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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 26, 2022 • Issue 22:12:02


What to do when results disappoint

When reviewing your endeavors for 2022, as an ISO, merchant level salesperson or other merchant services professional, you may find that some projects, products or business relationships didn't go as planned.

Maybe you invested in a new CRM system to make your outreach and onboarding more efficient, but after months of use, you found no improvement whatsoever. Or perhaps you launched a new product but, despite market research done beforehand indicating it would be a hit, merchants simply weren't interested when it rolled out. Maybe you established a referral partnership that resulted in zero new business.

When this sort of thing happens, there comes a time when you have to make a difficult decision: should you dig in and endeavor to improve the situation, or should you stop working on it and move on?

Factors to consider

When I've faced this type of situation in the past, considering the following three questions has helped my deliberations:

  1. How much of my resources and time have I invested in the project? Sometimes if you've been investing in something for an extended period, it's hard not to feel like a failure when determining whether, in the face of negligible results, it's time to let go. It can be hard to be objective in the face of this, but it is essential to be as objective as possible when assessing whether further investment is warranted.
  2. Are there possible solutions or new approaches to the problems that I haven't identified and tried? If you've brainstormed in depth and tried a variety of approaches, but not improved your results, it could mean that the particular initiative or relationship is not feasible or simply not a good fit for your company.
  3. Are there other promising opportunities that I could realistically pursue? If the ongoing project that's eating into your time and resources is lackluster at best, it's worth it to investigate other projects that may be a much better fit for you.

Pros and cons

It is essential to weigh the pros and cons when faced with something that's not coming close to meeting expectations. Getting your thoughts down on paper or in a digital file can be helpful. List questions about the project/product/relationship in one column, and then in three associated columns answer yes, I'm not sure, or no. Naturally, questions should be tailored to your situation. When it comes to a product, for example, one question could be, Do I believe wholeheartedly in this product? For a relationship, you might ask, Does this relationship bring out my best and that of my partner?

You may decide, despite frustrations, it's worth staying the course for now. You also may find, after examining the situation from multiple angles, that you were mistaken about the source of dismal results, and now that you've clarified the true origin of the problem, you can act decisively to remedy the situation. Or you may decide that in 2023, you're just going to move on. And that's just fine. You're not a failure if you do. You're a smart payments professional. end of article

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