Regrouping: Day 3

St. Croix River Valley. October 2010.

Day 3 — and today, Day 4 — of my plan to regroup hasn’t really given me a hell of a lot to write about.  Software issues occupied much of Day 3.  A real struggle.  When they finally called for the van I believe I was twitching on the showroom floor of a boat dealer and speaking in tongues.  I refuse, however, to let the little laptop they gave to me at the office win.

Thankfully the boat dealer is a decent guy and the place was mostly empty anyway.  Kids are in school and most people are having their boats hauled into the dealer’s back lot for winter storage.  I trust that my breakdown went mostly unnoticed.

Eventually I did get away and had some time left in the day to get back out along the St. Croix Valley.  Whatever was ailing my laptop was repaired — temporarily, you can count on that — and I went out in the world feeling happily medicated.  Peace. 

I managed to get through a dozen doors, give or take, and make about a dozen more phone calls.  Give or take.  People were in a genuinely good mood yesterday.  And boy…did I have the charm working for me.  That’s not easy for a guy with a mug like mine to do so I am especially proud when I get people to like me.  The result was a small number of appointments for the next week.  These would all be new clients which is exactly what I need at this point.  Some fresh leads in the pipeline.  I’ll talk about the importance of strong pipelines in a moment, but first…

Look at this car!  I saw it down IN the river at Stillwater last week.  Luck stays with me.  I saw it again in the parking lot at the Boom Site public water access on the river.  I had some time to talk with the men with the car. 

Amphicar and Driver

It is called an Amphicar.  The guys who own this one tell me only a few hundred remain and of those only a few get into the water anymore.  As a kid I an old guy in my grandpa’s neighborhood had one of these.  I mentioned it to the two men with this boat and they didn’t know anything about it.  That was quite a while ago and they, like me, were only children then. 

A ride in a Amphicar would have been a treat, but they didn’t offer (obviously) and were waiting for a girlfriend who was much more appealing than me.  Yes, three adults can ride in an Amphicar and it still floats.  I didn’t get any pictures of it going into the water (stupid) and three adults does make it run a bit slower in the water.  The Amphicar churned up a lot of water with three riding.  But it works!  Really cool.

I also found some great trees while admiring the Amphicar.  Unfortunately the color on these trees is not as brilliant as it could be.  And while we have had a lot of rain recently — the St. Croix is still in flood — things are getting dry.  Autumn leaves look best when the air is damp.  A rain is good for bringing out color, too, and I believe autumn leaves look sharpest on wet overcast day. 

Nevertheless, there are some wonderful oaks and maples out there.  Look at this beauty.  Weak colors, but a beautiful tree.  That, friends, is an ideal Northern Red Oak.  Sturdy solid branching and a classic oak crown.  Anything better than this is merely a matter of opinion.  Unfortunately my photo didn’t capture the color well. 

Gorgeous Red Oak

But back to sales.  I didn’t have any.

We’ll call Day 3 a prospecting day and for that it was good.  I have a sodding company, a veterinarian, and a few small contractors willing to look at what I have for them.

But let’s get back to the point of sales.  It is selling.  If you don’t have ink on a contract you don’t have a sale.  If you don’t have a sale you don’t have commissions.  And if you don’t have commissions you can find your check book in trouble in a hurry.  This is the stressful side of my work.  It is easy to take insults and rejection (kind of), but there isn’t much that takes the sting out of a puny pay check, especially if you deserve it.  One might argue that I spend too much time chasing squirrels and photographing trees, but sanity is essential to successful sales, too.  Imagine, if you will, the success you might expect if you were to meet prospects all disheveled and crazy.  People don’t trust raving lunatics.  In fact, I am told, they have a hard time trusting refined and respectable professionals.  Maintaining mental balance and health is important.  So as I regroup I will likely continue to walk through the park looking interesting examples of both flora and fauna.  It is good for you.  Try it.

It would be much, much easier to sleep tonight, however, if I had a few more sales salted away this week, however.  And tomorrow is Friday.  (I am one day behind on my five day regroup report.)  Not a lot of time left. 

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