Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Captain is Expecting Turbulence

I am listening to Brian Tracey on my IPOD and he likens starting any new project to the takeoff in an airplane. He says we always experience turbulence when we take off. As an ex flight attendant, I know the exact time when that turbulence begins. The pilot makes an announcement that we should stay buckled in as we are expecting turbulence. The air currents from the ground create turbulence and going through the cloud layer creates turbulence. So we always expect turbulence after takeoff.

So I took off. And now I am experiencing turbulence. The sales group that we were contracted to work with has cancelled the contract as they themselves are under siege by competition. They have decided they need to focus on their own company's survival.

That leaves us with 60,000 units and no sales force. first reaction was shock, fear and anxiety. I have since switched to coping mode. If you read my earlier blogs you saw the one that spoke of making a list of ten solutions to the problem. Then try one of the solutions. Try another if that one does not work and keep going until the problem is solved. I had to leave for a conference so I chose not to think about this for those two days. I would make my list of solutions on my return.

My sales manager however did act and she blasted us out of our dilemma in a big way. She went direct to the individuals in the sales group and found out they were loving the product. They were very enthusiastic and optimistic about its' potential. They are independent reps and thus are able to choose to stay with the line or not, even if the company who contracted with us no longer is on board. She also emailed a large chain(which I think should definitely carry the line) with the information about the line and they responded back with who we should contact to follow up. All in a good days work and now we are back on track. We can still build our rep group ourselves or we can go back to a napkin distributor and work through him.

The orders are coming in. 30 new stores now plus the original 20 and we are making progress. Just another issue to solve instead of shock, fear and anxiety. All the credit goes to my sales manager for turning this mountain into a bump!

All just post takeoff turbulence. We will break through the clouds any day now.

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