Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Brief Interlude Between Trips

It is good to be back home after a week of travel. Fortunately, the return trip was uneventful.

The Sunbelt Exposition was a great venue for creating contacts in a region of the country where we have very little business. I picked up a couple of customers and made contact with a number of strong influencers.

Growing a business sometimes is a matter of planting lots of seeds in lots of places. Just like the "Parable of the Sower" in Luke 8, some fall on fertile ground, some on rocky ground, etc. Unlike the "Parable of the Sower," it is my responsibility to nurture those contacts and help them to grow into meaningful business relationships. It requires time, perseverance, patience, and a long-term view of what I'm trying to accomplish.

Many companies push for immediate sales -- often at the expense of long-term relationships. They believe there are more customers where those came from and sometimes view the customer as somewhat expendable. It is a common view among MBA's -- especially Ivy League MBA's. They typically see all parts of a business as expendable/replaceable.

I believe in building solid, long-term relationships. It may mean slower growth in the short-term, but it will mean faster growth in the future because each customer is much more likely to stay as a customer rather than a portion of them "falling out" periodically.

I have spent most of this morning gathering information/working on reports for our ownership. I will be traveling again beginning tomorrow afternoon, so I only have a narrow window for some of this since it is needed Monday afternoon.

This week I'm off to San Antonio to the Texas Cattle Feeders Convention. I always enjoy San Antonio. I just wish that I had more time there. It is a quick trip with return on Tuesday night. I had planned on meeting with several of our customers in Central Texas before returning, but I was summoned for Jury Duty to appear Wednesday morning. Oh, well. It's been over 25 years since I served on a jury -- and maybe this one will settle out of court before we are empanelled. Civic Duty calls.


sandykessler said...

San Antonio ,one of the loveliest places ever. A former student lives in Springdale , Texas. They had a big weekend last weekend, went to Arkansas game(loss) and daddy was ordained the new minister of the First Baptist Church of Springdale, monumental to say the least .She's agreat girl and I am so pleased that they love their flock and Texas in general. I know the parishoners will love them as I do. You're right about nurturing and providing an educational and helpful relationship in business. The long haul customer !!

Janie said...

Have fun at your convention.

I, too, believe in sowing for the long term relationship.

Good words, Poet, as usual.

Incognito said...

Interesting how so many businesses are the same. It's the same with actors... you start off auditioning for theatres you want to work with.. and if they like you, you keep in touch. It took 12 years for one theatre before they finally hired me. :-) Then I did 3 shows there in a year.

It does take a lot of energy and effort, though. But worthwhile.

Love San Antonio!!