As far as we can tell this will be my father’s 200th furniture market. He’s been to over 120 North Carolina markets. Before that there was Chicago plus regional markets like San Francisco, Tupelo, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and others that are long forgotten so if you stay at the game long enough you can get to 200 markets. It’s a blessing to have someone so experienced to work with and bounce ideas off even if he is from an era before email, internet sales and Ipads.
I am also fortunate to have my son with me in the business. He has been tutored frequently on road trips with my father to different accounts. But he is of an entirely different generation. Instead of knocking on doors he’s emailing, uploading pictures, and checking spreadsheets to load product into internet retailer’s sites. But to get to that point he has to learn the fundamentals from a sales pro like my father, the 200 market veteran.
This week we have another opportunity to gather as a furniture family in High Point NC. We have a chance to meet and greet old friends and new, old customers and new, and colleagues from across all spectrums of our business. Make sure you take the opportunities this week to pick the brains of guys who successfully are navigating our business.
The industry is changing with all kinds of new players so the young guys are in tune with that. But the seasoned veterans have nurtured long term relationships, have outstanding presentation skills, and are at stage in their life if they are still working in the industry that they are doing it for the joy and passion of being engaged.
Don’t go down to market just to look at or sell product. Go to market with an additional purpose of learning from the guys who have been around the industry and are successfully navigating the changing distribution patterns. Pick their brains, watch them in action, listen to the way they make their sales pitch or ask the right questions. You will be able to approach your own pursuits with added gusto.
And who know, maybe you will have the passion to last through 200 markets as well. As always feel free to leave your positive comments below. Have a great market.