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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Transportation payments in transition

News

Industry Update

Financial reform bill passes Senate, interchange targeted

Why won't Apple take cash for iPads?

PCI SSC unveils new PTS requirements

Trade Association News

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Prepaid's role in monetizing social media

A new benefits option for Floridians

Views

The drive to innovate

Scott Henry
VeriFone Inc.

Canada: An untapped marketplace

Jeffrey Shavitz
Charge Card Systems Inc.

Education

Street SmartsSM:
What does a merchant get for a PCI fee? - Part 1

Ken Musante
Eureka Payments LLC

The art of cross-marketing: How to maximize existing client relationships and boost sales

Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

Consult your way to success

Tom Hennigan
Retail Cloud

Digging into PCI - Part 12: Maintain a policy that addresses information security for employees and contractors

Tim Cranny
Panoptic Security Inc.

A primer on accountability

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

How to use technology to redefine today's economy

Daniel Burrus
Burrus Research Associates Inc.

Company Profile

NETSURION (formerly Vendor Safe Technologies)

New Products

Skimming alert system

VeriFone PED Authentication Service
Verifone Inc.

End-to-end bulwark

E3 Secure
Heartland Payment Systems Inc.

Inspiration

Change - it never changes

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 14, 2010  •  Issue 10:06:01

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The art of cross-marketing: How to maximize existing client relationships and boost sales

By Peggy Bekavac Olson

I've had the honor and privilege of serving our industry during the past few years as a member of the Electronic Transactions Association's Annual Meeting Program Planning Committee. The committee is charged with determining the overall format of the conference, selecting a keynote speaker, and planning and organizing the many plenary or breakout sessions held throughout the conference.

During this April's ETA Annual Meeting & Expo, you couldn't help but notice the upbeat atmosphere. Attendees and vendors in the payment chain believed that we, as an industry and as a country, are starting to see real signs of economic recovery.

That got me thinking about one of the plenary sessions that I was directly involved in, "The Art of Cross-Marketing: How to Maximize Existing Client Relationships and Boost Sales," and how value-added products and services can help fuel business recovery by jump-starting sales for merchant acquirers, ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs).

The value of cross-selling

It's common knowledge that selling to an existing customer is much easier and costs far less than new customer acquisition. Cross-selling value-added products and services provides an easy and realistic means of increasing revenue from your existing merchant base. These solutions also help you strengthen your business by providing new sources of income and profit while diversifying revenue streams.

Value-added solutions also allow you to address two of the top issues acquirers, ISOs and MLSs face in their businesses: merchant attrition and margin compression.

Complementary value-added solutions that meet real business needs strengthen customer relationships and improve loyalty and retention. There is a direct correlation between the number of products and services your merchants use and their "stickiness." The greater your product and service penetration, the less likely merchants are to turn to your competitors. Also, their supply chains are simplified by dealing solely with your company rather than several other vendors.

Value-added products and services help you differentiate your business, which is especially important since payment processing today is frequently viewed as a commodity service. The conversation during the sales process shifts from talking solely about price to discussing the benefits merchants can derive from value-added solutions such as increasing sales, improving cash flow, reducing costs, streamlining processes and mitigating risk.

Single relationships, based solely on delivering credit and debit services to merchants, are inferior in every way to multifaceted relationships built on the delivery of value-added solutions.

The range of products and services

Today, a spectrum of value-added products and services is available for you to offer your merchants. Traditional applications - from check verification, gift cards, prepaid phone cards and loyalty programs to age verification, time and attendance, payroll, and electronic bill payment - are already attractive to many merchants and payment services providers.

Some of the more recent entrants and opportunities include dynamic currency conversion, remote deposit capture (RDC), online banking e-payments (OBeP) via automated clearing house payments, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance programs, chargeback and data breach insurance, merchant cash advance, and e-mail and mobile-based marketing programs.

Opportunities even exist to sell unconventional value-added solutions like professional services: think prepaid legal and health care referral services, computer support and repairs, and financial services.

Helping you compete

In the Aite Group LLC report Acquisition and Retention in Today's Merchant Acquiring World, merchant acquirers and ISOs surveyed indicated that revenues from value-added services made up about 15 percent of annual revenues in 2007 and that they expect this to almost double by 2010.

Value-added products and services help you compete, but how do you make money with these solutions? Many value-added solutions that run in conjunction with payment applications produce additional transaction and service revenue for your business when implemented. Others help generate referral income and residuals.

Some value-added solutions employ a revenue-sharing model, making them even more attractive to you and your merchants. Another Aite report, Merchant Acquiring in 2010: A Preview, revealed that 67 percent of merchant acquirers and ISOs surveyed indicated they are "somewhat" to "very likely" to invest in new products and services and cross-sell during 2010.

So let's go back to this spring's ETA Annual Meeting & Expo. More than 100 conference participants attended "The Art of Cross-Marketing" plenary session, which profiled RDC, OBeP and chargeback and data breach insurance.

Speakers gave an overview of each value-added solution, identified the market opportunity and target markets, and discussed how to approach prospects and communicate key benefits and solution value. They also defined revenue potential for acquirers, ISOs and MLSs and how to successfully implement these solutions.

Creating cross-selling campaigns

How do you choose which value-added products and services to offer from the myriad available, and how do you create effective cross-selling campaigns? Here's some guidance to help you through the process:

New value-added solutions address market opportunities as well as meet merchant needs and expectations. These value-added solutions can increase your revenue, strengthen merchant loyalty, improve customer value and make your business stand out from the competition. Which ones will you use to propel your business in this time of economic recovery?

Peggy Bekavac Olson recently founded Strategic Marketing, a full-service marketing and communications firm specializing in financial services and electronic payment companies, after serving as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for TSYS Acquiring Solutions for more than five years. She can be reached at 480-706-0816 or peggyolson@smktg.com. Information about Strategic Marketing can be found at www.smktg.com.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | Harbortouch | USAePay | IRISCRM.COM | Humboldt Merchant Services