Invest in your customers’ success by providing expertise, advice, and advocacy.
Companies are reminded each day that every business is now a technology business. That reality may not push your larger clients out of their comfort zones, but for most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with little or no technical expertise, this is a challenging truth to face. It has been particularly hard throughout 2020 as brick-and-mortar merchants had to rely more heavily on tech solutions (or implement them for the first time) just to stay in business. Some merchants threw in the towel, but some had an advantage: The power of a partnership with you.
Partners are more than just sales reps.
The most successful value-added resellers (VARs), point of sale (POS), and payment solution providers understand that their role should be more than simply selling the latest payment devices. Don't miss out on opportunities to provide your merchants with value-added technologies, such as ecommerce and online payment platforms, mobile solutions, and virtual terminals. Sometimes it's simply a matter of recommending a point of sale (POS) system that’s a better fit for your customer’s specific needs.
In 2020, as merchants continue to adapt their businesses during coronavirus shutdowns and expand their operations to enable online ordering, curbside pickup, and contactless customer engagements, payments are a crucial part of those efforts. Some businesses have delayed plans because they didn’t understand how they could adapt their businesses to manage payments on multiple channels while accurately reconciling their books each day. That's one of the reasons why having a partnership with a trusted advisor is so important.
Rolling up your sleeves and helping your clients optimize their payment solutions will also help you become more knowledgeable – not only about the solutions themselves but about the features your clients really need. It will also enable you to be an advocate for merchants with your payment vendor, providing feedback that can help them deliver better solutions and services to the businesses in your portfolio. Furthermore, you’ll grow as an authority in your network, becoming the go-to person to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Put the power of partnership to work for your portfolio.
Establishing a partnership rather than simply selling payment solutions will help you deliver real value to your customers and build stickier, longer-lasting relationships with them. When you're a partner, rather than just a salesperson, you can shorten your clients’ learning curve by educating them on how their payment solutions work, as well as how to access invaluable reports that will help them better manage their businesses. You can also keep them informed of activities such as firmware updates for their payment devices. That way they can plan ahead and minimize any disruption to their businesses.
You'll also want to keep merchants up to date on regulatory requirements that impact them. For example, you can take the lead and make sure your merchants have updated W-9s to resolve Tax Filing Name (TIN) mismatches. This step can help merchants avoid backup withholding, which can negatively impact their cash flow.
Communication is key.
Like any good partnership, you need to communicate effectively and be accessible. Listen to your merchants, paying special attention to their business problems, and how the varied payment solutions available to you can help solve them. For example, as of this writing, merchants may still need help expanding their capabilities to enable contactless payments during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. When is the last time you discussed new payment solutions with your clients? Show them the latest options available that they can take advantage of both today and in the future to keep up with their competitors and protect their profits. Demonstrate that providing them with the latest payment technologies is just one more integral part of the total payment solutions you provide.