Successfully running a business is not an easy task in the merchant services industry. The payments landscape is constantly changing, with new technology and trends creating new challenges and opportunities. Professionals need to stay on top of these changes while also cultivating good habits. They also need to learn how to balance business success with personal growth; it’s nearly impossible to achieve one without the other.
For anyone seeking to achieve business success—from sales representatives to acquirers—this complexity can be daunting. But there are some resources available to help. After spending decades in the industry successfully navigating these challenges, entrepreneur Marc Beauchamp published How to Survive and Thrive in the Merchant Services Industry.
To learn more about the book, the payments industry, and Beauchamp’s advice to professionals, PaymentsJournal sat down with Beauchamp for a wide-ranging conversation.
The payments industry is always changing
Beauchamp entered the payments industry as a sales representative in 1995 and hasn’t looked back. In the intervening years, he’s witnessed a series of remarkable changes. “If there’s one thing that’s constant, it’s change,” said Beauchamp. “That’s what I really love about this industry.”
Since he began in 1995, Beauchamp noted that the most significant changes have involved technology, data, and compliance. Together, these changes have drastically improved the product solutions across the industry. “From cloud point-of-sale systems to data analytics, mobile processing, business lending, gift and loyalty solutions—the new products are just incredible,” said Beauchamp.
While these developments occurred, Beauchamp’s career also changed. He founded his own company from his kitchen table and soon transitioned into a consulting and training role. With so much going on in the industry and his own career, Beauchamp realized that many payments professionals could benefit from a book that educated them on how to become leaders in the industry.
“There had never really been a book written on the topic, so I really want to educate potential new entrants as well as experienced people or salespeople on how the industry is structured and how the industry works,” explained Beauchamp.
This effort culminated in Beauchamp publishing the first edition of How to Survive and Thrive in the Merchant Services Industry in 2003. But since the payments industry is constantly changing, he published another edition of the book to reflect new trends and technology.
“I pretty much did a complete rewrite,” noted Beauchamp. “I added chapters and updates on EMV, mobile processing, point-of-sale systems, payment facilitation, cash discounting and surcharging, PCI, chargeback processing, payment gateways, and interchange.”
The Framework: How to produce at higher levels in business and beyond
The objective of the book is simple. It’s meant to teach people the basics of the payments industry, while also empowering them to improve their careers and personal lives. The book describes common payments-related terminology, discusses the most common and popular product offerings, includes sales training and prospecting strategies, and explores hot topics of the day, such as cash discounting and point-of-sale systems.
However, Beauchamp’s book goes far beyond just business advice. “What I’ve done over the years is I’ve developed a system and I call it The Framework of how I really help people produce at higher levels, not just from a business perspective,” but also from a personal one, he explained.
The Framework is comprised of four key areas of life: body, being, balance, and business. Simply pursuing business success is not enough if a person’s personal life is out of balance. In order to really thrive, people need to connect with others and understand themselves. Beauchamp gleaned these principles from his 25 plus years of experience in the industry, having met some of the most successful and innovative players in the field.
“I looked at the trends and characteristics that they demonstrate compared to some of what might be a subpar or an average producer in the business,” Beauchamp explained. He spoke with many of these elite individuals and included the interviews in the most recent edition of the book. Some people interviewed include Bob Carr from Beyond and founder of Heartland Payments, O.B. Rawls of PaySafe, and Todd Ablowitz at Infinicept, in addition to many more industry leaders.
Top five tips and tricks to succeed in the payments industry
Having spent decades in the payments industry, and having interviewed many of the field’s biggest players, Beauchamp has discovered a variety of tips and tricks. PaymentsJournal asked him to sketch out his top five for this article.
- Clarity of Purpose: It’s important to know what you’re trying to get out of a specific endeavor. Crucially, this has to be what you’re personally trying to achieve, not what everyone around you is telling you to do. As Beauchamp explained, it’s about “figuring out what do I want to accomplish in this business and how does the success of this business equate to my life, and then when I have that clarity, I can create some clearly defined outcomes.”
- It’s not just about money or business: “The reason we create a business,” noted Beauchamp, “is so we can take that revenue, that income, and the things we’re birthing as a business owner and bring it into our life.” Therefore, it’s not just about creating a business, but instead about taking that business and incorporating it into body, being, and balance “So tip two would be don’t focus on just business, create a life.”
- Take 100% ownership for your results: Throughout Beauchamp’s career, he’s noticed that the professionals who take ownership for their results are the ones who succeed. They’re the ones who are able to move that business to the next level because they’re not blaming others for setbacks or failures. Instead, they learn to take responsibility and hold themselves accountable, in business but also in their personal lives.
- Develop and practice powerful habits: Habits are what shape us. “We’re running habits every single day of our lives, some of them are positive and some are negative,” he said. It helps to cultivate habits that serve your interests. Leaders should create daily routines and daily rituals that set themselves and their teams up for success.
- Just keep score and know your numbers: To succeed, it helps to know what your leading and lagging indicators are. This allows you to know if the efforts you’re undertaking are working or not. “You’d be shocked at how many professionals don’t know what their closing ratios are, how much it costs them to acquire a customer, what’s the lifetime value of a merchant to them or how many touches they need to make in order to bring a merchant on board,” said Beauchamp. You don’t need a million numbers, he pointed out, just enough to keep track of whether or not you’re effective.
Those interested in learning more or acquiring a copy of How to Survive and Thrive in the Merchant Services Industry can do so here. You can receive a copy of the book for free if you pay shipping and handling.