BE IN THE KNOW

The Official EPSG Blog

Are You IOLTA Compliant?

If you are a lawyer who maintains a client trust account, then this program applies to you.

IOLTA stands for Interest On Lawyer’s Trust Accounts.  It requires law firms to take monies related to a trust and keep it in an interest bearing depository account.  Participating financial institutions take the interest earned on deposits held in IOLTA accounts and remit the interest directly to the IOLTA Fund. The Fund generates millions of dollars and these funds help to finance legal aid for those in need. 

Why was this program created? 

Unlike the criminal justice system, people with civil legal problems are not guaranteed an attorney. From the abused woman trying to find safety for herself and her children, to the elderly woman unlawfully evicted from her home, legal aid exists to ensure that all Americans have access to our civil justice system. 

Just as lawyers must find a financial institution that supports IOLTA, they must also research which merchant services providers can support a process whereby trust payments and unearned income (such as retainers) get deposited into a trust account, while income for earned legal services get deposited into the operating account.  The IOLTA program also prohibits fees from being debited from a trust account.  All business expenses, including merchant services fees, must come out of the operating account.  

Once you’ve taken the time to ensure you’re compliant with IOLTA, why don’t you let your clients know!  Display some information about the IOLTA Program,  advertise its purpose and let people know your firm proudly supports it.  You can also post this information on your website and any marketing collateral your firm produces.  Small businesses who support local charities proudly let their customers know by advertising it at their place of business – why shouldn’t you?  

For some examples of how the IOLTA program has helped those in need you can visit http://www.iolta.org/what-is-iolta/iolta-makes-a-difference.

All 50 states participate in IOLTA and to find your state’s site, visit this directory. Your state’s site should also provide a listing of local financial institutions that support the IOLTA program.

Top 5 Tips for Law Firms to Improve Cash Flow

Thought passing the bar was the hard part?

Managing a law firm’s day to day operations can be a daunting task – you have cases, mounds of paperwork, deadlines and hours of prep work to ensure a positive outcome for your clients.  Because your services come at a high price, many firms find that when it comes time to collect your hard earned fees, it can take up to 90 days or more to get paid.  Meanwhile, your living and business expenses continue to pile up.

The administrative burden associated with paper invoicing and accounting distracts you from the valuable time you could re-allocate toward building your practice.

So, with respect to your time, let’s get right to some solutions.  Here are the top 5 tips to help your law firm increase cash flow, collect more revenue and improve operational efficiencies:

1. Accept Credit Cards as a Form of Payment 

Offering your clients the ability to pay with a credit card provides your clients with the option of paying off your services over time, rather than all at once.  Here are some powerful facts to consider:

  • Research shows that firms that offer credit cards as a means of payment collect up to 29% more revenue
  • 66% of consumers prefer to pay by credit card, the percentage is even higher among millennials
  • Credit card funds can be deposited into your bank account as quickly as the next day

If you’re currently waiting three months to get paid by traditional invoice, accepting credit cards is a huge win.

With so many processors vying for your business, evaluating different pricing proposals can become overwhelming.  However, as long as you insist on what’s called “interchange plus,” or, “cost plus pricing,” your fixed and negotiable fees will be transparent, allowing you to see exactly what it costs to accept credit cards. Pricing options such as “tiered rates,” (which quote different rates depending on card types), or “promotional rates” that offer you a rate without even looking at your bank statements, are oftentimes, very misleading. These types of rates are typically marketing tactics with lots of hidden fees and surcharges. Upon closer review, you may find that the promotional rates only apply to debit cards, or, to Visa and MasterCard card types and not American Express. It is important that you fully understand your rate structure, because your effective rates can wind up being nearly double what you were quoted. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, remember that it’s not always about rate. Payment processing for law firms differs drastically from how the typical retail and restaurant merchant processes, and there are important regulations around how funds are allocated.  Make sure you find a processor that understands payments regulations and how they apply to law firms specifically.  A seasoned payments professional can offer knowledge and payments technology that is far more valuable than a low rate.

2. Replace Paper Invoices with Electronic Invoices

Paper invoicing costs your firm time and money.  Creating and printing the invoice, stuffing the envelope and using snail mail is not the most efficient way to bill a client.  Electronic invoicing is a far less manual solution that will allow your firm to:

  • create custom invoices online
  • send invoices via email
  • provide a means by which clients can pay for your services online, using a credit card, debit card or their bank account (this form of payment is called ACH)

If your services are on retainer, electronic invoicing can be scheduled to automatically send an invoice on a monthly basis, so your fees can be paid timely.  If you’re tired of following up with unpaid invoices, sending multiple pieces of mail and paying for postage, electronic invoicing is a much more efficient way to bill your clients and increase cash flow.

3. Offer Payment Plans

Many firms do not offer payment plans to clients because it increases the time it takes to collect your full fee.  Payment plans can also wind up being an administrative nightmare when trying to reconcile multiple payments against balances owed.  While these are valid concerns, offering payment plans may alleviate some of the sticker shock that can be associated with an invoice, and the software available in today’s marketplace can help to automate and reconcile balances on your behalf.  Some law firms feel that presenting a payment plan as an option helps to secure payment in full, since payment terms are a collaboration between the client and the firm.  This arrangement, commonly referred to as “recurring billing,” can be popular with Criminal Defense and Immigration Attorneys and because of the sense of relief your clients may feel knowing that they don’t have to come up with a large payment all at once, payment plans can prove to be an effective tool in obtaining referrals from your clients.

