The Green Sheet Online Edition
February 23, 2015 • Issue 15:02:02
Personalized greetings, lasting relationships
Selling merchant services is frequently described as a relationship business in which who you know can be just as important as what you know. However, when building a book of business, merchant level salespeople (MLSs) may find it challenging to stay current and connected with new, prospective and existing merchant customers.
John Deckard joined the industry in 2007, well after the Wild West days when the market was not yet saturated; terminal leasing brought instant, steady income to MLSs; and disruptors were not yet on the horizon. He knew he had to build rewarding personal relationships with his merchant customers to have staying power. Eight years later, he attributes his success to a consultative selling style and excellent follow-up – enhanced by his use of SendOutCards.
Card and gift catalogs
SendOutCards' library of greeting cards is designed to appeal to a diversified audience from all professions and backgrounds. Customers can choose from more than 20,000 card designs in an array of categories. They can also create original greetings using their preferred fonts and uploading their own images and photographs.
It's also possible to create poster-sized prints for clients. In addition, the gift catalog offers a number of edible and ornamental gifts that can be paired with cards to create customer appreciation packages.
SendOutCards also offers a full set of customer relationship management (CRM) tools created to help sales professionals manage growing customer databases while also nurturing uniquely personal relationships with individual customers.
MLSs can use the SendOutCards contact manager, calendar and mobile app to organize and maintain customer histories and milestones from their mobile devices, which helps to ensure they never miss important occasions or dates.
Professionals can also schedule card and gift shipments well in advance of actual dates to just one or up to tens of thousands of customers at a time. They can also employ the campaign organization tool for individual targeted promotions or mass mailings, or for campaigns that are staged throughout the year. Cards can be timed to go out, for example, seven days before a birthday.
Integration with social media
Sendcere, SendOutCard's virtual social sharing platform, enables users and recipients to share digital greetings and e-cards on social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Friends who click on cards sent to them will be directed to the SendOutCards website where they can view their cards and browse the gift offerings in the company catalog.
Deckard's positive experience using SendOutCards led him to become a distributor in 2006. "In my world, I don't hard sell anything," he said. "I try to be more of a consultant than a salesperson. When someone receives a card in the mail a day or two after a meeting, it can make that little extra difference that makes you stand out. I like to include brownies or a Starbucks card when I'm thanking someone."
Deckard noted that SendOutCards works the same way for one person or for 10,000 people. He prefers to create his own cards, uploading images of pictures he has taken with his customers, noting that people especially enjoy seeing their own pictures.
Retain existing customers, reward referrals
Each time he receives a referral, Deckard follows up immediately with a personal message and gift mailed out by SendOutCards.
"I don't have to worry anymore about missing an important milestone or birthday," he said. "I can create a card scheduled to go out after a merchant has been processing for a month or six months that asks how we're doing. I can send out a thank you to celebrate a one-year anniversary. I can create a campaign for one person or 10,000 people with seasonal messages timed to go out at certain times of each year."
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