Who am I and why should you trust me? Good question, you savvy business owner or operator. My name is Jeffrey Poehlmann and I'm a writer/filmmaker, not a banker and not an employee of any processing company, but in my spare time (read: pretty much all the time), I provide consulting services regarding the Merchant Services industry. I can be hired strictly as a consultant to assist businesses with negotiating or setting up their services, or I can do all the work for free by taking businesses on as my personal clients and providing the processing services through companies with which I have established relationships. Strangely, I do this for less than the processing companies' book rates, because I sincerely believe that they already make too much money for merely moving other people's funds around. You can read more of my articles on the processing industry (and a few other topics) by visiting me here. It's a good visit. Plus you might realize that I'm a decent person with a multi-dimensional personality who isn't your typical pitbull sales rep.
So how do I make money off the deal? That's a good question, too, you clever merchant! Most sales reps in this industry work for bonuses based on inflated plans and long-term contracts. I get bonuses sometimes, too, but usually they are quite small because, well, I don't sell my clients on inflated plans. A mentor of mine told me early on that he never tries for bonuses, he just tries to make deals and get new clients by offering them the lowest rates he could. Sounded like a good idea to me. So I traditionally undercut the preferred rates as much as I can afford to do. The other way that reps generally make money in this field is through profit sharing. That means, I take ownership of your business. It matters to me and I advocate on your behalf, because I want you to do well and be profitable for the long haul. Although I cut your rates as much as I can, after the hard costs of processing are figured in I still split the remaining "profits" with the company that does the processing. This is still less expensive for them than having staff agents running around in the field, costing them every hour. In fact, it's cheaper for them and a heck of a lot cheaper for you, and it's really not all that much work for me, either (most of the time).
Did I mention that I believe in full disclosure? Well, I do, and I endeavor to answer any and all pertinent questions. It makes perfect sense to me that a prospective merchant would want to know why to set an account up through me rather than directly through the processing company. I only work with companies that are willing to let me provide the best rates, terms and service options. I hand-pick the products I am interested in and do my best to provide the options that my clients need. If I can't provide for the needs of a client, I still offer my support in getting the best deal from whichever provider they ultimately must choose. It's just how I roll. And those clients who stay with me are fortunate enough to have me as an additional resource with my phone and email at the ready.
You can also email me with other questions or ideas for articles. And if you are an agent or publisher, did I happen to mention that I'm a writer? That's correct, I do have a novel and a few screenplays sitting here on my desk. Sure, I'd be happy to send them over. I'm easy like that.
The Real Client Endorsement Section!
Here is something that I always appreciate: when a merchant I work with is so happy that they actually go out of their way to endorse me. I've gotten most of my clients through word of mouth and I am proud of that. I respect my clients' privacy, so I rarely will mention whose processing I handle. On the other hand, it is nice when I get a message like this one:
"I don't know how Jeffrey makes a living doing this, but I have been astounded at the level of customer service he has given me since opening a merchant account. I have pestered him several times asking about rates, and how the different charges work and he has always been extremely patient and taken time to explain everything that I have asked him about. This guy knows merchant accounts, how they work, and what kind of account you should have depending on your monthly activity. When my monthly activity increased, Jeffrey looked back over my account and made sure I was getting the best rates possible. If you want an expert to lead you through the minefield of merchant account mumbo jumbo, Jeffrey is your man and I highly recommended his services"
Bob WennerstromBlue Streak Appliance