Steps to Management Success – Step 34: Get Out of Town

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 31st, 2010


Get Out of Town.

If you run a local shop in town, and almost all of your customers are local, this rule does not apply to you. In today’s global economy, however, some of your best customers may be outside your area. It’s a good idea to visit them on occasion—you’ll return with new insights, a better understanding of your customers’ needs, and a reinforced customer relationship.

WHAT IT MEANS: Whether on a customer sales call or at a trade show or at a professional development seminar, leaving the confines of your office and getting out of town can be a great way to freshen your perspective, recharge your batteries, and spark some new ideas. To be sure, it’s not as refreshing or relaxing as a vacation—but it’s not business as usual either. Freed from the minutiae and interruptions of your daily grind, you may have the advantages of unstructured time and solitude to do some “big picture” thinking—or to learn about potentially beneficial new products, services, and skills.

ACTION PLAN: Schedule “field trips” several times each year to meet with key customers. Attend a trade show (or two) that’s most relevant to your industry. Roam the aisles of exhibitors to see what’s new. Attend some of the sessions or seminars. Invite some A-list customers or colleagues to lunch or dinner.

EVEN BETTER: Make notes, take pictures, and gather or request information—all to make sure that your new discoveries and planned follow-up activities don’t get lost in transit. Carry a mini digital recorder to take voice notes on the fly. Also, request that new product/vendor information of particular interest be sent to your office following the show—so be sure to bring lots of business cards!

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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