The Green Sheet Online Edition
January 23, 2017 • Issue 17:01:02
How often should I contact my merchants?
With almost two years in the business under my belt, I have built a small portfolio. I can see the future will be bright if I maintain the right balance between getting new business and maintaining established relationships. I hear that it's important to maintain contact with your customer base, but how often should I be reaching out to them. I don't want to be an irritant.
Larry Truelove, Merchant Level Salesperson
That's an excellent question, and it recently came up in our MLS Forum. Benjamin Abel asked how regularly forum members keep in touch with merchants once they're up and running. Several members offered perspectives. One of them, Steve Norell, provided an answer that does a good job of summing up members' sentiments on the topic.
Here's what Norell wrote:
As I have stated to every person that either worked or represented me, if you are stopping to see a merchant just to say Hi, How's it going, you are wasting your time. However, if you are going there to do any or all of the following, then it makes sense:
- Introduce him to a new product that would make sense for him to use
- Discuss ways to achieve lower interchange rates
- Review new or coming changes from the brands or ourselves
- Buy something from him
- Review their statement so they understand it
- Respond to competitive issues
That is more than enough.
To see the full discussions, visit the MLS Forum, accessed through the Forums tab at the top of our home page. You'll need to register on our site to join discussions, but the process is quick and easy.
In our archives, there are also a number of helpful articles by contributing writers on the topic of merchant retention. Here are several that should interest you:
- "For richer or poorer: MLS views on customer longevity," by Dale S. Laszig, The Green Sheet, Oct. 14, 2014, issue 14:10:01
- "The best prospects are in our portfolio," by Peggy Bekavac Olson, The Green Sheet, Aug. 13, 2012, issue 12:08:01
- "Merchant retention, taking the initiative – Parts 1 and 2," by The Green Sheet Advisory Board, The Green Sheet, July 12 and 26, 2010, issues 10:07:01 and 10:07:02, respectively
- "Want a long-lasting relationship: Snail away," by Nancy Drexler, The Green Sheet, June 22, 2009, issue 09:06:02
- "The new age in customer retention," by Christian Murray, The Green Sheet, Jan. 12, 2009, issue 09:01:01
- "Money flows where enthusiasm grows," The Green Sheet, April 9, 2007, issue 09:04:01
How will you build your business in 2017?
What are your goals and strategies for merchant acquisition and retention in the coming year? Are you focusing on a particular vertical, a cutting-edge technology that solves a vexing merchant problem, new strategic partnerships? Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll welcome other feedback and suggestions at that email address, as well.
Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.