Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Umbrella Story, Part One

In my business parable book, The Umbrella Story, we tell a story that fits our current economic climate.

The story is about a guy, Joe, that makes stuff ( he manufactures umbrellas) and a guy, named Bill, that sells stuff (he runs a store that sells outdoors stuff, including umbrellas).

When our story begins, we learn how much passion the manufacturer has--he loves to build umbrellas, to tweak them, to make improve their technology. He isn't very good with people, in fact, he'd rather just focus on building umbrellas. He needs someone to sell his stuff.

Bill, the store owner, of the other hand, loves people, loves selling and couldn't manufacture something if his live depended on it. He needs stuff to sell.

They forge a relationship and find that as a partnership they can do great things.

The problem is that as time goes on, they drift apart and face obstacles that tear them apart to the point that they no longer thrive together.

In this tough economy, look at what is going on. In many cases the manufacturers--the Joes--are reneging on promises to the dealers that sell their products. Conversely, the dealers--the Bills--are less loyal than ever to the manufactures and are selling anything to make a buck and finding ways to manipulate their agreements with the manufacturer.

Today, more than ever, the Joes and Bills need to realize that they need to work together--have the best built product and to sell it to customers that will keep coming back.

In tomorrow's post, I'll share the one thing that they both forgot as their relationship deteriorated.

Barry LaBov, CEO
LaBov & Beyond

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