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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 13, 2009 • Issue 09:07:01


Revisit your resolutions

It's mid July; 2009 is more than half over. At the end of each year, most people reflect on the events of the preceding 12 months and decide to improve aspects of their lives that aren't working quite right. Unfortunately, after an initial burst of creative resolve, many folks tuck their resolutions and action plans away and don't give them serious thought until the holiday season rolls around again.

Part of this is because many people make outrageous promises to themselves in an effort to make up for lost time. And they try to change things they can't possibly hope to control. When they see themselves failing to meet their self-imposed expectations (usually about January 14), discouragement begins to take hold.

Time to take action

If you haven't checked your New Year's resolutions lately, why not pull them out this month and have a look? It's not too late to adjust your goals in light of new developments and knowledge. And in your revamp, be realistic and kind to yourself. Focus on things you can actually do to bring positive results to your business.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Remember that, yes, merchants can be annoying and demanding, but they're your merchants. Resolve to treat them consistently with respect, and you will begin to see less churn in your business. Keep in mind they are the reason you are in business.

  • Resolve to take charge of your destiny and protect your own interests. Don't sign a contract without thoroughly reading it and making sure you understand each section. Although advice from an attorney might seem expensive upfront, it could end up saving you thousands of dollars and significant stress.

    Don't assume that if you've read one contract, you've read them all. Study each section of every contract. This is your livelihood; protect it.

  • Remember that a sale does not end with the signing of a contract. Check in with your merchants regularly to let them know you feel lucky to be working with them. If they do switch providers later on, and the customer service they receive from the new company is not on par with the service you gave them, they will come back to you.

  • Make every customer service contact an opportunity to strengthen your relationships with merchants. Even though the majority of these calls are complaints, you can use them to your advantage. By taking time to listen to merchants, you may be able to strengthen their loyalty to you.

  • When you understand a problem a merchant presents to you, take care of it. Follow up to make sure your customer is satisfied, and check in occasionally to be certain the problem has not recurred and to see whether new issues need your attention.

  • Love the work you do. If you're not enjoying what you do for a living, you may be in the wrong field. No one should wake up every morning dreading the day ahead.

  • Keep your sense of humor. It's easier - and better overall - to laugh about your mistakes than it is to be angry about them. You're only human, after all.

  • Make a list of some of the humorous things your merchant customers have said or done. And when one of your clients is upsetting you, take out the list and read it. It will remind you that merchants are also just human.

  • Keep current on events in the financial services field. Read The Green Sheet. Read breaking news on our Web site, www.greensheet.com. Your merchants will appreciate it when you can fill them in on changes in the industry and offer them the most up-to-date and effective solutions.

One step at a time

These are just some ideas for improving the way you work - and live - over the remainder of the year. Remember, consistent, small actions can lead to tremendous results.

And it doesn't matter what date you begin. end of article

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