By Marc Beauchamp
I've been discussing strategic planning over the last few articles. Part of the strategic planning process is evaluating your current product lineup and ensuring you have the right programs and products that add real value to your merchant base.
As the industry evolves and changes, so does the role of a merchant-focused salesperson. The days of solely offering merchant services are over; sales consultants now need to be current on a whole host of programs and products such as POS systems, online ordering and ecommerce implementation, mobile and QR code payment acceptance, gift/loyalty and chargeback programs, compliance solutions, working capital, API integrations and much more.
What I want to discuss in this article is how new products or services can help create new revenue opportunities for your organization. As I interact with ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) daily, I'm seeing more and more of them embracing new products or services to help them reduce attrition, open new markets, increase their bottom line or give them a competitive edge.
Traditional product lines such as cash discounting, debit, check and gift card processing are the mainstays for most MLS offices. If you're stuck in a one-size-fits-all product offering, the industry is going to leave you in the dust. As the business continues to evolve, a wealth of new product options will come to market.
Here are several examples that I'm seeing out in the marketplace:
With all these options it can get confusing, but rest assured merchants are looking for value-added solutions from trusted suppliers that can help them improve their bottom line.
If you are not providing the solutions clients need and want, guess what? Someone else will. I'm certainly not advocating adding several new products at once, but this may be a good time to investigate what's out there and determine if there are any synergistic fits with your existing business model.
Done correctly, adding a hit new product can make a major impact to your bottom line and reinvigorate your sales staff. Done incorrectly, a failed new product launch can be a disaster to profit margins, reputation and staff motivation.
Before adding a new product or services consider these factors: profit potential, market opportunity, competitive environment, product implementation and ongoing service commitment. Following is a discussion of each:
It's essential to think through the entire process to make sure all the bases are covered. There must be a large enough market and a real need for a successful launch.
There is pent up demand and great opportunity ahead of us in 2021. Business owners want to leverage technology, improve productivity and trim costs. Now is the perfect time to take a look at new and exciting products that can provide a clear competitive edge in your market area. Be committed to being a solution provider and to adding value to your clients and you can't help but have a fabulous year. Good luck!
Marc Beauchamp is author of Survive and Thrive in the Merchant Services Industry and founder of Bankcard Life, a community for payments professionals. He is offering a free copy of his book to all payments professionals at www.bankcardlife.com/greensheet. Marc welcomes your comments and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.
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