When one thinks of the islands of the Pacific, images of brilliant rainbows, pristine beaches and aquamarine waters come to mind. For the extraordinary sales force of one of this industry's leading Acquirers, those images became a reality. In appreciation of their unwavering dedication, hard work and unequalled bond of familial pride, the top 50 selling agents of Retriever Payment Systems were brought to Hawaii in unprecedented fashion.
An organization like Retriever Payment Systems is not often found in this highly competitive industry. Mutual respect, unparalleled loyalty and unquestionable support for one another are the cornerstones that have catapulted this unique company to the forefront of independent sales organizations.
Since its inception in 1986, Retriever has set the standard for how an Acquirer conducts business, due in large part to the vision and driving force of its CEO Bill Higgins. That vision of providing a customized turnkey payment processing solution for today's marketplace has, indeed become a reality. With over $8 billion in processed transactions in 2003, this Houston-based organization is clearly a major player in the processing arena. What is the secret of their success? They believe wholeheartedly in the payment processing industry-and in each other. That belief was evident at the 2004 Retriever Sales Summit held in Maui.
"As everyone knows, the Retriever Sales Summit is like a family reunion and every year the family grows," said CEO Bill Higgins. "With 2003 being Retriever's greatest year ever in all measurable areas, the celebration in Maui was no exception."
Higgin's emotional keynote address echoed the sentiments of all attendees. He talked about loyalty, quality of service, long-term commitment and delivery on promises. He praised the extraordinary management team that is the backbone of Retriever and behind it's phenomenal success.
This much admired and beloved CEO also shared the fact that Retriever has invested millions of dollars not just in advanced technology, cutting edge software and automated systems but also in their most important customer-the sales group.
"Our #1 commitment is the sales agent," said Higgins. "Our #1 goal is giving our agents the sense of comfort in doing what they do best-selling."
Where other annual conferences are heavy with training seminars, break out sessions and long-winded speeches and presentations, Retriever's event was filled with three days of holiday activities and island adventures that included golf, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, kareoke and the traditional luau . The strategy behind this well-planned gathering-these professionals work hard year round, now is the time for them to play hard.
Leading industry vendors were also invited to join in the fun. Hypercom, Thales, Global Payments, Discover, CIT, RDM, First National Bank and Boise Paper sent their top executives to share in the Retriever Summit experience. These solid partnerships only add to Retriever's clout as a top competitor.
One of the high points of the 2004 Retriever Sales Summit was the Awards Banquet held at the eye-popping Maui Ocean Center. Honors were given in the following categories:
- Highest Group Sales
- Highest Individual Sales
- Rising Star- Most Increased
- Rising Star- Newcomer
- ISO of the Year
- Outstanding ISO
- Outstanding Group of the Year
- Largest Increase in Merchant Applications for a Referral Bank
- Rookie of the Year- Bank Sales
- Jumbo Merchant Award
- Highest ISO Retriever Check Sales
- Highest Group Retriever Check Sales
- Outstanding Group for Check Sales
- Highest Individual Check Sales
- Highest ISO Leases Sold
- Highest Group Leases Sold
- Lowest Percentage Attrition
- Outstanding Achievement in the Risk Management 200,000,000 Club (new category)
- Outstanding Achievement in the Risk Management 100,000,000 Club (new category)
- Outstanding Achievement in the Risk Management 25,000,000 Club (new category)
- Comeback Group of the Year 2003 Risk Management (new category)
- Honorable Mention Risk Management
"I am both lucky and honored to have such long-standing, quality individuals making up our sales force," says Joe Natoli, Executive Vice President of Retriever. "Our top 40 groups have been with Retriever for eight years or more. Some of our competitors aren't even eight years old! I am constantly reminded of how good our people are at what they do, especially during the awards ceremony, when categorically so many individuals are recognized for achievements that go above and beyond what anyone may consider humanly possible."
Perhaps the ability of the Retriever family to go above and beyond is rooted in their solid Code of Ethics. Its foundation is based upon:
- Complete Disclosure.
Full disclosure of rules, regulations, pricing and company policies.
- On-going support.
Support that improves client efficiency by responding immediately to challenges.
- Cater to needs of clients.
Listening to clients' needs before providing a solution.
- Client education.
Providing clients with the latest industry news and stories of interest.
- Immediate results.
On-line proposals, customer service, transaction reporting and the latest industry developments.
- Development of long-term partnerships.
Dedication to enhancing their clients' business potential.
- Creation of value.
Providing the latest processing solutions supported by customer service excellence; and
- Higher standard of full disclosure.
In today's world of privacy and corporate scandal, Retriever Payment Systems adheres to higher corporate and business standards. Their belief in an open and obvious information flow about company products, services and interpretation of complex industry regulations, provides businesses with the confidence of making educated decisions about their processing requirements and policies. Their commitment to personal excellence and passion for customer service is embodied in its mission and vision statements:
We will surpass the needs of our customers by providing products and service unrivaled in the transaction processing industry.
To become a world-class direct sales and marketing transaction acquisition company.
What is in store for Retriever in 2004? According to Natoli, this exceptional company is ready to take advantage of consolidation opportunities that exist in the marketplace today.
"We hope to attract groups that are not feeling at home within their environment," says Natoli. "They will find a warm and welcoming home at Retriever Payment Systems."
For those groups and individual sales agents in the payment processing industry who are in search of a more welcome home, they are invited to visit Retriever at www.retrieveronline.com.
For more information, contact Russ Goebel, VP of Sales,
20405 SH 249, Suite 700, Houston, TX 77070