4. Accept ACH Payments

While yes, it is no longer common to write a check at the grocery store or in a restaurant, the service industry, specifically medical and law practices, still accept paper checks as a form of payment.  If your firm accepts paper checks, know that you can save trips to the bank and maximize cash flow by accepting ACH (automated clearing house)

payments, instead of paper checks.  This payment type deducts funds straight from your client’s checking account. Similar to credit card payments, ACH attempts provide an immediate “approval” or “decline,” letting you know the if funds are available.  Another benefit of ACH payments is that financial institutions will clear ACH payments before paper checks.  Consider this: if a consumer has $1100 in the bank and an ACH and paper check for $1000 goes through on the same day: the ACH will process, the paper check will bounce – that can mean the difference between you getting paid, or not.  It is worthwhile to know that credit card and ACH payments, recurring billing and electronic invoicing features can all be supported through the same software called, a “gateway.”  There are many gateways available in the marketplace today and the pricing and functionality can vary dramatically, so again, finding a consultative salesperson that has subject matter expertise in this technology is paramount.

5. Enroll in Next Day Funding and Amex’s OptBlue Program

Here’s an important tip when signing up for your credit card processing account – ask when you will receive your funds!  All credit card funding times are not equal.  Some processors have funding schedules that require you to wait 48 hours for funds to be available.

Enrolling in next day funding can fully optimize cash flow by shaving days off funding time.  Furthermore, funding for your American Express transactions may be delayed an additional 24 hours and show up in a separate deposit, which can complicate reconciliation.  With Amex’s OptBlue program, you can settle all your credit card transactions as late as 11 PM eastern time and get funded for your Visa, MasterCard, Discover and Amex transactions the next business day, all in the same batch.  Both next day funding and the Amex OptBlue program are available through your processor – there is no need to find these solutions through your bank or through American Express.  When evaluating processors, asking for these programs will be key to finding a solution that will contribute toward the success of your firm.

The credit card processing world has become riddled with regulations and complexities, but a processor and sales representative who specializes in payments for law firms can recommend the right technology and program that supports the diverse needs of your firm, while improving cash flow and reducing administrative costs.  You worked so hard to get to where you are today, take the time to ensure you’re doing what’s best for your firm – and your bottom line.  Ask the right questions, adapt the right technology and know what you’re paying for.

EPSG Campus Updates

On July 5th, we launched our new EPSG Campus! The Campus is a one stop shop to become a successful Sales Partner at EPSG. The Campus allows Sales Partners to quickly find general information or dive deep into details on almost every topic within the industry. We pride ourselves on keeping the Campus up-to-date and ever-growing with more information being added weekly.

Our most recent update includes the following:

  • A step-by-step demo video on how to use the new USA ePay Console Version 2 software. Joseph Fitzgibbons, from the EPSG team, will guide viewers in the process of running a sale on the new version, as well as addressing the differences between versions.
  •  

  • Now when visitors hover their mouse over each Campus building, a blue pop-up will have a description of what each building includes to help you find the information you are looking for more efficiently.
  •  

  • Our Merchant Application and Underwriting page now includes a section on the Top Reasons to submit a deal for Woodforest and will advise in what circumstances to use Woodforest rather than Deutche Bank.
  •  

  • Want to participate in an up-tempo, informational conference call? Our Street Talk series occurs bi-weekly and provides our Sales Partners with insight on industry topics, as well as, hearing personal experiences from top EPSG Partners across the country and our senior leadership team. Join us every other Thursday at 11:00am EST.
  •  

  • Stay up-to-date with Interchange. The Interchange and Pricing page will always have the updated rates for Visa, MasterCard, Discover and Amex. The 2017 rates have just been added.
  •  

  • Do you need to sign up a new Sales Rep or have a Referral Partner relationship? You can achieve this by going to our HR page. Just follow the step-by-step instructions on how to submit the paperwork via email or an EPIC ticket today!
  •  

  • In our Interchange and Pricing section, we have included detailed information on our proposal process and the instructions on how to submit merchant statements for analysis. We’re also added several examples of these statement analyses under the Proposal Links section. The examples show what to look for when comparing statements in order to provide a proper proposal for your merchants.

We are excited to be able to provide our Sales Partners with the EPSG Campus that allows them to access unlimited information, forms, addendums, and training videos that they may need. We strive to help our Sales Partners in any way we can to ensure their success with us!

Improving Your Strategy

Getting beat up out in the field? Take a look at these 6 quick steps to improve your sales techniques!

  1. Change your mentality about your territory. If you do need to change your territory, transition to somewhere where you know you can be consistent and successful.
  2.  

  3. Change your pitch. Recognize that what you’re saying isn’t working and practice your pitch with someone to receive feedback. Change your product: If what you are trying to sell isn’t working, shift your focus and offer a different product.
  4.  

  5. Find a partner. It can get boring being on your own, but having a partner can allow you to critique each other, make changes, and improve your pitches.
  6.  

  7. Go where the competition isn’t. In rural markets there is less competition, but many business opportunities. Industrial districts can also be intimidating, but may contain types of businesses that you haven’t looked into before. There are a lot of revenue possibilities.
  8.  

  9. Don’t prejudge businesses. No matter what a business looks like from the outside, there is still a business opportunity to be had. If you’ve had a bad experience with a certain industry, don’t skip that industry just based on one bad experience.
  10.  

  11. Use referrals. Once you do an install for a client, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Assuming you set them up correctly, they will be happy and excited to be doing business with you. Utilize fees to your advantage, by offering referrals in exchange for waived fees.
Kevin Canada

Kevin Canada

VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES

After a successful tenure as a sales agent for EPSG Direct, Kevin was promoted to the National Sales Director out of the Austin, Texas office which houses our national recruiting team as well oversees the management for EPSG’s sales efforts nationwide.

