Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The academy is the brainchild of 18-year payments industry veteran Will Harovas, National Business Advisor for GKIC. Its training program is based upon marketing strategies that reportedly have generated millions of dollars in revenues for GKIC clients over the past 30 years. The academy's dual purpose is to attract merchants for ISOs and to train merchants to become successful over the long-term.
The academy is designed to deliver a complete multimedia learning and mentoring system to help merchants grow their businesses. Its online, module-based system is available to merchants 24/7. The program also features weekly teleseminar sessions presented by prominent leaders in business and marketing, a mentoring package, discounted private coaching, merchant tools and access to local chapter workshops.
Merchants don't have direct access to the program. Instead, GKIC is offering a limited number of licensing partnerships to ISOs, who have full control of merchant access to the academy. ISO partners can purchase a package of licenses, and each license enables one merchant access to the program's platform. ISOs pay a flat monthly fee for the licenses, rotating merchants in and out of the program as determined by the ISO.
"GKIC has created this first ever, low-cost, flat-fee licensing model that allows ISOs to give away free licenses in the training academy as a 'magnet' to acquire sales leads, convert existing merchants as well as attract high-quality agents and referral partners," Harovas said. "It makes the ISO's job easier to attract agents, and it makes the agent's job easier to get the attention of the business owner when they can give this away to them.
"It also changes the conversation. I'm going into a pizza shop saying, 'I'm going to save you $10 a month on your processing, and if you board with us, I'm going to give you a training academy that's valued at $5,000 a year. You can have that, ongoing, for as long as you are a merchant of ours.'"
According to Harovas, the program also differentiates ISOs targeting trade associations and joint venture partners. As an incentive, ISOs can extend the free training offer to any association member who signs with the ISO for merchant services. He added that the program can be white-labeled by ISOs, "whether it be on landing pages or email marketing, however they want to do it."
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