The era of cold-calling is coming to an end. That was one of the messages delivered by one of Mersey Maritime’s newest members at the February Face-2-Face breakfast session.
Graham Smith from US financial services giant Western Union, which specialises in moving cash around the world on behalf of businesses and individuals, addressed members at the packed session.
Founded in 1851, the company now generates annual revenues of more than $5bn. It processes 31 cash transactions every second of every day and each helps businesses send around $80bn across the globe each year.
“We are a cash business and we are moving money around the world all of the time,” said Graham. “We move cash for businesses and we aim to become the go-to resource for any business that is trading overseas.”
He added that joining Mersey Maritime was a key part of its strategy to build relationships with business partners all over the world. Western Union also has a relationship with Liverpool FC.
He explained: “Cold-calling is dying. Our partnership strategy represents a new approach which we believe is more effective way of doing business. If you cold-call a business today how often will you get through the key decision makers such as the chief executive or the finance director? Very rarely.
“We believe the way forward is actually to engage with businesses and form partnerships. We want to help educate people and provide information on the best ways of going about international trade. This will be particularly important post-Brexit.”
Graham added Western Union can help with issues such as managing currency risk – it currently deals with 130 different currencies around the world. He said compliance was also a big area of expertise for the company, saying: “We employ around 2,000 dedicated compliance professionals.
“We do business through multiple channels in the maritime sector so our partnership with Mersey Maritime is a really great fit.”