Merchant Call Script
Notes:
Before starting your first call, it's recommended that you read through the script a few times to understand what you will be saying, and to also review the frequently asked questions (FAQs) located below the script so that you can quickly answer any questions a merchant may have when speaking with them.

Don't overthink it: it's perfectly natural to be nervous when doing your first few calls. Once you feel like you fully understand the script, get going and, after just a few calls, you'll be feeling confident.

Before getting on a call, prepare yourself by having the store's address handy - to be used during the call.

Color coding for this script:
Orange = custom text that you should replace with whatever is relevant to the call
Green = instructions for what to do or say next, based on the responses you're getting from the person on the other line
Black = what you will actually say on the call

You: Hi, my name is <Your Name> with <School Abbreviation (Example: "UCLA")>. May I speak with your manager please?
If they ask, what you're calling for, say: >>
"The coronavirus is hurting businesses around campus, and we'd like to help. I can speak with your manager to see if we can help your business recover as quickly as possible. Is your manager there now?"
If they say that the manager isn't available, say: >>
"What's the best time to reach them?

Let them answer.

You: Could you leave a message for me? What's his or her name?

Message to leave: "Great - please let <Manager Name> know that <Your Name> from <School Abbreviation> called and wants to speak about bringing you new students from campus. My number is <Your Number>"
Once the manager is on the line, say:

You: Hi <Manager Name> my name is <Your Name> with <School Abbreviation> - I'm sure your business is experiencing some tough times given the COVID-19 pandemic and we'd like to help.

Are you able to handle a lot more new customers than you're currently receiving?

Assuming they say yes:

Great. That's what we are set up to do for you.

We can bring you a steady stream of new customers. There's no cost to you for our service. We just ask that you provide our students with a student discount.

Are you currently offering a student discount?
If they say NO (they don't offer a discount), say: >>
<Manager Name> , if I can bring you a steady stream of new customers at no cost to you, can you offer a student discount across all your products and services?
If they say YES (they would be willing to offer a discount): >>
Great, what percentage can you offer?

Note: Once they give a percent discount, go to line 12 below for the next line of the script
If they say NO (they are not willing to offer a discount): >>
Could you not use new customers and more revenues? Are you guys shutting down?
If they say YES (they could use new customers): >>
Well how do you get new customers currently? Do you spend time or money on advertising or marketing or social media?

How about we take that off your hands? Could you use some more time for family or aspects of your business?

If they say YES (they would be willing to offer a discount): Great, what percentage can you offer?

Let them say the percent and if less than 25%, say: "How about 25 to 30 percent?"

Note: Once they give a percent discount, go to line 12 below for the next line of the script

If they say NO (they don't need new customers): "OK well sounds like you got something really great going on out there. Congratulations. I wish you more of the same great luck going forward. Thanks for your time. Bye now"
If they say NO (they don't need new customers): >>
"OK well sounds like you got something really great going on out there. Congratulations. I wish you more of the same great luck going forward. Thanks for your time. Bye now".
If they say YES (they offer discounts), say: >>
Great, what is your discount?

Note: Find out if it's a standard percentage across most or all products and services.

If it is standard (IE it's a simple percentage across all their products and services) and 25% or more, go to line 12 below, otherwise, choose one of the following paths:

If it IS NOT standard (IE not a simple percentage across all their products and services) say: >>
<Manager Name> , that's great, but if I can bring you a steady stream of new customers at no cost to you, can you offer a standard discount across all your products and services?

If they say NO they can't offer a standard discount, say: <Manager Name> , the way this thing works is that the higher the discount and the more straightforward and predictable it is, the more new customers you'll get. What can you do that gets you as close to possible to get to a standard across-the-board discount?

After they agree on a standard type of discount, go to line 12 below

If it IS standard (IE it's a simple percentage across all their products and services) and less than 25%, say: >>
<Manager Name>, that's great, but if I can bring you a steady stream of new customers at no cost to you, can you increase that to 25 to 30 percent across all your products and services?
LINE 12
<Manager Name> , every time a student saves one dollar with you because of your discount, five dollars will be added to your promotional budget with us – so the higher your discount, the more we promote you, and the more new customers you'll receive.

