Attention all financial services professionals: Check your ties, jackets, dresses and fancy shoes at the door. The Western States Acquirers Association will hold its 2008 conference at the Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sept. 24 and 25. This year's theme is ISOs in Paradise because WSAA wanted to provide topics and information in a comfortable environment.
"I think we're going to do something unique from what we've done in the past," said Ken Elderts, President of WSAA. "This is one of the last shows of the year, so we want to let our hair down and make it restful but very educational.
We realize that we can get business done in a relaxed atmosphere, and if we provide good content and the right speakers we can accomplish our objectives at the end of the day."
According to Steve Eazell, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Secure Payment Systems Inc. and Vice President for WSAA, the association put together an agenda focused on generating new types of niche markets, new value added services and getting down to the "nuts and bolts" of executing sales strategies.
"We discuss strategies that are going to work for you now and in the future," Eazell said. "If you're going out there and just kind of doing a shotgun approach, then you're probably going to feel the pain associated with the economy.
"There are no true barriers to success. It's all based on executing the right plan regardless of the state of the economy, and one of our goals next month is to help attendees formulate and execute the right sales strategies."
Despite the laid-back theme, all payments industry professionals are encouraged to attend. "The theme title is a loose, generic term," Eazell said. "We want merchant level salespeople, bank reps, VARs, lead generation companies, software providers, and intermediary solicitors of bank cards.
"This is open to everyone that has anything to do with bankcards or electronic transactions."
Speakers for this year's conference are Richard Fenton, author of Go For No, and payments industry consultant Paul Martaus. "Martaus really is a guru in our industry," Elderts said. "He's been a consultant in our industry for many years to some of the top Fortune 500 companies, as well as some of the biggest ISOs in the country."
Martaus will address many of the issues associated with legislation recently passed or under consideration on Capitol Hill, and how the U.S. Congress' involvement in the payments industry will affect future business.
In his keynote address, Fenton will give a positive spin on the variety of noes ISOs and MLSs hear almost on a daily basis.
"Sales agents who constantly canvass get discouraged when they hear no," Eazell said. "Fenton talks about celebrating the noes, and asking how it is that you know you sold a merchant everything they want until they've actually told you no. It's really a cool concept and a new way to look at sales." For more information and registration, visit www.westernstatesacquirers.com.
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