OPTIX makes EPSG the sales company to work for!

Are you looking to join a company who recognizes your hard work? A company, that as a reward, encourages you to pack your bags and get away for a few days… for free? At EPSG, we offer the opportunity to do just that!

Each year EPSG holds an incentive program called OPTIX. It is a wonderful program where we reward our top sales partners with an all expense paid trip to a tropical locale. It is one of the small gestures EPSG makes to show our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our sales force. This trip allows partners to relax, mingle, build relationships and strengthen their networks. For this year’s trip we jetted down to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic at the luxurious Breathless Resort.

This trip combines a showcase highlighting our newest products and vendor relationships with a team building retreat to help build personal networks and connections. It’s not all business! Every night is packed with activities, laughs and an award ceremony highlighted by several prizes recognizing our outstanding sales partners.

The annual trip is only one aspect of the OPTIX program. Our Legacy bonus plan can earn you up to an additional $250,000 over 5 years. Working for EPSG can also help you and your family in ways you might have not thought possible!

If you’re not already an EPSG Sales Partner and want to learn more about our OPTIX program, visit optix.goepsg.com for more details and announcements about next year’s trip. We do travel to a different destination every year, so you never know where we might end up next and hopefully you can come along for the ride!

I just wanted to thank you guys for the wonderful time we had in Punta Cana! It was absolutely gorgeous! I also never got a chance to actually tell you how grateful I am for allowing me to be a part of the EPSG family. What you have done for me and my family is truly life changing! It is a pleasure to work with you, again THANK YOU!!!

Laura Starnes

EPSG Sales Partner

I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful incentive trip, I truly appreciate it and I am proud to be a partner for a incredible growing company. I can’t wait to see what you have for the future. Thank you All!

Mark Morgan

EPSG Sales Partner

I just want to thank EPSG for the great trip. I know you guys thanked us profusely during the trip, but in fact without your foresight to build a program and your support, none of us would have the opportunity to succeed.

Richard Mazo

EPSG Sales Partner

How Sales & Clean Paperwork Go Hand-in-Hand

Clean paperwork from the beginning, can have many lasting benefits in growing a relationship with your merchant and I am going to explain what I mean and why.

When you walk into a business in an effort to make a sale, first impressions are very important. First impressions also fade very quickly. The goal in this business is to create a sticky merchant, have them be your lifelong customer, which then translates into lifelong residual payments. The most important thing you need from the merchant to keep them around is their trust.

So here is a possible scenario. You’ve gone to a new merchant, and you have made a great first impression – they want a merchant account with you and it’s time to fill out the merchant application. This is where your first and main opportunity is to create that lasting trust.

For instance, we have Maggie’s Nail Salon. She is opening in two days and needs a terminal for her grand opening. You have filled out the application for Maggie and then sent it to be submitted here in the application department. Let’s say you forgot to take an extra five minutes to look over the application before leaving the business, you wrote pretty fast, and forgot to snap a picture of the store front as you were walking out.

Now, we receive this application here at EPSG, and we notice the merchant missed a signature, among a few other questions like the PCI sections and how long they’ve owned the business – so we return the application to you for the missing signature, and now you have to go back to Maggie in order for her to sign the missing area. By the time you get this signature and send it back to us, the application is now submitted at the end of the business day and does not begin the review process until tomorrow.

When an underwriter is able to review it, the account pends because they are unable to find proof that the business exists – most likely because Maggie is opening tomorrow so the business does not have much of a presence yet; they also need answers to those missing questions. Again, you have to go back to Maggie ask her to send you a picture of the store front with the sign, or maybe a utility bill for the business. You answer the questions on the application and you finally get all of that information into us around 3 p.m. At this point it’s almost the end of the day, tech has to build a file, and then send the terminal off to shipping.  Depending on the work load of that day, the terminal does not make it out, and it will get shipped the next day – the day of Maggie’s grand opening; she will not have her terminal in time.

This already created a bad experience for Maggie and her merchant account. Fast forward and Maggie gets her first statement and is shocked to see how much she is paying for this account. She is obviously upset so she calls you. When you look at this statement, something definitely seems off – this is where double checking the application comes in – the 30 basis points you were charging, was written a bit sloppy and looked like 80 basis points. It gets corrected, but Maggie still has a pretty negative experience in her head. A month later, Joe Smith from the merchant processor down the road pays Maggie a visit has a great first impression and Maggie decided to sign with Joe since she really doesn’t have any reason to stay with her current account.

Taking a little extra time while completing the application, making sure all information was answered and legible, the additional documents were included, and you snapped a picture with your phone of the business would have prevented the negative chain of events.

I can tell you from my own experience here that clean and complete applications get approved as quickly as 30-40 minutes of us receiving it. In theory, the next time you talk to the merchant should be when you show up with the terminal all ready to start accepting payments. This is where the merchant really starts to trust you as their sales rep. You have created an easy and simple process for them to set up their merchant account.

Merchants have plenty of headaches to deal with being a business owner – so if you can become an asset to them, create a worry free environment, ensure a great customer experience, this all leads to stickier merchants. Now when Joe Smith walks in to sell them his own merchant account, they won’t jump into that, they’ll think of you first as their only rep.

Jaimee Mecca

Application Department Supervisor

Getting Organized; A Methodical Approach to Success

Traditionally, salespeople are not the most organized people in the world. With any career you really need a vision; you need to be able to set yourself up for success. At EPSG we want to give you the support you need, but ultimately your success is up to you. If you’re not taking a methodical approach to the way that you draw in business, process your applications and everything else, then you are selling yourself short.

