What's in an acronym? In the case of merchant level salesperson (MLS), it describes what sales reps in the payments industry do: serve merchants directly all day long by working the phones, going on sales calls, translating the complexities of interchange to merchant clients and solving card acceptance problems that arise.
But try an experiment for a moment. Take away "salesperson" from MLS and add "sales leader." It gives a whole new perspective to MLS, doesn't it? But what exactly is a merchant level sales leader?
A sales leader is someone like you who tracks down leads and initiates contact with potential merchant clients. It is someone in whom an ISO invests great responsibility for persuading - through superior sales skills, of course - prospects to join its merchant portfolio fold.
As leaders, MLSs are never relegated to the bottom of the payments industry food chain. Leaders don't get stepped on. Leaders tell everyone else to get out of the way so they can do their thing.
Leaders are tough, too. Does a street smart, savvy, hard-nosed, persuasive individual seem like a pushover to you?
In short, MLSs seen through this lens are recognized as the indispensable members of the payments industry they truly are. After all, how would banks and other financial institutions reach merchants if not through the expertise and skill of MLSs?
Let's take the meaning of MLS a step further - into the realm of the metaphor. Here, MLS doesn't just stand for merchant level salesperson or sales leader, but also what the MLS represents: a spearhead, a laser-guided warhead - a smart bomb.
So, an MLS is a weapon in an ISO's arsenal, one that locks on its target, does not vary from its trajectory, is single-minded in its purpose, and makes quite an impression on impact.
An MLS does not explode or do damage of any sort. However, like a member of the United States Marine Corps, an MLS is imbued with purpose, a rock-solid strategy, and the intellectual tools and physical stamina to pull it off.
When an MLS goes off, havoc and misery are not rained down. Instead, the MLS provides clarity, convenience and better business practices for merchant clients.
And this is done by providing cost effective products and services, backed up by superior customer service.
Merchants understand that the value added products MLSs sell increase foot traffic and, thus, the bottom line. It isn't the light of hellfire, mayhem and destruction that the merchant sees in an MLS's eyes. But the merchant sees the light nonetheless. An MLS, ladies and gentlemen, is Rambo with a briefcase and brains.
Surveys in recent years have revealed worker dissatisfaction with their jobs. More and more these days, it seems Americans don't like what they do for a living.
Many jobs, in fact, are dull and boring. But the work of an MLS isn't one of those jobs.
It only takes a little imagination to see the possibilities. Just rethink that acronym and what it means and realize the importance of an MLS in the payments industry.
In the big picture, whatever acronym describes what you, as MLSs, do for a living is not important. You are much more than any mere combination of letters.
It's how you approach your job that matters, what you bring to that huge chunk of your life devoted to job survival and prosperity.
You're a sales warrior, a sales ninja, or whatever archetype catches your imagination and inspires you to do the best at your job that you possibly can.
You are a superhero at your job if you want to be. You are Super MLS!
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