So you are in the market for choosing a new POS (point-of-sale) system. You’re interested! You look around. This one over here looks nice. Yep, this is definitely the one!
I’m not saying you are wrong, but let’s just make sure we turn over all the rocks. Jumping in too quickly can lead to having a POS system that you ultimately end up regretting later. So how do we avoid that?
First: The POS Salespersons Goal
Before we get into what your salesperson is not telling you, let’s first visit what their main objective is. To sell you. Whatever it may be that they are presenting, their goal at the end of the day is to get the sale. I know that this most likely goes without saying, but sometimes their goal, by design, can get lost in the process.
A good salesperson will want to discuss your business. They will ask questions to find out what your current objectives, goals, and challenges are so that they can better understand where your business is today, where you want to take it tomorrow, and beyond. At least on the surface, this is how it comes across.
Through their questions, what is really going on is they are trying to figure out how to position their product once they begin their pitch. Coming along with that, they are trying to figure out which key points they can highlight and which key points they are going to try and navigate away from.
For instance, if you have an existing system already in place, inevitably you will hear some variation of a question similar to “So tell me what you wish your current system could do?”, or “What issues have you been having with your existing solution?”. Selling comes with a very large component of psychology. The more a salesperson can highlight positives and stay away from any negatives, the better chance they have of getting a sale that day. So how exactly should you go about combatting this to ensure you have the right POS system for your operation?
I’ve seen it too many times to count where a business ends up with the wrong POS solution for their operation. It might actually be a good system, but just not a good fit. Very quickly, the system becomes known as a POS for a different reason, if you know what I mean.
When you really start to dig into the reasons why the system isn’t a great fit, it turns out that there were some misconceptions about what the system could do. Most of the time, this is because the right questions were not asked during the sales process. Other times, it’s been because an owner or operator of a business didn’t receive a demo of the software (this still catches me off guard every time). Really?
Do me a favor…When purchasing a new point-of-sale system, please be sure to, at the very least, get a demo of the software. It’s a key step in the process. During the demo is a fantastic time to ask questions. In fact, it’s the ideal time.
However, before even heading into the demo, you should prepare any questions that you may have. More questions will naturally come up during the demo as you get a chance to see the software. But there are some questions that you should want answered during the demo, either as a part of the demo by the salesperson, or by you bringing them up.
The exact questions and range of topics that you ask are largely specific to your business, however here are some topics to heavily consider (by no means is this a complete list that you might ask):
- Reporting – Your business, and its growth, can largely be a factor of a systems reporting capabilities. Are there specific reports you use now that are integral to your operation? Are there reports that would make your life easier?
- Ease of use – In this fast paced world, the system should be easy to use. Pretty simply, quicker is better for so many reasons that I cannot even begin to get into them here. So yeah, ease of use.
- Integration – Do you take credit cards? If so, which merchants work with the system? Do you have employees and use a 3rd-party scheduling software? Are you a restaurant and work with UberEats, GrubHub, etc? Find out what integrations are available and if there are any in development.
- Installation – Have the process described. How much will they need from you? Will they be sending a representative out to install the system? Successfully using a system can often be traced back to how the software was set up and what training occurred.
- Support – All too commonly overlooked. Ask specific questions. What is the exact process when an issue arises? Don’t let a basic answer of “we offer 24/7 support” be enough. Be sure to use examples of past issues and ask how those would be handled. Customer Support can make or break your satisfaction in the long run so it’s best to address it beforehand.
The truth of the matter is that all POS systems have their pros and cons. Salespeople naturally, as we discussed earlier, will work to not sell against themselves and will not dive too deeply into the negatives. The only way many times to uncover the negative aspects of a system is to ask a lot of questions. If you don’t, you risk ending up with a system that could seriously hinder your operation.
I know, I know. You are probably getting to this point and wondering why I didn’t include cost as one of the key factors to ask questions about.
Let’s be clear. The price of a POS system is a huge factor. These systems are commonly expensive (many times the cost is hidden in fees and charges). So what gives?
Well, I tend to tell people that cost is the last factor that needs to be considered. I don’t mean last as in least important, but last as in the ultimate deciding factor. If you dive into cost too early though, you will become fixated on it and potentially miss the opportunity to ask questions about a system that could end up costing you much more than the sticker price in the long run.
After you’ve had a chance to go through a demo and ask all of your questions, the discussion of cost will naturally come up. But in reality, it’s not so much about the price. It is how much value could the POS system provide to your and then getting as much bang for your for your dollar within your budget as you can.
If you’ve spent the time to ask your questions, and talked with multiple companies, it will start to become glaringly apparent which is the correct decision for your business.
For those looking for more information or have questions about choosing your next POS, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.