It’s That Time Of Year Again

It’s That Time Of Year Again

Chairman Article
December 2003
Robert S. Shultz
Chairman of the Board, CMA

It is that time of year again. We are all busy with personal and business priorities. It is difficult to take much time to do anything we really want to do. Something else always seems to be in the way. Sometimes we do the important things in a rush and forget to take the time needed to get the most from the experience. This is the time of year to reflect on what is really important and try to put things into perspective.

One of my greatest joys in life is to spend time with our grandchildren. The other day I was holding my three year old grandson in my lap and telling him a story. He seemed totally enthralled.

He was staring right at me with expressions of interest, amazement, wonder and disbelief. At the end, being quite proud of myself, I asked him if he liked the story. He looked at me seriously and said…. “Papa, do you know a fly went in your mouth and you swallowed it?”

I was stunned. For two reasons, one, the thought of swallowing a fly, or more likely a nat, is quite repulsive. Secondly, it was so deflating to know his interest was in something totally different than I thought it was.

So it goes in our business lives. We all have to be good “listeners”. That goes without saying. However, we also need to be good at asking questions. We at CMA are always quick to tell members about our latest technology and web based offerings. However, all the technology in the world can not replace direct contact and conversational interchange between two human beings. That is just good business.
In my personal example, what if I had stopped my story telling once in a while, asking a question or two, seeking my grandson’s feedback on what I was saying. I may have saved both me and the nat from a less than rewarding experience.

Asking good, penetrating open ended questions is an essential part of communication. In our business life, this can separate good credit professionals from those who would be best suited in another career path.

The same is true for organizations. The CMA has taken a big step in the right direction. Rather than wait until we hear from members we are actively seeking out member opinion and feedback.
The objective is to make it clear the CMA is interested in what members have to say. Three new positions have been established, one for each of the CMA offices. Each new Member Relations Assistant (MRA) is there to ask those penetrating and open ended questions. Your feedback will give the CMA the direction it needs to continuously improve its service offerings and quality.
If you are a member you can expect to hear from your local MRA a minimum of three times per year. These are NOT sales calls. Your Account Executive is still available, as always, to help you acquire CMA products and services. Phone calls from the MRA are intended to solicit your questions concerning CMA and respond effectively.

Each of the MRAs has been thoroughly trained in all aspects of CMA services and group offerings. They are there to provide information on who best to contact on an issue, how the CMA may help with a particular business problem and to ensure changes in your account information are kept up to date.
So when you get a call, please take the time to talk with; Jenny Strattan in Burbank, Debbie Mendoza in San Leandro or Angie Savage in Las Vegas. It will be very worth your while.

The CMA Board and Staff wish you and yours the happiest of holidays and a prosperous new year ahead.

One more word of advice, if your grandson is looking at you funny when you are telling a story, find out what he is really thinking before it is too late.

Robert S. Shultz
Chairman of the Board
CMA Business Credit Services