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...

Leveraging New Technologies: Tablet Based Point-of-Sale (POS)

Michael Gavin

September 26, 2013

Over the past two years, the world of point-of-sale (POS) has evolved significantly. Capitalizing on the affordability, capability and platforms of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), a new crop of developers has opened up a world of opportunity in the world of POS. Often referred to as tablet POS or ‘POS in a box’, these latest systems offer a wide range of business management value-adds, including payments and mobile commerce, and effectively transform a traditional AppleÒ or Android device into a fully functional POS system. And, following in the footsteps of many leading technology providers – think Salesforce.com, Constant Contact and even Adobe - the vast majority are SaaS (software as a service) based, offering cloud-based access with seamless remote updates all for an...

Key Reasons Why Companies Buy From You

Michael Gavin

August 13, 2013

To appeal to a B2B customer, your sales message and approach must address one or more of these issues. Your ability to sell B2B is directly dependent upon your ability to appeal to one or more (or all) of these reasons: Revenue improvement. Every company is interested in the "top line" of how much money is flowing into a company through sales of their own products and services.  Sales angle: show how your product makes it easier for the customer to sell to their own customers. Cost reduction. Every company is also interested in the "bottom line," which consists of the revenue minus the costs of producing that revenue.  Sales angle: show how your product reduces R&D, manufacturing, marketing, delivery, support or sales costs. Market share. Some companies (especially...

Mobile POS - Benefits for Merchants and Consumers

Michael Gavin

July 30, 2013

Mobile features and benefits, new technologies, and smaller checkout stations encourage interoperability, mobile payments, and mobile marketing. Small-, medium- and large-sized businesses risk falling behind their competitors or becoming marginalized unless they recognize mobile POS trends and respond accordingly. New technologies will base their operating specifications on the assumption that companies have mobile POS systems in place, and credit card companies – fueling a shift to EMV technologies from traditional magnetic stripes - will increasingly expect merchants to install chip-reading terminals and mobile antifraud and antitheft security systems or assume financial fraud liability for failing to upgrade. Contactless payment systems can read cards from embedded chips without...

Make a Mediocre Experience Awesome: 3 Steps

Michael Gavin

July 8, 2013

With all the noise and distraction even great can fall short. It's not that people and companies intentionally force mediocrity our way. In fact, it's their lack of intention that usually results in mediocrity. But given a choice, I strongly believe most people would choose awesome. Awesome experiences can be created anytime, anyplace, so why isn't the world overflowing with them? Primarily because creating them requires forethought, creativity, planning and execution. It takes time, skill and an understanding of how to turn a mediocre or "just OK" experience into one that is meaningful and memorable for everyone. Three key characteristics define an awesome experience: 1. Fulfill The Need
 At the very least, a good experience requires you to be a trusted provider and resolve whatever...

Three Key Strategies to Attract Customers and Grow Sales

Michael Gavin

June 6, 2013

Whether your business is thriving or simply surviving, a successful entrepreneur should always be aware of every option available to drive incremental business and grow the bottom line. From new technologies to business basics, following are three key strategies to assist you in expanding your customer base and growing sales. Customer retention fuels sales growth: Faced with a challenge of growing sales, many business owners immediately focus on new customer acquisition, but in reality retaining existing customers most often yields greater return. In fact, research from Flowtown estimates that it is six (6) or seven (7) times more costly to acquire a new customer compared to retaining an existing one. One recommendation to support customer retention efforts is to ensure that you and...

Four Marketing Messages Merchants are Powerless to Resist

Michael Gavin

May 28, 2013

Crafting your marketing messages in a way that helps clients understand what you do, who for, and how those people benefit is one of the keys to marketing success. I’m going to share with you the factors that get me to buy and will help agents and resellers to get merchants to open their wallet to you: 1. Trust If your doctor tells you that you need a new liver, you’re going to believe him/her, right? You’re not going to go home, mull it over, make a pros and cons list (I’m sure the old one has at least a few more years in it!), and sleep on it, are you? No, you’re going to put your name on the transplant list ASAP. Your doctor is trained in these sort of things and knows what he/she is talking about. If he/she says you’re in bad shape, you’re going to accept that and follow their...

Leveraging LinkedIn: Tips for Agents and Resellers

Michael Gavin

May 8, 2013

Having been in the payments industry for over a decade now, I admit that I was originally a social media skeptic in terms of leveraging these networks and platforms to support business objectives, whether for networking, marketing or sales. But, there’s no question that social media is here to stay - Facebook now boasts over one billion users worldwide with an astounding 618 million daily users – Twitter, recognized as the fastest growing social platform, with over 200 million active users – and, LinkedIn, the leading business oriented social networking site in the world, with over 200 million members. While all three of these platforms make cases for professional use, personally, I have found that the most useful, practical and easy to use is LinkedIn, especially for the vast number of...