the single most critical component to customer retention and business growth. ' />
GS Logo
The Green Sheet, Inc

Please Log in

A Thing
View Archives

View PDF of this issue

Care to Share?

Table of Contents

Lead Story

The legal blitz: Time to regroup


Industry Update

Payment trends for 2009

Rainy day ISOs

Panini gives back

Red Flag mayday

Goliath beaten with gavel


Q&A with the ETA


Be a payment security architect

Scott Henry

Give ACH a chance

Biff Matthews
Cardware International


Street SmartsSM:
A closer you'll become

Jason Felts
Advanced Merchant Services

Avoid those third-party blues

Ken Musante
Humboldt Merchant Services

Spot-on PCI programs

Tim Cranny
Panoptic Security Inc.


Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Ten keys to superior employee selection

Curt Hensley
CSH Consulting

Get rewarded with loyalty

Christian Murray
Global eTelecom Inc.

Company Profile

Vision Payment Solutions LLC

New Products

Simply dynamic POS software

Company: 1stTransaction Corp.

No-cost processing for government agencies

Federal Payments
ACH Direct Inc.


United we stand



Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

November 10, 2008  •  Issue 08:11:01

previous next


By Jeff Fortney

Respect. We're all familiar with the word. When was the last time you considered how that word relates to the personal and professional choices you make every day? If you believe respect is the foundation upon which you've built your life and career, your business should be prospering. You probably don't need to read on.

If, however, respect could use a stronger foothold in your personal and business endeavors, you owe it to yourself to seriously think about the following statement: Respect is perhaps the single most critical component of not only making sales but also in retaining customers and successfully growing your business.

Respect is also something you can control - completely. And it can change your life - literally.

Gimme some

Salespeople want their customers to respect them, yet they don't always respect their customers. It's easy to say we respect our customers, but our actions have to support that statement. Having real respect for customers means having the courage to do the tough things whenever needed.

In the payments industry, it means being willing to tell merchants bad news - no matter how painful. It also means admitting to a mistake rather than trying to find someone else to blame.

Always think in terms of what is right for the customer even if the impact on you does not appear to be positive. And when you don't know how to solve a situation, be honest. Don't try to fit a square peg into a round hole or attempt to make a sale that should not be made.

Also, ask yourself, Do I respect all people no matter what their positions are or whether I think they're able to do something for me? It is vital to treat everyone with the same high level of respect.

Wise up

Following these simple guidelines will put you on a direct path to self-respect. Having self-respect is the surest way to gain true respect from others. But because we all have egos, we must also be watchful because our egos can cause us to be arrogant, rude and indifferent.

To determine if you're guilty of these negative behaviors, ask yourself the following questions:

When you answer these questions, be brutally honest. Often people who have the biggest issues with these questions are the last ones to realize it.

Get a life

It's only when things start to fall apart in their lives - clients leave for no apparent reason, fellow workers don't make themselves available to help them when they need it or life in general just seems to have become too hard - that some people begin to see a need for self-assessment. If you see yourself in this picture, read on to learn a little more about each behavior.

Arrogance, rudeness and indifference often go hand in hand. And they kill sales. Work to minimize giving the impression of any of these behaviors by studying your usual facial expressions in a mirror. Do you seem like someone who is approachable and empathetic? Consider how you would respond to the person you see in front of you.

Do the same with friends or co-worker. Ask them whether they see in you a person they'd want as their business partner and someone they can trust and respect. Make sure your friends are totally honest with you and whatever they tell you, don't justify your negative expressions or behaviors - eliminate them.

Respect yourself

Some people may overlook your flaws. However, it's unlikely the merchants you're approaching will. And even if you do sign new merchant accounts despite arrogant, rude or indifferent actions, what do you think your chances will be of keeping them when issues arise or when congenial competitors offer them new opportunities? At some point, insulting behaviors will come back to you in a negative way.

We all want to be respected. Hopefully, you see that by doing the right things for people every time you get the chance, you'll actually be building your self-respect. And with this as your foundation, you'll be astounded how your business will prosper in ways you may have only dreamed of.

Jeff Fortney is Director of Business Development with Clearent LLC. He has more than 12 years' experience in the payments industry. Contact him at or 972-618-7340.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

previous next

Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | Simpay | USAePay | Impact Paysystems | Board Studios