Planning Your Day Properly

  • Set appointments strategically. Set appointments for first thing in the morning because if the deal falls through, you still have the rest of the day to make something happen. You can also set appointments in the afternoon so you have the morning to do other business without potentially being late.
  • Give merchants controlled options. Give them multiple dates and times that work for you, and allow them to choose the one that works best. This gives you control, but gives the merchants options. This takes out the guesswork of deciding on when to meet next.
  • Give yourself time for prospecting. In between your appointments, you should be cold calling, working a territory, working on referral sources, or knocking on doors to proactively draw in business. You have to pick a timeframe and stick to it, because eventually your source list runs out and you need to be sure that the funnel is being continuously filled.
  • Always pick a day for your leads. Once a week, you should take time to call every cold, warm or hot lead that you have. Also, you should take this time to confirm appointments that are coming up in the near future and plan your week accordingly.

Planning Long Term Goals

  • Any plan that can’t be adjusted on the fly is a bad plan!
  • If you have trouble visualizing long term, then set your goals by quarter to create less pressure on yourself.
  • Remember, you can’t make people buy, but you can change your behavior and how seriously you take your career.
  • Make time to plan your week, month, quarter, etc. It will make things less stressful for you in the long run.

Remember, organization is a key component of success in any business. Once you take the time to visualize your plan, you can effectively take the steps necessary to achieve your professional goals.

Jeff Burke

Jeff Burke

AVP, SALES OPERATIONS

As the AVP of Sales Operations Jeff oversees Agent Support for the company ensuring our sales partners have a positive experience working with EPSG. Jeff is also heavily involved with recruiting and training both novice and veteran agents.

10 Things Anyone Can Do to Be Successful

Below are 10 simple things people can do to be more successful without too much effort:

 

  1. Be on time. No one likes waiting on someone to show up for a meeting, especially a customer.
  2. Have a strong work ethic. Working hard makes it easier for you in the long run.
  3. Put in effort. All you have to do is try a little harder, and you’re guaranteed to see a difference.
  4. Use positive body language. When you’re selling, talking, or consulting with a customer, they can read your face and body language so make sure it is positive.
  5. Be energetic. Be excited about your product, love your product and know everything about it.
  6. Have a good attitude. If you go into a business with a bad attitude, you will walk out with empty hands and an even worse attitude.
  7. Be passionate. If you’re not passionate you will most likely fail because you don’t know about your product and don’t want to know your product.
  8. Be coachable. If someone has constructive criticism and tells you there are things that you can improve on, change it and be better.
  9. Go the extra mile. Go a little bit further and push yourself to visit those last few businesses even when you’re tired. Even spending an extra hour a week can be a big difference.
  10. Be prepared. Don’t walk into a business without knowing everything you possibly can about them. Know their name and what they sell at the very least. Get to know your customer inside and out.
Kevin Canada

Kevin Canada

VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES

After a successful tenure as a sales agent for EPSG Direct, Kevin was promoted to the National Sales Director out of the Austin, Texas office which houses our national recruiting team as well oversees the management for EPSG’s sales efforts nationwide.

5 Sales Do’s and Don’ts

The next time you visit an existing merchant or try to make a new sale, keep these helpful tips in mind:

 

  1. Stop selling and start helping. Learn about peoples challenges, both personally and professionally and genuinely try to make their lives easier.
  2. Become a chameleon. Know your audience and alter your communication and the connections you make with certain people, but always stay true to your values.
  3. Be persistent, consistent, and not aggressive. Good customers will respect your persistencey and consistency. Don’t be too aggressive after you sign the account, continue support, but try not to bother them.
  4. Soft sells close big deals. If you’re in a high pressure sales standpoint you’re never going take on the larger opportunities that would bring you a more lasting opportunity to earn income. Be able to be flexible, stay in touch with prospects even after they say no. No is still an opportunity, it just means “not right now”.
  5. Educate merchants with industry information. Show success with other clients that are in the same or similar industry as them. You should never act desperate; merchants should feel like they need you.
Kevin Canada

Kevin Canada

VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES

After a successful tenure as a sales agent for EPSG Direct, Kevin was promoted to the National Sales Director out of the Austin, Texas office which houses our national recruiting team as well oversees the management for EPSG’s sales efforts nationwide.

3 New Ways to Use Gift Cards in Your Practice

Gift cards have a lot of power – they’ve proven to help businesses increase average spend and attract new customers. Gift cards are a mainstay in Retail environments – but today even service driven businesses like Med Spas, plastic surgeons and physicians are utilizing gift cards in creative ways to help them advertise new products, increase profit margins and revenues.

In order to run a successful marketing campaign using gift cards, the first thing you will need to do is determine exactly what consumer behavior you are looking to drive. Do you need to draw clients to a specific product line? Do you want to encourage existing clients to purchase additional services? Once you understand what the goal is, you can design a gift card promotion geared toward achieving your objectives.

Here are some common business objectives and sample gift card promotions:

1. Advertise New Product Line:

Let’s say you would like clients to know that your practice has just added Restylane™ Silk to your line of injectables. Gift cards act as miniature bill boards that can help you market a new line of products. Try purchasing a set of custom gift cards pre-loaded with funds that clients can redeem toward a specific product.

Sample Marketing Tactic: Display a sign outside the office and another at the receptionist counter that says: Restylane™ Silk is now available! Try Restylane™ Silk in the month of January and receive $50 toward your treatment!

