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12 Apps of December

Celebrate the holiday season with our “12 Apps of December” contest. Any application submitted from now through December 31st gets you a gift from our toy chest. There are 12 gifts in all and remember, if you submit 12 applications you will receive each one of our gifts or its cash equivalent, your choice. This is a total gift value of $2,635.

Appy Holidays to all and to all a good night!

App Count Prizes Cash Equivalent Total Payout
1 App $10 $10 $10
2 App $25 $25 $35
3 App Fitbit Flex 2 $50 $85
4 App Google Mini Home $50 $135
5 App Amazon Fire HD 8 $75 $210
6 App Roku Ultra Box 4K Streaming Device $75 $285
7 App Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) $100 $385
8 App Bose Soundlink Micro Waterproof Speaker $100 $485
9 App Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Soft Cooler $250 $735
10 App Xbox One X $500 $1,235
11 App Apple iPad Pro 10.5″ $650 $1,885
12 App Ultimate Office Bundle- Includes Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 15.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop and HP All in One Printer/Scanner/Fax $750 $2,635
Total Possible Earnings: $2,635

All prizes awarded 60 days after the contest ends. *Merchant must be approved, installed and processing with a verified batch of 50% of their stated application volume.

Deals must be submitted by December 31, 2017 but installed and processing by 1/25/18. It is EPSG’s discretion to choose the brand, type, or substitute for any prize reached within this contest. Prizes are cumulative. Sales partners will win each prize at each level as they are reached.

All merchant accounts must be able to be submitted to underwriting at the time of submission in order to qualify for the contest. The application must have all signatures, initials, voided check, tax id numbers and social security numbers, pricing, equipment, etc. It is the ISO’s responsibility to make sure all applications have the necessary information needed to progress to underwriting and no exceptions will be made to this rule. Other restrictions may apply at the discretion of the corporate office on an as needed basis. All contests are intended for and only apply to ISOs and or sales reps for EPSG.

EPSG reserves the right to alter this program at any time. Low profit accounts, franchises and multi-merchant accounts residing at the same location will undergo management review for eligibility.

Dealing with Issues

We can be better as sales partners and as a company by learning to understand how we can appropriately service our customers. We need to turn negatives into positives. This industry is extremely unique and we would like our sales partners to be the middleman between EPSG and the merchant. We can be better with communicating with our merchants and being that liaison for customer service.

Tips for sales partners:

  1. Always answer your phone. There’s a possibility it could be a problem, but that problem may be small enough to be solved quickly over the phone. On the other hand, it could also be a referral and if you don’t answer it becomes lost business for you.
  2. Direct traffic to get problem solved efficiently. Put your merchants in the right position to have their problem solved quickly.
  3. Calm the situation; you need to deescalate the situation so we can be more effective in servicing them. Find the solution first and then discuss how to avoid the problem in the future.
  4. Be sympathetic, but don’t make it worse. You don’t want to enflame the situation by making yourself or the company look bad because there is usually a simple fix.
  5. Turn it into a positive and become the hero of the situation. It is nice to be able to fix a problem and make yourself look knowledgeable.

We want you to be involved with your merchants so you can build lasting relationships. This makes you a more effective sales partner and will lead to more business. The more you take care of your customers, the longer they will stick around.

Rules to take care of your customers:

  1. Listen to your merchants problems; let them express their concerns.
  2. Be effective and be efficient.
  3. Utilize the platforms that we created for you such as EPIC for tickets or the Campus for forms and information.
  4. Educate your merchants.
  5. Make their problems, your problem.
  6. Always follow up.
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.

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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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!
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  • 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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.