How's business?

Bill Farquharson

January 29, 2014

2 Min Read
How's business?

I have had an interesting few weeks of conversations with prospects and customers. In particular, the answer to the question, "How’s business?" has generated some curious reaction. For the most part, here is what I can report:

• Responses are equally divided into three categories:
A. "We are actually very busy!"
B. "We are as dead as disco!"
C. "Customers are delaying their orders"
• Even the bad news is optimistically spun;
• Selling owners and sales people are reporting it harder than ever to get people on the phone

Personally, I subscribe to the "Customers are delaying their orders" camp and actually, I have had no problems getting people on the phone, which is interesting. The bulk of my curiosity focuses on those who are doing well. I interviewed one such printer, Paula Smith from Curry Printing in Baltimore, to find out what she is doing right and the results will appear in my next GAM column. The funny thing is: She didn’t revolutionize printing sales. She sticks to the basics and stays consistent. 

I believe the economic downturn will last as long as the media says it will. Once they start reporting some positive news, we will all see an attitude change and the orders will flow once again. In the meantime, the wise will stick to the basics, the fearful will hang on, and the successful will succeed and grow.

One of my favorite customers called me in response to a recent GAM column to say, "You really provided a wake up call, Bill. I realized that I had been neglecting the growth of my business and was instead focusing on simply staying busy. I now see that I must get out and be the salesman I was supposed to be all along."

Yup. That’s true for all of us. Me included.


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