Sample Gift Card Design:      mel_blog1

Best Practices: To get the most out of this promotion, ensure the value of the gift card is enough to gain interest. If the average treatment will cost $800, gift cards with a $10 value will most likely not achieve a high redemption rate. Also, make sure the offer is available for a limited time only and think about any other restrictions you’d like to document on the back of the card – but remember – too many restrictions can affect redemption negatively. You can also use this program to provide incentives for clients to switch their brand of injectables for another that has a higher profit margin!

2. Encourage Repeat Visits

It is far less expensive for a practice to generate revenue from their existing clientele, then to acquire new clientele. You may have a list of patients that come in quarterly for their Botox™ injections. But your clients can obtain Botox through multiple avenues, how can you ensure your clients don’t leave you for another practice? Try rewarding them with a gift card after a predetermined number of visits.

Sample Marketing Tactic: Pull a list of clients that have had repeat visits for the same treatment. Send an email or letter explaining that your practice offers a VIP program and after the 5th consecutive treatment, patients receive a $50 gift card redeemable toward their next treatment. This promotion creates loyalty and drives repeat visits.

Sample Gift Card Design:      mel_blog2

Best Practice: Custom cards can be costly depending on the design. Did you know that many gift cards can also serve as loyalty cards? This means that if you should choose to run a full-fledged loyalty program, you do not have to purchase additional cards. When choosing a gift card provider, ask if they also provide loyalty programs and if the cards are “combo” cards. In some cases, you can start out with a gift card program and add on a loyalty program when you are ready!

3. Add New Services

Gift card incentives are a great way to encourage clientele to try a new service. If your clients are already satisfied with how a product works on their face, why not foster the same results on another part of the body? Gift cards can make the decision to try something new a little easier.

Sample Marketing Tactic: Perhaps after a treatment, a client expresses how much better they feel or how much younger they look. A physician or receptionist may reply by saying, “did you know that injectables can also be used to reduce the look of cellulite? In the month of March, patients who try Radiesse™ injections to treat cellulite receive $75 off their first treatment!” Receptionists can reinforce the program by providing clients with a flyer, postcard or brochure advertising the product and program.

Sample Gift Card Design:      mel_blog3

Best Practices: The last impression you make with a client is paramount – will your client leave merely satisfied – or – surprised and delighted? The last interaction with a patient typically happens with the receptionist, so as your patient checks out, have your receptionist go over the promotion with the patient. If your patients leave your practice happy, they will most likely return and recommend your practice to others.

 

 

Knowledge is powerful. In any promotional endeavor, make sure your staff is properly trained. Appropriate training will allow for good communication with your clients and education of your staff.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Explain who your staff should target for the promotion (example: clients who are currently trying a different filler)
  • Provide sample scripts so staff knows what to say and how to say it. Have them role play different customer scenarios.
  • Reward your staff for their help in making the campaign a success (example: sponsor a lunch at the end of the promotion, reward the employee that brings in the most clients)

Always close the circle with your clients by ensuring their gift card redemption process is just as smooth as the issuance. If there are restrictions, patients should understand them when the card is issued and not be surprised by them when they come in to redeem. Thank the client for participating and make sure they are aware of future promotional opportunities. Your clients not only want to look better, they want to feel better too. So when launching your first gift card campaign, remember that a core function of your business is to make sure your patients know you value their business and appreciate their loyalty – and that is what truly drives success!

Melanie Gonzalez

Melanie Gonzalez

Director of Product Development

Melanie has spent her entire professional career in the payments industry, working for Top 10 processors such as First Data, WorldPay and Vantiv.  She has a proven track record helping companies develop go to market strategies, build multi-million dollar sales channels and engineer highly technical product solutions that drive revenue and strengthen client relationships.  Melanie recently joined EPSG as Director of Product Development and will lead EPSG’s initiative to build an innovative and robust product suite.

NCR Silver: Spotlight on Concierge Services!

It’s important to know your merchants are in good hands with NCR Silver’s Concierge Team.  This team will be in charge of training, set up and installation of the NCR Silver POS system.

Here’s some useful information to understand more about how the process works:

  • Once you submit an NCR contract, a unique subscription number is created.  The subscription number is very important for a merchant to have handy, since merchants will need it to identify their account.
  • Merchants receive a welcome call from their designated Concierge agent within 24-48 hours after a subscription is created.
  • Merchants will work with the same Concierge agent during the entire implementation process.
  • Concierge is open from 9 AM – 7PM EST.  This does NOT mean that your merchant cannot receive service outside of these hours.  NCR’s Customer Service team is cross trained on Concierge services and is available 24/7/365.  Notes are always entered into the merchant’s profile, so everyone is always on the same page.
  • VERY IMPORTANT – please let the Concierge Team work directly with the merchant and do not put yourself in the middle.  Evidence shows that too much communication only causes delays and mistakes.  You get the deal signed – let the Concierge Team take the wheel from there!

NCR Silver’s Concierge Team is what sets them apart from the competition. Their level of support is unparalleled, which is why their Net Promotor Scores rank the highest in their industry.

Setting up a new POS can be one of the most challenging projects for a small business, make sure you are recommending NCR Silver – the leading provider of POS Systems, worldwide!

Melanie Gonzalez

Melanie Gonzalez

Director of Product Development

Melanie has spent her entire professional career in the payments industry, working for Top 10 processors such as First Data, WorldPay and Vantiv.  She has a proven track record helping companies develop go to market strategies, build multi-million dollar sales channels and engineer highly technical product solutions that drive revenue and strengthen client relationships.  Melanie recently joined EPSG as Director of Product Development and will lead EPSG’s initiative to build an innovative and robust product suite.

