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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

September 24, 2007 • Issue 07:09:02

A quick test to up your ethics quotient - and profits

By Steve Schwimmer
Renaissance Merchant Services

The business world can be fraught with deception and hard knocks, provoking anxiety as we trudge along trying to make a living. Does this mesh with your experience? If so, how can we, as ISOs and merchant level salespeople, reduce this angst in our business lives?

Examples abound of people who rise above the fray. All we have to do is look to them and apply the best business practices they demonstrate in our sales approaches and lives.

Many years ago, I was heavily involved with Rotary International, a 102-year-old network of community volunteers, and served as President of a local chapter. Although I am not a Rotarian at this time, what I learned can be applied to every facet of my life, not just business.

Following is a tool drawn from the Rotary world that exemplifies how easy it is to apply basic techniques to make your life work better.

The Four-Way Test was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932. It is used throughout the world as a self-imposed checks-and-balances guide to conduct. It is as relevant today as it was at its inception. It has had such a positive impact that it has been translated into over 100 languages.

This simple, yet often overlooked approach can reward you with huge dividends. I know this because I use it all the time.

Here are the four questions comprising The Four-Way Test that Taylor recommended people ask themselves before making a decision or taking a proposed action:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Here is one example of how I applied this test:

We've all had "a-ha" moments, when we suddenly have greater awareness about a particular issue. I had an experience like this during a sales call with a potential client.

The client was in the midst of negotiations for credit card processing services and was trying to decide who would provide the best service.

At the end of my presentation (after I quoted a price for a terminal), the client mentioned in passing that he had an old terminal and was curious about whether he could use it.

In that split second, when I was tempted to say no, I said yes, because it was the truth. The system was old, but it could definitely work.

What happened next is something no one can plan for.

The client sat down, signed my paperwork on the spot and has been a satisfied customer ever since. I applied the Four-Way Test to benefit my client and resisted the temptation to avoid the truth in order to make a bigger sale.

Instead, I reaped great benefit from being ethical and honest, putting my client's needs ahead of mine. This has worked for me most every time. end of article

Steve Schwimmer is President of the National Association of Payment Professionals. He has been serving the payment processing industry since 1991 and is the Long Island Director of Sales for Renaissance Merchant Services. Call him at 516-746-6363 or e-mail him at thevisaguy@516phoneme.com.

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

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