Well it’s been an interesting last few weeks and certainly the next two will be of equal interest. From ash clouds from Iceland to the general election there is certainly plenty to talk about from a sales point of view.
Let’s start with Iceland, the sales profession will have been hit hard by the grounded flights whether travelling to meetings, going to an exhibition or waiting for their first cheque to arrive from the US, this certainly was a noise we could do without.
So what does this mean in the long run, although there was the inevitable finger pointing and political point scoring surrounding any natural disaster, I think we all managed to keep it together and accept that the ash cloud was nobody’s fault. The airlines will no doubt follow this through a little more vehemently but now we have all returned from our extended holidays and re-scheduled our meetings can we honestly say that the way we interact with air travel will change?
Well, some of us may take the train to Manchester, Glasgow or Paris rather than a cheap flight, but we were starting to do that anyway, the environment seemed to be a ready excuse? We still need to go to that exhibition in Dubai or Stuttgart, we can’t drive or go by train, so we’ll maintain the status quo.
As usual the manner in which it was reported was beautifully sensationalised with sad stories of those getting married and missing weddings along with the vast sums that have been lost, expertly calculated with a wet finger in the air. However, the sales professional still has a target to hit, and going to the managing director with a sorry story will not change it.
I would have liked to have seen a few stories of how well the rail networks reacted to provide more journeys and get people around the country, hopefully using this as an example of what they can do on an ongoing basis rather than just hiking up the prices – woops!
As a Kentish resident I look to the Eurostar and the ports to see how some companies did make some money from the disaster – they or course would be accused of profiteering from the demise from others. As a salesman you have to look at opportunity, and you only have to look at the Port of Dover to get a pretty good understanding of what the airlines have done to other forms of transport before realising they were due a payment at some point.
So on reflection, the ash was a good diversion to our lives, causing talking points and respite from political boredom. For the sales professional, life still goes on, we have a target to hit and with typical stiff upper lip we get on with it. We’ll be back in the car, on the plane or on to the train next week, still trying to close more business.
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