Q & A With EPSG

The social media team at EPSG conducted interviews with some of our key employees to get some words of wisdom. These words will give some insight on the new opportunities EPSG is giving to our sales partners, as well as how our sales partners can work efficiently without delays or impediment.

Interview #1

We sat down with Jamie Mecca, Application Department Supervisor, and talked to her about the importance of complete paperwork and how it affects the application process.

What is your role in conducting business with the sales partners?

J: To ensure their new application goes through the approval process smoothly and efficiently.

What is the most common error you encounter on the paperwork?

J: It’s not an error, but the most common issue is incomplete packages.

Why is it important to do the paperwork correctly before submitting it?

J: When receiving a merchant package there are strict guidelines EPSG needs to follow set by the card associations, sponsoring banks, and the federal government. The information provided helps pass these guidelines. The more information given, the better it is for us.

Do you have any tips for the sales partners?

J: Spend extra time working on the paperwork. Take an few extra minutes with the merchant to ensure that everything is completed, and then go over the paper yourself to make sure it is ready for processing. Make sure EPIC is set up correctly so you can seamlessly follow the full life cycle of the merchant account.

Interview #2

Jeff Burke, AVP of Sales Operations, took time out of his day to talk about communication and other important aspects of closing sales.

What is your role in conducting business with the sales partners?

J: I deal with sales both direct and indirect. Indirectly, I’m a support platform. I work with deal submissions, recruitment, training and teaching sales partners to navigate the products. My job is to make sure everyone is caught up. Directly, I work with sales partners and individuals. My job at EPSG is to make sure our partners experience is the best it could be.

What are the most common errors you see during sales opportunities?

J: In closed sales, not getting a full package upfront. We came up with a list of the things our sales partners need to get from our merchants. If they ask for everything up-front, it avoids 90% of the bottlenecks we have. Attending meetings and different training seminars is a great way of understanding the 360 of EPSG.

Based on your experience, how greatly can communication contribute to the success of a sale?

J: Clear communication is imperative in sales. Generally speaking, sales is a little more than a professional conversation. a solid sales partner asks the right questions, listens intently and clearly articulates solutions to those needs. Taking time to attend EPSG sales meetings can help sharpen these skills.

Do you have any tips for the sales partners?

J: Everyone wants to cut corners and find a golden rule for success. They think to be successful they need to be a slick, fast-talking, golden tongue, likeable sales partner. A good sales partner is someone who works hard and takes one step at a time. When they start, they shouldn’t get caught up on details. They begin with making relationships, learning how to speak. After sale 1, 2, 3, 4…1000, they start to see repetition and get better. People that want to start at 1000, meet the big people right away, and leapfrog to success won’t get far. They need to learn something from everyone, whether positive or negative. They should focus on activity over result.

Interview #3

Melanie Gonzalez, AVP of Product Development, talked about the many products that we offer at EPSG and how they help the sales partner increase profit.

What’s your role in conducting business with the sales partners?

M: I manage the products and bring in additional products besides bankcards.

How has the recent evolution of the products EPSG offers helped to advance the ability to makes sales and assist merchants?

M: For the sales merchants it provides a one-stop shop instead of just offering bankcards. It gives a wide range of diverse products.

What new products is EPSG currently offering?

M: We currently offer bankcards, POS, payroll, gift and loyalty, a full marketing platform where we manage their social media, security systems like EMV and PCI, and compliance.

How will these new products further help our sales partners in conducting their business?

M: It will increase residuals. Also the bankcard competition is fierce, so to offer other products other than bankcards allows us to compete in ways other than just the lower prices.

Do you have any tips for the sales partners?

M: Go outside of your comfort zone. Go to the E-learning platform and get trained at EPSG University for certification. This way the sales partners are more comfortable with selling these other products.

We hope this glimpse into the process will help you out in the field and assist your future sales ventures with EPSG.

Thank you all for reading.

Sincerely,

EPSG Social Media Team

Q & A With Kevin Canada

Kevin_BubbleRecently, we spoke with our very own Vice President of Sales, Kevin Canada about the direction of EPSG. He gave us his insight about the industry as a whole, upcoming contests, and how he would like to see EPSG evolve! With the industry being so competitive, Kevin knows what it takes to be successful and knows how important our sales partners are to our business!

What is your departments’ plan to stay active rather than reactive in the industry?

K: We are constantly recruiting new candidates to represent the brand. Through the experiences of our new as well as our existing sales partners, we formulate our attack plan. Sometimes this is based on the competition and what they are up against, others it is about the responsiveness that they are getting from product presentations, etc. The sales team is constantly looking for new ways to compensate partners, new ways of approaching merchants and better ways to network and build the EPSG brand.

If you had one message for our current or potential sales force about EPSG’s product/sales offerings that separates us from the competition, what would it be?

K: We see our partners as the #1 most important aspect of our team. The entire management team has been in their shoes, so we understand the mentality and need for direct individual support from the ground up. This is reflected in our training, product offering and our support measures that are continually improving.

What are some of the experiences that have made you successful and how does that relate to product/sales?

K: I have been in the shoes of every sales partner that we have today at one point in my career. Being able to experience all levels of this industry, I am able to understand each point of view and build a sales plan around that understanding. One thing that is difficult to understand for support staff is the grueling work that goes into business to business sales. The heat, the cold, the rain etc. are all mental factors that go into the experience of a sales partner. Those are things we cannot control, but we can control our attitude.

What are the greatest contributions product/sales makes to the company on a weekly basis?

K: Sales makes the wheels keep turning. Obviously sales would not be successful without the internal members of the team. Balance is everything! Operations and internal departments are there to support sales. If sales does not succeed, there is nothing to support. I think on the product side, if the sales people do not believe in their product, they won’t sell it. It is our responsibility to provide a superior product that the sales partners believe in and WANT to sell!

