I have come to grips with the fact that the trade show industry isn’t going to grow by 20 percent in 2009. The joke has become that “flat” is the new growth! So what should we do when times are slow? Should we use this time to work on our golf game? Take every Friday and Monday off from May through August? Let your staff go home early so if somebody calls there is no one to answer the phone? An emphatic “NO!” to all of the above.
Times like this call for an abundance of common sense. This is the opportune time to get to know your customers better and to build relationships. Why now? Because business is slow all over America. Use this time to get in the car and go visit your customers with mid-morning bagels or mid-afternoon ice cream snacks. Your customer’s business is off just like yours, so they aren’t expecting 5-Star dinners and three martini lunches. Set the stage for the next buying season by staying in touch and in tune with your top clients.
What do I do? I spend my days talking to our customers about Sacagawea Portable Hybrids and Magellan MOR, our new price point hybrid displays. Sales are tough, but our customers still expect high design but at portable prices. If you expect to remain competitive and relevant, you either throw up your hands or you adapt to the market.
Why not use your time to educate your clients about your company’s products and services or simply have more “heart-to-heart” conversations with them?You both learn. Unfortunately in the midst of slow business, sometimes the “just get it done” philosophy takes precedent and the “good enough” mentality rears its ugly head.
Two things come to mind when I hear that:
- First of all – Good enough is neither good . . . nor enough!
- Second – You have just allowed your competition the opportunity unseat you.
Those types of things can be the death of many businesses. Apathy is a cancer in these economic times. Keep an upbeat tone in your voice, be happy, and believe that you are doing the right things to help the future even if the present is not what you want
To quote the South African golfer Gary Player, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Well get out there today and build your luck for tomorrow!
As the tail wags,