The Green Sheet Online Edition
July 09, 2012 • Issue 12:07:01
Calling all partners
I've heard that some of the larger ISOs hold meetings with their partners, including vendors, cash advance outfits, gift and loyalty providers, etc., and smaller ISOs and agents working through them. What goes on at these meetings? How are they different than regional acquirers meetings? What objectives do they meet? What are the advantages to having these types of events?
SaveOn Merchant Services
Periodic meetings with partners have benefits both for the ISOs hosting them and for the partners who attend. Partner meetings are similar to regional acquirer meetings in that they offer a balance of educational, networking and social opportunities. They differ in several ways, as well.
First, ISOs hosting their own meetings can gear the agenda to meet their specific business needs. Perhaps an ISO is launching a new mobile payment initiative.
A partner meeting enables the ISO to provide attendees with the requisite information about the program, such as why the ISO selected this particular program, how to sell merchants on its benefits, how the software and hardware work together, how to implement the program, who to contact when you need technical assistance and how to provide ongoing support.
Or maybe the ISO has completely revamped the company's website. A partner meeting gives the ISO a chance to demonstrate all of the site's cutting-edge capabilities and how to take advantage of them. It also enables the ISO to test run the site and correct any problems that come to light.
Another example could be that the ISO has noticed an increase in merchant churn over the last quarter and devotes a portion of the meeting to gathering in-depth information about what's actually going on out in the field in an effort to pinpoint the problems and solve them.
For attendees, partner meetings offer an opportunity to see presentations geared specifically to their business needs, as opposed to the more general industry knowledge offered at regional acquirers meetings.
Participants can become better informed about the equipment, software, business practices and sales materials they use on the job. They can present questions that most concern them to knowledgeable people who are vested in their success.
Partner meetings also tend to be smaller than acquirer meetings, giving people ample opportunity to get to know each other.
They afford all participants, many of whom are independent entrepreneurs running sole proprietorships, a chance to feel connected with one another and the group brought together by the ISO; to reinforce common, mutually beneficial goals; and to become reinvigorated and inspired.
Both types of meetings provide worthwhile resources for professional development; we recommend you attend as many as you can.
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