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Article published in Issue Number: 061202

2006: A Retrospective

Once a month in The Green Sheet, in our AgenTalk feature, we publish an interview with a merchant level salesperson (MLS).

Our goal is to capture the ambitions, struggles and triumphs of the feet on the street: those working day in, day out to make the sale. Following are AgenTalk highlights from 2006:

"True sales means stepping up to the plate with confidence, falling in gutters and picking yourself back up over and over again. It means relying on yourself to make your career a success and correcting your mistakes while you learn from them. ... It comes from your gut, your mind and your willingness to take risks."

¯ Debra A. Aragon (06:09:01)

"The more products you can sell a customer, the better you can lock him in to long-term business."

¯ Jerry Compton (06:12:01)

To ensure account retention, "I know of no magic potion. I can only recommend the common-sense things: Build value, keep in close contact during the sales process and get trial closes (agreements) to keep moving your deal forward. And ... ask where you stand and what it will take to close the business."

¯ Kelly Jaime (06:08:01)

"I ask myself throughout the day, If I had a boss and he was watching me right now, would he fire me or give me a raise? It keeps me focused on the activities that I know are productive."

Robert McBeath (06:10:01)

"I approach each merchant and potential customer as I would any of my friends and neighbors."

¯ Larry McNamara (06:07:02)

At industry conferences, "not only are you able to network with colleagues from various facets of the industry, but you're able to learn about new technology, products and services. When I attend an event, I come back energized with a renewed determination to sell."

¯ Chris Perrine (06:02:01)

"There is no substitution for knowledge. Even if you are not the best salesperson, you can still provide excellent consultative input and get the sale. ... You [also] have to be committed to your product or service in order to sell it effectively. For me, it takes an emotional attachment to a product or service to truly believe in it. I live and breathe bankcard."

¯ Mike Rottkamp (06:03:01)

"All the books I read say that I should write down achievable long- and short-term goals But I only write down short-term goals for what I want to get done today or this week. For me, it seems that when you get the little things done each day, the big things tend to fall into line."

¯ Jonathan S. Saluk (06:06:01)

"The main reason for sticking in this industry is residual income. It's a wonderful source of constantly growing income streams. You can be writing a new deal while making income from your already existing portfolio."

¯ Robert Sorrell (06:05:01)

"With a merchant I have never met before, I like the Columbo approach: 'Hey, why did you run that card like that and pay $5 more than you had to?' This often leads to them asking questions, making you their consultant of choice at the moment. And if all goes well, they'll be asking you to stick around and check out their statements. This works better than walking in with a briefcase and tie."

¯ Harvey "Lee" Sullivan (06:01:01)

"I'm relentless. I never let a deal go. I will keep bugging the customer until they either tell me to stop calling or sign the deal."

¯ Lisa A. Toner (06:11:01)

We would like to thank the MLSs who generously gave their time to help make this feature a success. We look forward to speaking with more hardworking salespeople in 2007.

Many top-notch agents have inspired others by sharing their perspectives in AgenTalk. Will you be next? If you'd like to participate, please send an e-mail to

Article published in issue number 061202

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