How Can I Be Polite Without Costing Myself Referrals?


Wendy, I am currently in a series of InfoMinutes about my merchant services audits. A merchant services vendor is visiting tomorrow (I invited him, he knows what I do).  Although I’m not selling merchant services, I do address some of the unattractive service practices, and I don’t want to put my visitor on the spot.   

Is it appropriate for me to continue with my merchant services series while he is visiting?

Thanks, Darrell

So, I pondered this for a few minutes.

1: Darrell is in a six week series.
2: Staying on topic for six to 11 minutes is crucial to his referral success.
3: If he interrupts his series in order to be gracious to a visitor, he really is doing himself a disservice.
4: I want Darrell to get referrals.

Then I had a thought:  we’ve had Members synchronize their InfoMinutes. (The web designer, graphic designer, printer, photographer and writer all did InfoMinutes about catalogs for six weeks.) Could Darrell suggest syncing InfoMinutes to a first time Visitor? I called Darrell. He understood the concept immediately, and sent this email:

Matt, I am currently in my “Merchant Services/Electronic Payment Processing” InfoMinute series.  Below is what I plan on saying tomorrow. I wanted to show this to you ahead of time so that you could possibly craft an InfoMinute about how you DON’T withhold rate decreases from clients.  This way, we can tag team the group and see a synergy from our respective InfoMinutes.

“Annual fee adjustments, reductions in card transaction categories, and incentive programs can significantly affect a merchant’s profitability-just as increases can. These credit card processing rate decreases should be passed on to merchants. The question for my clients is are those reductions and incentives being passed along to them. By negotiating terms to ensure that processors pass the savings along to my clients, I ensure that my clients aren’t subjected to increases, and then excluded from decreases and incentives.  For example, my team audited the merchant services account for a wedding jewelry and accessories retailer. The retailer processed $55k a month, 80% of their sales being web-based. My team negotiated with their processor and secured over $38k in savings over a 36-month period. Returning money to my clients is what I do. I am a great referral for a local merchant who often speaks about wanting to reduce their operating expenses and save money.

 See you in the morning,  Darrell

 Matt replied 21 minutes later.

That’s great, thanks for the heads up. I’ll kick off my minute hitting on that and lead into our registration software which is our company focus for the month. Looking forward to visiting the group tomorrow.

Visitor confirmed.
Visitor comfortable.
Darrell profitable.

Success,  W!


Wendy, it executed well this morning.  People were wondering what I was up to!  Matt was very appreciative of my gesture, and I think he’ll be visiting with us again next week.   Darrell


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