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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Looking ahead, moving forward

News

Industry Update

Tie vote curtails online gambling amendment

Visa brings relief to the pump

Trillions predicted for self-service kiosks

Heartland crowned best in sales

Chase gives merchants a heads up

AmEx to get doozie of a settlement

Features

Scammers on the hook: Q&A with the FTC

PCI for the little guy

Understanding Credit Card Interchange Fees in
Card-Not-Present Environments

Michael E. Shatz

ISOMetrics:

Views

Selling on spouse power

Biff Matthews
CardWare International

Building business at the curb

Bulent Ozayaz
VeriFone

Placed any ATMs lately?

Ray Varcho
WRG Services Inc.

Exit portfolio, many offramps

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Education

Street SmartsSM:
The sky is falling if you believe it is

Jason Felts
Advanced Merchant Services

Exit portfolio, many offramps

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Merchants don't bail on added value

Christian Murray
Global eTelecom Inc.

Expert adviser: Value add incarnate

Daniel Wadleigh
Marketing Consultant

The corps of explosive growth

Curt Hensley
CSH Consulting

Change, a rewarding discomfort

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Exit portfolio, many offramps

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Expert adviser: Value add incarnate

Daniel Wadleigh
Marketing Consultant

The corps of explosive growth

Curt Hensley
CSH Consulting

Change, a rewarding discomfort

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Company Profile

SIA Enterprises LLC

New Products

Swipe, print, done

P25-M Portable Thermal Receipt Printer
Blue Bamboo

Check ease in the back office

EZDeposit
Company: EZCheck

Inspiration

P-R-E-P that portfolio

Miscellaneous

POScript

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 14, 2008  •  Issue 08:07:01

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Street SmartsSM

The sky is falling if you believe it is

By Jason Felts

Do you remember hearing the story of Chicken Little when you were a child? He was walking down the street when an acorn fell from a tree and hit him on the head. Alarmed by the acorn, which he thought was part of the sky, Chicken Little grew agitated and began to spread panic among everyone who heard him shouting, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

Before long, many believed Chicken Little was right. Sound familiar?

Every day, we are bombarded by prophets of doom who are more than willing to let us know the sky is falling on our country, economy, way of life, fuel and oil supplies, housing and finance markets, you name it. And if enough people believe it, the perception starts to become reality.

While it would be na‹ve to ignore our current economic circumstances, it's disappointing that so often only negative news is reported. While I certainly understand it's tougher out there than it has been, and some are expecting revenue shortfalls, I believe this is the time to revisit goal setting 101.

Beliefs influence reality

What you believe your reality to be is what will appear.

I've talked with hundreds of salespeople who have rolled up their tents and blamed the economy, personal circumstances, competition or management for not taking necessary steps to help them in tough times. But I believe we all have the ability to turn lemons into lemonade.

Don't wait for opportunity to knock on your door, as the saying goes. If you are not happy with your circumstances, production, volume, team and so forth - create an opportunity.

Shining stars exist at every level of success and leadership. I recently spoke to a merchant level salesperson (MLS) who grew his business by over 1,200 percent last year, while many of his colleges found themselves down or at a plateau.

There are many MLSs, like him, who are winning new business today. What's their secret? The rollout of a new service or product? Value added offers? Giving away the farm? No. Their secret is not a secret at all. They just haven't bought into the idea of doom and gloom.

That's right. They are successful because they planned for success, and then executed their plans. Success, my friends, is no accident. Let's put to rest the fallacy that prosperity - in sales or any profession - is due to luck, chance or even hard work alone. Nothing is further from the truth.

We all know people who work incredibly hard, putting in long hours. They may have two and sometimes even three jobs. But they are not consistently (if ever) successful. Hard work contributes to success, but hard work alone will not make you top-flight.

Success is a science. When an economic slowdown occurs, increase your efforts about 10 to 20 percent.

Remember, effort is multifaceted and includes work ethic, prospecting, building more relationships, securing more referrals and thinking of creative ways to serve your merchants well.

Assuming you embrace the challenge and you add extra effort even in a slowing economy, you will not only experience success, but you will also experience highly positive growth in your portfolio, residual income and bottom line.

Attitude shapes outcome

I read once that the Great Depression was caused by speculation more than reality. A little bad news, carried to the extreme, became really bad news. If everyone had just taken a step back and looked at the reality of the situation, perhaps our parents and grandparents would not have had to suffer as significantly through that abysmal time.

Did it become very bad? Absolutely. But I theorize that much of the problem was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Negative news was reported for so long that, not only was it believed, it was embraced.

Your attitude can determine your future circumstances. Before a young salesman of a large manufacturer made his first two sales calls, his boss met with him to acquaint him with the clients' histories.

The boss told him the first client was a very tough cookie. His sales force had failed to sell the client anything - but the salesman should try anyway. He said the second client was a real pushover, and the salesman would surely get a sale every time he called on that prospect.

The next day, the salesman returned from a sales call with a very large order. He said the boss was right about the first customer; he was a real pushover. The boss replied that it was the second customer who was the easy-sell, not the first.

The salesman, thinking the first client was the easy-sell, had actually sold the hard-sell - someone who had never before placed a significant order with the firm. Indeed, this young salesman's perception of the circumstance became his reality.

MLS forum imparts wisdom

I checked in with GS Online's MLS Forum on the idea of how attitudes shape careers. Here are some insights they shared:

"Here is my favorite quote from Charles R. Swindoll about attitude:

Relationships drive business

Over the last several years, there has been a significant change in the number of companies doing business in the payments space.

And the sales model has evolved from one in which sales professionals offer solutions, or savings, to one in which they serve as consultants, to one in which they blend these techniques while establishing and maintaining genuine relationships.

Am I suggesting you must have a strong relationship with everyone you meet with? No. However, massive success in this or any industry today requires developing personal bonds. Unfortunately, many sales professionals don't invest in this area. Consider the following:

The question becomes, What are a few proactive behaviors MLSs can take to nurture their relationships and not just survive but thrive in any economy that's thrown at them? Here are some ideas:

Also, focus on emotional awareness. There are two lenses from which to view our emotions: internal and external. Internal awareness enables us to understand ourselves and use that knowledge to propose recommendations to move relationships forward.

External awareness enables us to express empathy and recognize other people's perspectives.

Why is this important? Because 98 percent of us buy products or services emotionally and then justify our decisions logically.

So, as Zig Ziglar says, "It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude."

Jason A. Felts is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Florida-based Advanced Merchant Services Inc., a registered ISO/MSP with HSBC Bank. From its onset, AMS has placed top priority on supporting and servicing its sales partners. The company launched ISOPro Motion, its private-label training program, to provide state-of-the-art sales tools and actively promote the success and long-term development of its partners. For more information, visit www.amspartner.com, call 888-355-VISA (8472), ext. 211, or e-mail Felts at jasonf@gotoams.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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