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Interview with Robert Heinrich on structuring relationships

Structure partnerships

Robert Heinrich, vice president of sales at Simpay, begins relationships by asking new MLSs about their goals and business management preferences. Questions range from how they sell and service accounts to how the company can help them and their customers grow and scale. "When agents sign up, structuring the relationship is the first thing we discuss," Heinrich said. "Do they want to build their own merchant relationships and service the account? Or would they prefer to sign new business and leave the relationship building and support to us? Our most successful MLSs forge close bonds with their merchants. We provide the tools and support they need to build long-term, mutually profitable relationships."

Heinrich, a payments industry veteran and Certified Payments Professional, said he learned the value of having the right people and processes in place from direct experience. "When processing and technical issues arise, sales partners need a mentor who can help them," he added. "Having immediate access to transaction data and people who understand the nuances of software and payment processing is absolutely critical. I know, because I've been there."

Customize services

As MLSs build professional relationships, they are also building trust and looking for ways to engage with merchants through additional product and service offerings. Heinrich proposed having high-level discussions with merchants on how to help them grow their business. Agents who understand a customer's needs, pain points and priorities can curate the right blend of services and support. Ultimately, it's about tailoring the journey for each merchant, he stated.

"Let's remember, everyone is different," Heinrich said. "A one-man shop wants the service provider to take all the calls and provide level 2 support. A hands-on business owner wants access to transaction data. When a customer calls in and says, 'I ran this twice,' the salesperson and merchant can access transaction data on a secure portal. Some merchants want that access; others prefer to let the service provider handle the details."

Heinrich summarized Simpay's two priorities as making solutions understandable and easy to sell for MLSs and user-centric for merchants. "We all know margins are dwindling," he added. "We offer a portfolio of solutions that are easy to talk about and can simplify your business. We teach and support MLSs who have the time, energy and interest in selling our products. Referral partners also get a percentage of income but not as much as direct sellers."

This article originally appeared Jan. 28, 2019, in Issue 19:01:02 of The Green Sheet