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February 16, 2009

We are all talking to one another sharing stories and trying our hardest to see the world in a positive manner. A friend and colleague shared a story that was relayed to him by one of our casual furniture industry manufacturer’s, Treasure Garden, entitled:
 “ The Man Who Sold Hot Dogs”

    There was a man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs.
    He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio.
    He had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspaper.
    But he sold good hot dogs.
    He put signs up on the highway telling how good they were.
    He stood on the side of the road and cried “Buy a hot dog, mister?”
    And people bought.
    He increased his meat and bun orders.
    He bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.

    He finally got his son home from college to help him out.
    But then something happened.
    His son said, “Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio?”
    “Haven’t you been reading the newspaper?”
    There’s a big depression.”
    “The European situation is terrible.”
    The domestic situation is worse.”
    Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son has been to college: he
    reads the papers and listens to the radio, he ought to know.”
    So his father cut down on his meat and bun orders, took down his
    advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand out on the highway
    to sell his hot dogs.

    And his hot dog sales fell almost overnight.
    “You’re right, son.” the father said to the boy.
    “We are certainly in the middle of a great depression.”
                    Author Unknown

If you spend some time researching this story on google you will find many entries. One that caught my eye was writen by Ian Campbell of ValuExecBlog, who writes, “that he came across an article by Doug Kennedy, President of the Kennedy Training Network, that was taken from, January 30, 2009. The article entitled: ‘First step in new sales: Believe it is possible!‘ addresses the hospitality industry, however Mr. Kennedy’s message is relevant to all of us regardless of what industry we work in. Key points coming out of the article:

* Don’t cut the level of optimism for the future

* Your level of optimism is visible every day in the actions of sales managers and employees as a whole

* The lack of optimism in sales becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy

Mr. Kennedy’s final words provide valuable advice to us all:
‘Make sure your actions as well as your words demonstrate a strong belief that although we might currently need to work a little harder and a little smarter than we did during those last few years of record profits, there is still plenty of business out there to be won.’

The state of affairs are grim right now. Nevertheless, I am compelled to to reflect: What part is represented by a self-fulfilling prediction?

Let us stand together and share new ideas and new ways of doing business. Helping one another is the greatest gift that we can offer, and this gesture of good will, will return to us in multitude.

Write a comment to let me know what your ideas are for moving forward in this new environment and I will share them with the rest of the casual furniture industry.

These are my outside views… Marcia Blake