In years to come, how do product/sales plan to stand out from your competitors and do differently than others in the industry?

K: This comes from being able to stay on top of technology and trends. Being able to roll our products and sales strategies alike in a timely manner is the most important. Being late to market on a strategy will force you to immediately start thinking of the next plan which puts you in a perpetual planning phase with no execution. We will stand out by having highly competitive compensation plans partnered with top of the line support as well as superior technology.

What can you do to keep the image and foundation of EPSG alive?

K: I think everyone in the organization can be a better brand ambassador. Continually recruiting new partners maintains a fresh look and will help evolve ideas. In short, we can always keep building.

What projects are you currently working on? If any, how can these projects benefit EPSG?

K: We have several new bonus plans out right now. We are also making a major focus on our training packages that will go in front of new partners shortly.

Where would you like to see your team improve?

K: I think bringing in new efficiences can help all departments, not just sales. We are currently implementing new technology to help us organize our recruiting efforts. Utilizing that product to its potential is first and foremost. Secondly, would be our training. Training certainly can use improvement and proper implementation.

How would you describe the current sales force?

K: There are a core and key group of individuals that account for the vast majority of our monthly production. This is normal and is considered the 80/20 rule (the top 20% of your sales team accounts for 80% of the production). This very much describes our sales team.

In your own words, how competitive is the industry today? What aspects make it so?

K: The industry today is more competitive than it always has been. This is due to the fact that, big or small, every company out there can more or less offer the same as far as pricing. It is new technology and the elite support that sets the different competitors apart.

Kristen LaMarca

Social Media & Marketing Intern

Kristen is the new Social Media and Marketing Intern here at EPSG and she is excited to be joining the EPSG team!

What the Heck is This ‘Cloud’ Thing?

At its most basic, the cloud is internet-connected remote storage. Think Dropbox, iCloud or even your Google Drive. When you save a file to the cloud, instead of it being saved directly to the device you’re using, it’s saved on a remote computer. The cloud also refers to using a software or application that is not installed on your computer or phone. The benefit of the cloud is that you can store or access as much data as you want (files, photos, music, apps, etc.) and not be constrained by one particular device’s physical limitations. Plus, if the device you are using goes down (remember that water on the laptop incident) the data is still stored safely and waiting for you in the cloud. EPSG partners with NCR Silver – a cloud based solution that takes businesses into the present so your customers can take advantage of cloud based technology. Please contact product@evoplatinumservices.com with any product related questions you may have!
Melanie Gonzalez

Melanie Gonzalez

Director of Product Development

Melanie has spent her entire professional career in the payments industry, working for Top 10 processors such as First Data, WorldPay and Vantiv.  She has a proven track record helping companies develop go to market strategies, build multi-million dollar sales channels and engineer highly technical product solutions that drive revenue and strengthen client relationships.  Melanie recently joined EPSG as Director of Product Development and will lead EPSG’s initiative to build an innovative and robust product suite.

5 Traits All Successful Sales People Should Have

Walter Chrysler once said, “The real secret of success is enthusiasm.” Enthusiasm, a positive attitude and confidence go hand in hand. Below is a list of the 5 traits that all successful sales people should have.

  1. Work Ethic-
    This is the number one attribute that all successful sales professionals should have. Sure, a lot of people have talent but talent doesn’t always equate to success. It’s true when they say, “practice makes perfect.” Always, always practice! Experts hone their craft on a daily basis and a strong work ethic will provide the experience needed to master your craft.
  2. Confidence-
    It is human nature to be attracted to confidence. So stand tall and tell yourself, “You can do it!” You gain confidence from success but you also need to be prepared, so learn your product and master your pitch. If you get experience under your belt, confidence will follow. There is one rule, and that is to never brag about your success unless it is to the people you are competing against!
  3. Tactfulness-
    Remember that expert sales people are little more than professional conversationalists. When you’re really doing your thing, every single word, gesture, and action has a motive behind it. It starts with the first word that comes out of your mouth and NEVER stops. Whether that’s closing the sale or looking for referrals, you should always be trying to execute a pre-determined plan.  Your entire pitch should be a funnel, forcing everything to a close. A sales veteran will commonly ask questions they already know the answer to. This is a great way to steer the conversation in the direction you want it to go. After a while, it becomes second nature!
  4. Positive Attitude-
    Don’t be negative! You have full control over your own attitude, so own it! Don’t let a bad day at the office or a tough situation bring you down. Put your best foot forward and let your positive attitude shine! The more positive your attitude is, the smoother it will be when closing a deal with a merchant.
  5. Intestinal Fortitude (Heart)- This is one of the most important traits any successful sales professional should have. This trait is infectious. Strength, courage and resilience that come from within will propel you to success! If you are really driven to succeed you will not let anything get in your way. You need to have “the heart of a fighter” in this business. Like Rocky Balboa, you will get beat up, but always get up.

These 5 traits are essential to becoming a successful sales person. Always remember to go confidently and stand tall with a positive attitude. If you have the proper enthusiasm, success is just within your reach!

Jeff Burke

Jeff Burke

AVP, SALES OPERATIONS

As the AVP of Sales Operations Jeff oversees Agent Support for the company ensuring our sales partners have a positive experience working with EPSG. Jeff is also heavily involved with recruiting and training both novice and veteran agents.

Pave Your Own Way With Our Pathfinder Program

Have you ever thought about becoming your own boss? Do you want to pursue a career that can give you the life you have always imagined? Well then EPSG is the right place for you!

