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The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 07, 2007 • Issue 07:06:01


Cool your jets, mighty MLSs

Work smarter, not harder, so the trusty adage goes. Well, says who? Most of the time, success involves working smarter, harder and longer. If you, as ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs), want your residuals to grow, it is going to take fortitude.

Our society puts so much emphasis on instant gratification. Turn on any TV station in the wee hours, for example. You will be bombarded with weight loss offers promising to melt pounds off within days or investment advice pledging a financial killing in two weeks. Even if you haven't succumbed to the late night infomercial, you probably still are a bit of an instant gratification junkie. Don't think so?

Go online. Visit a Web site that is slow to load. How long do you wait before hitting the reload button? Three seconds? Five? How soon do you give up altogether and skip to another site? We are fortunate to live in an age wherein we can get many things without much of a wait. We rarely need patience. We have quick service restaurants and on-demand cable.

If we need documents from a bank or insurance company, we can have them faxed or e-mailed within minutes, view them on the Web, or even download and print them ourselves. Remember when such access to information would take a week or more and involve the postal service? The downside to such advancements is we now expect results pronto _ all the time. However, the worthwhile things in life really do require commitment and toil.

There is no instant way to build a client list, create solid relationships and earn your customers' respect. It can be frustrating to wait for goals to reach fruition. But, it's worth it. It takes years to build relationships that are so strong your merchant will not leave you for lower-priced offers.

It can take a year or more just to earn a client's trust. But, once you have it, it will last. Merchants expect results yesterday, too. They want to boost revenues, minimize losses, and maximize employee investments _ the sooner the better. However, none of these can occur overnight. Each requires an investment of money, effort and time.

As a sales professional, it is your job to help merchants understand what it takes to realize value that lasts. They may be lured by shortcuts to boost immediate profits, but will the tactics pay off in the long run? Probably not. Educate your clients on the pitfalls of hasty remedies, and make sure they understand the likely long-term effects.

If you tell merchants that a solution you offer could help boost their sales, they may expect to see a 30% increase in revenue the first month. Don't let that happen. While it's important for you to get signed agreements, it's even more important that you make sure merchants have realistic expectations.

Your customers may be disappointed to hear they won't see results for a few months. But, that is nothing compared to how upset they will be if you let them believe their business will boom in a heartbeat.

Make this mistake, and their disgust will walk them right out of your portfolio. There are no short cuts. Cultivate patience. Fueled by perseverance and dedication, your hard work will pay off _ in time. end of article

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