The Green Sheet Online Edition
April 22, 2013 • Issue 13:04:02
Get your message out, socially
For ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs), it's easier to grow business through referrals than cold calls. A potential new merchant customer who was referred to you by someone he or she knows is more likely to listen to your pitch than a merchant who has no connection to you whatsoever.
The basis of referrals is just that: connections. You process for merchant A. Merchant B doesn't know you, but does know merchant A. Because of that connection, merchant B will hear you out. How bad can you be, after all? You know merchant A.
Now take that simple arithmetic and apply it to social media. Merchant A is on Facebook. That merchant wants to share great news: a new loyalty program is bringing in new business. Merchant B is friends with merchant A on Facebook and reads the post.
Suddenly, merchant B is interested in using that loyalty program, too. But so are merchants C, D and E, since they are all friends with merchant A. Suddenly, they are all interested in that loyalty program.
The virtual megaphone
It is the viral nature of social media that begs to be exploited by sellers. But if you are blogging and posting without tangible results, the problem may be that you are doing the online version of cold calling.
Telling the online community about your leadership role in payments and the innovative products you sell will likely fall on deaf ears. The secret, therefore, is not so much for ISOs and MLSs to promote themselves online, but to get others to do the promoting for them.
The easiest way to accomplish this is simply to ask merchants in your messaging that if they like the service offered, to post about it online. Happy merchants are eager to share their good stories about excellent service. All they might need is a reminder to do so.
Of course, this strategy will not be successful if you don't supply excellent products and service. Social media can be the greatest word-of-mouth marketing tool for your business - only you can't be the voice behind the megaphone.
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