Let EPSG guide your journey towards a career with our Pathfinder Program. This program does not require any prior sales experience. Pathfinder partners you up with a mentor, one of our most successful sales representatives, who can guide you toward the path to financial independence. Earn a salary while you learn the ropes. Graduate to a full-time sales partner when you’re ready.

Who is eligible for the Pathfinder Program?

 

  • Current college students
  • Recent college graduates
  • Those who are unsure about a career path but are ambitious and driven to learn

Four steps you’ll climb along the way with Pathfinder:

 

  • Pathfinder provides the essential skills to become successful in selling payment processing and a variety of products and services.
  • You’ll develop and learn as you work closely with the mentor you are paired with. They’ll train you on every aspect of the business. Training including: mastering pitch techniques, sales acquisition and field visits providing hands on experience.
  • Confidence boosting! All great things start small. You will go from having little or no experience, to becoming comfortable in what selling techniques work for you. The higher the confidence, the greater your success!
  • Financial independence is in your reach. You’ll have the option to break out on your own and live up to your full potential by becoming financially independent.

Pathfinder agents will start off by earning $15 an hour including paid training and orientation! On top of that, we provide competitive bonus structure with a potential to earn up to $3,700 within your first 8 months. Incentives all around!

The Pathfinder Program offers you the freedom you have always dreamed of while giving you the skills you have always wanted. Follow your dreams by letting Pathfinder be your guide! Be sure to visit pathfinder.goepsg.com for more information about this wonderful opportunity.

Kristen LaMarca

Social Media & Marketing Intern

Kristen is the new Social Media and Marketing Intern here at EPSG and she is excited to be joining the EPSG team!

Welcome To Next Generation, It’s Going To Be EPIC

EPIC Next Generation

Not long ago we significantly reconstructed our portfolio management website, EPIC. Since then, EPIC Next Gen has been actively available and it is something we don’t want you to miss!

What is EPIC?

EPIC is a one stop portal for you to easily access information on your accounts.

It allows for transparency throughout the support process by utilizing tickets and email alert notifications. Which not only enhances communication but it improves merchant relationships.

Managers now have the ability to track performance and productivity of their sales reps unveiling areas of success or deficiency.

What are the latest improvements with EPIC?

 

  • Ticketing System: Since the eSales support enhancements, every request is now being tracked within the system. This will allow for notifications to be sent to you when a member of our support team has completed a request, replied to a request or when the requests have been updated.
  • Status Notifications: EPIC will now send you notifications via email when deals are received, pended, approved, declined and installed. This EPIC enhancement gives you everything in real-time and always keeps you in the loop! Could it be any easier?!
  • ISO Hierarchy: Through a single set of credentials, users that have multiple ISO numbers can now view all of their accounts (sub accounts and sub rep accounts). This means…no more logging in multiple times! This also allows for information to be easily searched and sorted through.

EPIC Next Generation is an exciting new tool we are proud to offer you. It will be continually updated and enhanced as we strive to create a mutually beneficial tool that supports both you and your merchants.

Quick Tip: To access EPIC Next Generation, be sure you are using Google Chrome as your browser!

Be sure to keep checking your email for the latest updates with EPIC and don’t forget that we are social! Follow us on; Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin! We make efforts to keep our social media active so follow us to keep up with all latest news about EPSG!

Kristen La Marca

Social Media & Marketing Intern

Courtney Rosenblatt

Social Media & Marketing Intern

EPSG UNIVERSITY

The fact is, selling bankcards just isn’t enough anymore.

Small businesses are looking to form relationships with vendors that will take their business to the next level and let’s face it – offering to beat a merchant’s existing processing rates by 5 basis points just isn’t a compelling conversation.  What’s the result?  You either undercut your rates so low that you obliterate your commission or you wind up being turned away…

But what if you could offer much more than low rates on bankcards?  What if you could transition into an advisor, a mentor or a small business consultant who can analyze a merchant’s entire small business ecosystem and offer recommendations on how to help their business GROW, become more efficient and productive?  Then your value would be immeasurable and you’d gain customers for life!

Now you may fear that the technology is too different, too difficult, too much to learn and that you don’t have the tools to take you to the next step.  But that was yesterday, let’s focus on today!

Welcome to EPSG University.

Since today’s product trends focus heavily on technology, we’ve created a platform to help our sales partners have the confidence, skill and subject matter expertise necessary to sell technology based products.

EPSG University is an eLearning platform that will offer multiple Courses.  These Courses will not bog you down in technical jargon, but will teach you the sales skills you need to demonstrate how the technology helps merchants improve operations, run effective marketing programs and manage their business efficiently so they can spend less time at work and more time doing what they love!

Once you complete the Course, you will receive an updated business card embossed with your Certification, a Sales Playbook and Course Certificate.

So although we are asking you to step away from the mindset of bankcard sales, understand that the new knowledge you acquire will position you to:

  • increase and secure your residuals
  • create long standing, consultative relationships with your customers
  • provide a platform to upsell an infinite number of products and services
  • produce much stickier customers

Look for upcoming announcements about EPSG University – and get ready to take your career to the next level with EPSG!

Melanie Gonzalez

Melanie Gonzalez

Director of Product Development

Melanie has spent her entire professional career in the payments industry, working for Top 10 processors such as First Data, WorldPay and Vantiv.  She has a proven track record helping companies develop go to market strategies, build multi-million dollar sales channels and engineer highly technical product solutions that drive revenue and strengthen client relationships.  Melanie recently joined EPSG as Director of Product Development and will lead EPSG’s initiative to build an innovative and robust product suite.