Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"What Goes Around, Comes Around"

Can everyone believe it's almost September?! Time is flying and as usual there are changes going on all around us...

With almost everything nowadays, what we are seeing, we have seen before. In fashion, you walk into the hottest stores and the jacket hanging in the store window looks like the jacket you wore when you were in high school - what goes around comes around. For the most part, this is happening in the business world as well. During Richard Branson's NBTA Speech in Houston a few weeks ago, he mentioned that face to face meetings are coming back into the realm. In the recent years, we have become very accustomed to emails, text messages, quick voicemails, and conference calls. All of these are great ways to stay connected to people, but the time has come to go back to the "old fashioned" face to face meetings with your team. Although, there may be times where the face to face meetings can't happen, but the efficiency and profitability of these meetings are astounding!

Here are some statistics from Harvard Business Review, NBTA, Oxford Economics, and The U.S. Travel Association:

• Every dollar invested in business travel generates $12.50 in incremental value
• 17% of US business profits would be lost if all business travel cancelled and it would more than 3 years to recover
• 40% of prospects became new customers as a result of face-to-face
• 28% of current business would be lost without a face-to-face meeting
• 95% of survey respondents said face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships
• The average business would have to increase an employee’s base pay by 8.5% to achieve the same impact of incentive travel trip
• 1.5% minimum amount of economic growth that would result from a 10% increase in business travel spending

Get out there and see your customers and talk to your colleagues - the results will likely show in your favor!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer is Almost Over!

It doesn't seem that summer should be coming to an end. Didn't it just seem like yesterday that the kids got out of school, the flowers began to bloom and everyone planned their vacations.

This year has flown by and there is so much buzz in the air. Business is getting better, people have a better outlook on life and without a doubt there is money to made and deals to close.

But it is still hard work - I am writing this from my farm in Iowa where I grow soybeans and corn and raise cattle. I was talking with the gentlemen that farm my land for me and they agreed that they are working harder to make the same amount of money. The only difference with the farm is that the weather does effect our business. We had a lot of rain this year in Iowa, and that helped the crops of soybeans. I have never seen more lush, full crops. But on the other hand all of my heirloom tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers and squash did poorly due to the heavy rain.

It doesn't matter whether you are selling hotel rooms, seats in a restaurant, financial planning or insurance - everyday is a new day and someday a little rain might hurt your sales or help them grow! In sales we can't blame the weather.

What this week on the farm made me realize though is that there is really no need to worry - the sun rises and sets everyday around the world. The cattle wake me up mooing every morning and as I sit on my front porch of my 100 year old farmhouse sipping my coffee, I ponder the real meaning of work. Hard work comes in different ways and the only difference between me and the gentlemen farmer is that my nails look better than theirs.