers and your business…

Michael Gavin

January 22, 2014

Early last summer, I wrote ‘Three Key Strategies to Attract Customers and Grow Sales’, an article geared towards small business owners, both merchants and resellers, and focused on customer retention, customer service and leveraging mobile to attract new customers. As I reflect back on the past seven months and both my personal experience as a consumer as well as the key activities of our customers (agents, resellers and merchants), I want to take a deeper dive and focus in on one specific topic – customer retention. It’s well documented that it’s exponentially more expensive to attract a new customer versus retain an existing one, yet so many business owners focus the majority of their attention, and financial investment, on acquisition and not retention. Building loyalty with...