By Daniel Steyskal, Trapezoid Business Services
Between changes in technology, the scope of the industry, and how products and services are distributed to end users, how we provide POS systems, services, and sales has been in a state of constant flux. Despite this there are concepts that applied in 1998, 2008, and 2018 — and will still apply in 2028. Following is a brief overview of four of those concepts, all of which I’ll dig into deeper in the coming weeks.
Generally, the larger the organization, the worse this is. Everyone reading this has been in a situation where, credit card in hand, they had to wait four to five hours to get a price on an off-the-shelf product, if not four to five days or even weeks!
There is no good reason for this to happen in the 21st century, unless you want to lose customers to a more agile service provider. Soft services, such as programming and installation, are not off-the-shelf products, but the actual base system should be a price you can immediately assess and discuss with a prospective client.
If you’re finding it difficult to produce quick quotes consider streamlining your overall offerings, creating a few quote templates, or even hiring a remote virtual assistant. Your client’s time is at least if not more expensive than yours, so be efficient!
If a reseller is solely dependent on an outside organization for these ongoing services, they’re in danger of having their customer base poached. Some unscrupulous software providers will take the opportunity to chip away at relationships and even sell services to end users directly, but when one is seen as the dependable expert, no amount of discounts or special deals will lead customer to another provider.
Payment processors know to respect their channel relationships, but anyone dealing with the recent changes to security standards knows how difficult they can make things if there is not a clear channel of communication to resolve these issues. When I encounter a client who cannot take cards, 95 percent of the time the internet is out and the majority of other issues are due to an issue with the payment processor. If I didn’t have a clear and efficient means to communicate with each processor I work with, these simple issues would balloon into hour long waits for tech support to confirm an outage.
All POS resellers need the following business contacts: accountant, security systems provider, payroll specialist, managed services provider, electrician, contractor, data wire installer, business insurance provider, commercial and residential real estate agents, private fire/safety inspector, and an Aflac agent. These professionals are chasing the same customers you are, but the real benefit is being able to solve any problem your clients face. That shifts a POS reseller into being a true trusted advisor.
At least twice a week I get someone asking to sell some service, product or subscription box to my client base, but these offers never come with an offer to share their clients. Referrals are a two-way street and any partners that want to receive but never give are very poor partners. Look to your current business contacts and see who is giving you leads, but if you’re the partner who receives and never gives, start being more generous.
Someone breaks into your client’s location and steals their system; do you know what potential liabilities arise and how to mitigate them? What happens during a power outage? Employee theft? An IRS audit? Many resellers will answer “not my problem,” but those box merchants will lose their customers to a real service provider who has solutions to these problems. Your clients didn’t come to you for a computer and accessories; they came to you to make their life easier.
Every point will not apply to every reseller, but those following these suggestions will be better equipped to face present and future challenges.
Join us as we explore these points deeper in subsequent submissions.
About The Author
Trapezoid Business Services is solely owned and operated by Daniel Steyskal. Daniel has been a POS provider and business solutions consultant since 2008 working with small to mid-sized businesses and national franchises. When he's not making the impossible possible for his clients, Daniel enjoys cooking, gaming, and volunteering in his community. Find out more at www.tpzbusiness.com.