Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fishing in Unproductive Waters

Sometimes sales can be very frustrating.  You invest a significant amount of time and money in reaching out to potential customers so you need to always be aware of the return on that investment.  Some people refer to it as customer acquisition cost -- how many dollars are invested for each new customer gained.

When you look at the expense of travel -- motel, car and airfare, meals, time -- you can invest a lot of money in a short period of time.  Often, there are also booth rental fees and other expenses associated with Trade Shows and events.  You must constantly be aware of not only the potential volume of your target audience but the amount of business that they represent.  In my business, we don't just look at the number of cattlemen that may be present, we also look at what segment of the business they are in (cow/calf, stocker, order buyer, feedlot) and the number of cattle they represent.  If you are doing a Trade Show in an area where the average herd size is 15 animals but the number of producers in attendace is high -- say 1,000 -- then you are looking at about 15,000 animals represented.  In my business, each of those animals is a potential sale.  In a different setting you might be in front of 10 producers who represent 10,000 animals each -- that's 100,000 potential sales.  Which is the better environment?

That's a lot of words to say that this past week has been frustrating.  I've been fishing, but either the fish have been scared off or there just aren't any here.  I think the event that I've been attending this week will not be one I attend next year.....


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