On the Fly™ - Editorial Commentary by Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams

November 2007:  Open the Door to Opportunity.
--by Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams

Too many people in charge of moving businesses forward have no marketing savvy whatsoever! Often, business people close the door on opportunity simply by refusing to take a phone call or by tossing out an envelope unopened that just might be the inspiration for the next 'hulahoop' for their compnay.

When I was 5 years old, slot machine gambling was legal in a county close to Baltimore, where I lived. My parents and Aunt Hannah and Uncle Matthew would go to a little roadside place for hamburgers and milkshakes and to play the slots. This was my first experience playing a slot machine. My aunt gave me a handful of nickles and told me I could go and play, which I did. I put in a few nickles and an occasional nickle fell out when I "hit" something but I didn't have a clue what I had scored in order for the money to appear. All I knew was that when you "did good" money came out.

I put another nickel in and nothing came out so I put another nickel in and put my hand on the handle to pull again. The man next to me screamed, "Don't pull the handle!" but I didn't know him, didn't react fast enough to his command, in any event, and the handle went down. The man grabbed his head, as if in pain and said, "You hit the jackpot! When you hit the jackpot the money doesn't come out automatically. You have to call over the manager to see the machine and the manager will pay you the jackpot (which then was $25.00). But once you pull the handle and it goes away, it's too late and you've lost it!"

I, of course, didn't know what I was looking for so when I didn't see anything happen, I had no idea I had hit the jackpot and let it escape by ignoring it. People do that all the time in business! They hit the jackpot and aren't sharp enough to know that they just pulled the handle and flushed the opportunity away. People do that ALL THE TIME when salesmen call by telephone or at their office door. "Don't waste my time with salespeople!" is a frequent instruction given underlings to protect the boss from 'wasting time.'

Salesmen bring potential opportunities:
1) They may have new and innovative products that will separate you from your competitors.

2) They may be able to show you how you can lease or own a product you need but can't afford by offering you creative financing or a barter deal.

3) Salesmen, by their very definition, are affable, gregarious people who dally forth into the business world spreading their own message and, if you befriend them, they may be able to take your message with them to their customers and potential customers offering you a unique networking opportunity.

Smart business people take the time to hear what a salesman has to say before shutting the door thinking they already 'know it all!' Smart business people know that listening, while costing you nothing but a few minutes of your time, may introduce to you your next great idea, your next promotional opportunity, your opportunity to make a quantum leap. And if you're note clever enough to embrace this concept, there's a good chance that one of your competitors will. Great products wondered homeless for years, often many, many years because small minded people didn't grasp the concept of their value.

Among my favorite stories is the tale of the big machine invented and stored in a garage for about 12 years because no company saw the value of a machine that could make copies of paper documents. Who would ever need such a thing as long as you had inexpensive carbon paper! Finally, after 12 years of trying to get a company interested in his invention, the inventor was able to get a company called Haloid to take on his invention.

The company did so and changed its name to Xerox. Think of all the other companies who produced business machines and business equipment who didn't have the time of day to consider the opportunities presented by a fellow with a big gadget in his garage! I hope you share this story with lots of people.

There's a reason that I've won major awards for marketing, PR, and advertising. I'd like to help others to raise their sights, especially those in travel and tourism where too many small-minded decisions get made by people who really need a boost!

You arewelcome to share my award-winning website, www.sabrams.com and my email address stephanie@sabrams.com.

While I am heard weekly on 2 nationally syndicated radio shows as the Travel Expert, I also have a Masters Degree and enjoy the process of consulting on behalf of those who need to sort out who they are, where they want to be, and how to get there!


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