A Lesson For The Wise Woodworker
December 12, 2011 | 10:52 am CST
Once Bitten, Twice Shy

A Lesson For The Wise WoodworkerIt's Tuesday morning, and I am sitting in my car amazed at my own level of stupidity. They say a wise man knows how ignorant he really is. Today I feel very wise.

For the last 20 years I have been selling products to woodworkers in the Midwest. Usually I feel I have a good handle on who the major accounts are, but today I re-learned the lesson. The thinking that brought me here, will not take me forward.

OnPoint was stuck in selling components and accessories to cabinet makers, store fixture fabricators and furniture builders. So, when we added two new sales people who brought a diversity of sales contacts and market knowledge we had never experienced, I was excited. Here was a chance to learn a new tangent to our existing market. The new team members added their experience with home builders, lumberyards and retail store designers to our current mix of customers.

By listening to their successes, I was able to add five new prospect calls to my normal customers today, and stumbled across a six chain retail lumber store that needs several of our lines. The initial sale is huge and the potential long-term sales are fantastic.

So, here I am, sitting in my car realizing that for the last 20 years I have driven past this account and never stopped in. I can see their sign from the freeway, and yet it never clicked until now.

The lesson I am constantly re-learning is that it takes new ideas from new people to move a company from its current plateau to the next level.

If you are stuck like I was, start opening your door and your mind to influences from outside your normal pattern. Take a chance in hiring people from a different segment of the industry and listen to their ideas. The business is out there, we just have to be open enough to see it.

Good Hunting,


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