How to Ask Prospects for a Confidentiality Statement Regarding Proposals

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

Have you ever wrapped up a proposal call where you and the merchant just seemed to hit it off? When you were on the phone speaking with them, your game was really on that day, you understood their challenges, you provided great savings. At the end of the conversation you knew that deep down you and your company would be the best fit for their business. Then they hit you with the:

Mr. Merchant: “It looks good—better than the other company. I’m waiting for one last proposal from our existing provider. I’ll let you know Monday with a final decision.”


“We are shopping around, and we have one more processor we sent our statement to.”

Monday comes and your heart is pounding. You make your call and get:

“Thank you for your proposal, however, we have decided to stay put because our processor has decided to match your rates.”


No matter what you’re selling we have all been through this. Not just merchant level sales. We’ll just keep it to this 1 step I do during every discovery before I ever share a proposal.

We call it getting a confidentiality statement. I promise you all, if you execute this your closing ratio is going to jump through the roof. As sales reps, how do you ask the prospect not to share your proposal? It’s simple. Upon receiving your statement from the prospect, you need to some sort of “discovery” where you find out the “dominant buying motives” of the merchant.

Please refer to my past blog on How to Outshine the Competition-Discovery Call

Once you know what the client is asking for and their business operations, you need to ask the merchant:

“Look I almost feel silly even asking you about this, but we are going to ask you to please keep our numbers confidential and do not take it back to your existing provider or beat them up for better rates."

Most of the time they are going to say ok. They will not share your numbers with their existing processor.

For the times that the merchant says:

“I can not promise you that” (which they may for any number of reasons, the most I here is because of their loyalty to their current processor)

The best rebuttal here is:

“Can I suggest you tell your current provider that you are shopping around. What is the best deal they can do for you? Then compare their savings with our proposal and see where we stand.”

Every time, the merchant is thankful for this suggestion. They are understanding of the original request and will even respect you more as a sales professional for having the guts to ask them this. I promise if you do this your closing ratio will go up.

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