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Let Your Resolutions Guide You all Year Long

The end of the year usually brings with it the urge to reflect on the events of the prior twelve months and change those things that aren't working. But most of us make outrageous promises to ourselves, often trying to change things we can't possibly hope to control. When we see that we're failing to meet our own expectations, we throw those promises out the window, usually about January 14.

Here is a list of things you can act on and change to bring positive results:

  • Resolve to keep the following in mind: Yes, merchants can be annoying and demanding, but they're your merchants. Treat them consistently with respect and you will begin to see less churn in your business. Remember, 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 up front, it could end up saving you thousands of dollars and a lot of stress. Don't ever assume that all contracts are the same. You need to read each section carefully. This is your livelihood; protect it.

  • Remember that the sale does not end with the signing of the contract. Make the effort to check in with your merchants and 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 a par with the service you gave them, they will come back to you.

  • Make every customer service contact an opportunity to strengthen the relationships with merchants. Even though the overwhelming majority of these calls are complaints, you can use them to your advantage. By taking time to listen to the merchant, you may be able to strengthen the loyalty of that client. When you understand the problem, act on it. Follow-up to make sure that the problem is fixed and check back occasionally to make sure the merchant is not experiencing any other problems.

  • 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 merchants have said or done. When one of them is really upsetting you, take out your list and read it, and remind yourself that merchants are people, too.

  • Keep current on the events in the financial services field. Read The Green Sheet. Read breaking news on our Web site, Your merchants will appreciate it when you can fill them in on changes in the industry and offer them the most up-to-date equipment.
These are just a few ideas to improve the way you work-and live-over the course of the year to come.

If you haven't been introduced to the Paradoxical Commandments by Kent M. Keith, visit Sometimes you have to take action, even when it seems hopeless. Sometimes the result is creating change in your own life and making a difference in the lives of everyone you come in contact with.

The Green Sheet staff wishes all of our readers a happy holiday season and a safe and prosperous New Year.

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