Let me share something with you that’s got me a little hot under the collar, and I don’t mean the high 40’s temperature or the humidity you can cut with a knife!
Here we are, the day after the long Eid weekend, back at work and ready to get our work done, and already I am hearing the excuses of the summer slowing everything down, phrases such as “last time we will be doing this due to the long summer getaway” indicate that everyone is heading out of the country till September.
Let me try and explain how it seems to work in the UAE to those that are unaware. We live and work in the Middle East and its hot during the summer months, it’s also peak holiday season as the kids are off and many non working members of families head to the airport with their little ones to spend the whole of the summer out of the country to escape the heat.
Here are where the excuses begin – because of this “phenomena”, business apparently just doesn’t get done for the whole 2 months period and so why bother? Time to cancel network meetings, give up chasing new business, no need to have follow up meetings, apparently no one is here to do any work!
I often hear business owners complain that they only do business 8 months of the year as for the 2 months of summer, 3 weeks over Christmas and now Easter seems to have added into the equation, so we are effectively making our job harder by having to concentrate a years’ worth of business into 8 months of the year.
Here’s why I am a little frustrated:
- I have yet to meet someone with 3 months annual holiday/vacation in their contracts, so you have to assume that the key person you need in a Company to progress your proposal on will be around for quite a few weeks of the summer. In fact, they are more likely to want to work longer hours during this time given as its possible their family has travelled, they now have more time on their hands so more time to meet you.
- Technology allows for key management to be able to access their emails pretty much anywhere in the world, the excuses of not being able to get to data was removed a long time ago – so although they may be slow at replying to follow up emails or calls, it does happen, decisions are made and agreements signed
- Be careful what you wish for, business development needs to happen all year round, if we all sit back and agree with each other that you can only gain new business in 8 months of the year so why bother in the other 3 months then your pipeline will slow down, your conversion rate will decrease and your sales cycle increase
- We have air conditioning everywhere, I know it’s hot, but we are hardly suffering like Europe is at the moment, anyone who has traveling to the centre of London on the unairconditioned underground during their summer weeks can appreciate the differences. This region is geared up for the hot weather, tarmac doesn’t melt, the metro doesn’t stop running due to the wrong kind of sunrays shinning on the track (English humour, sorry), basically life goes on, meetings happen, decisions are made, we just need to be present
I also think we need to look at ourselves and our business practices. Are we present and able to provide a service to our target market? If your target market is medium to large businesses then you physically need to be present to provide them with the services they require.
Time to remove the excuses and keep the business development wheel turning.