So if you go with a larger discount, 2 things will happen:

  • First, your business will get promoted more heavily

  • And second, your promotions with us will be more effective at attracting new customers for you, because students are attracted to the larger discounts of course
And that's why most merchants, even though we leave it up to them, end up with a larger discount in the range of 25 to 30 percent.

Do you see how that works?

If the merchant has less than 25% discount, say: "Would you like to leave it at <Amount of discount they offered> or would you like to increase it up to the 25 to 30 percent range to make your promotions more effective?"

If they ask: "How will you promote me?" or "How do you track me?", say: "We run a network of web sites and pages that university students use for communications, so we have a ton of ad space that we will use to promote you."

<Manager Name>, the last step to get you going is to activate this free service for you.

Are you available to meet at your location on <Example: Tuesday, July 25 at 10am or 1pm, or Wednesday, July 26 at 2pm or 4pm>?

Let manager confirm the time and date

Great - I will send you an email confirming our activation date. What's your email address and direct phone number?

Let them provide that information

OK, feel free to reach out any time you have questions or need anything.

Any final questions before I let you go?

If yes: Answer their questions (reference the FAQs below)

OK – I'm really looking forward to getting more customers over to you as quickly as possible. In the meantime, stay safe and I'll see you on <Insert Date/Time agreed to for activation appointment>
Frequently Asked Questions

What services are you offering?
We promote your business to the <School Abbreviation> student body, bringing you a steady stream of new customers at no cost to you.

We only ask that you provide an educational discount of your choosing to our students.

How much of an educational discount do I need to provide?
It's completely up to you.

For every $1 in discounts you provide to our students, we add $5 to your promotional budget that will be used to promote your business. Therefore, the larger your discount, the more promotions and new customers you'll receive.

Typically our merchant partners find that discounts in the 25% to 30% range are optimal for their business.

You are free to modify your educational discount at any time from your account.

How much will this service cost me?
There is no cost to you for this service.

How is this different from advertising on Google or social media?
Getting results from Google and social media generally requires a great deal of time, effort and expense to monitor and optimize.

And purchasing advertising will almost always cost you more than the revenue you'll generate from that advertising.

With our service, we do all the monitoring and optimizing for you, so you can stay focused on what you do best.

And since there's no cost to you, with our service you always end up ahead.

How do I get started?
Simply choose your educational discount, and then we'll set up a date/time to get your services activated.

We'll have you up and running, and receiving customers, in about one week.

Who is eligible to receive an educational discount?
Any university student, faculty or staff member

What if I already offer other discounts?
No problem! There is no contract for you to sign, no exclusivity, and no commitment when you partner with us.

Why should I use your service when I already have other marketing campaigns that are working?
We are focused on bringing you new student customers as they arrive to the area, often from other parts of the state, country or world.

That means that our service will provide you with a steady stream of new customers that other marketing vehicles are unable to reach or bring you.

In addition, our service is complimentary (free) and won't add costs to your marketing budget.

Are you affiliated with or work for the university?
We are not affiliated with the university, rather, we affiliate directly with the students, staff and faculty members.

How do you promote my business?
We run a network of web sites and pages that students use for communications, so we have a ton of promotional inventory and ad space that we use to promote your business.

How long will you promote my business for?
This is an on-going service for your business as there is a continual stream of new students coming to campus. However, there is no commitment on your part.

How do I know how much I've earned in promotional credits?
Your promotional balance can be found in your account.

Will you sell my data?
Your data is protected and never sold or shared.

Can I change my discount level after I set it?
Yes, you can change your discount level at any time.

How long am I committing to this program? What if I want to do stop participating?
There is no commitment on your part. Simply let us know you'd like to stop and you can exit the program.

Is there a minimum discount?
There is no minimum discount, however, the larger your discount, the more new customers you'll receive.

For every $1 in discounts you provide to our students, we add $5 to your promotional budget that's used to promote your business.

When you go with a larger discount, 2 things happen:

  • Your business gets promoted more because of your larger promotional budget

  • Those promotions are more effective at bringing you new customers, because students are attracted to the larger discounts
Most merchants find that educational discounts in the 25% to 30% range are optimal for their business.

Could you email me some more info?
Ask them for their email and send them email #1 in the email script series