Bellwethers

I’ve been on the road a lot lately and recently had a panic situation that prompted a frantic call home. One of my bellwether measurements was out of range.

Let me explain.

When you’re married with two kids and managing two careers things get hectic and you actually forget to focus on certain intimate aspects of your relationship with your spouse.

The warning system that I use to alert me to that fact that my wife and I haven’t shared any “alone time” is Flo, the insurance spokesperson.

You’ve seen the commercials where Flo is the customer service rep in a white-washed virtual store that sells all types of insurance coverage. Under normal circumstances, Flo doesn’t strike me as all that attractive. But as the time between spousal “sessions” grows, Flo becomes more appealing.

This past week, one of Flo’s commercials inspired a visionary desire to wash over me.

I felt a longing to find a little cottage on Cape Cod where Flo and I could spend our summers and focus our time on Flo’s life, her thoughts, her dreams, and her unrealized ambitions.

We will stroll hand-in-hand down the beach while she shared the manuscript that she wrote in college and tried to get published only to find that there was no demand for political manifestos inspired by the writings of Alfred E. Neuman.

Later, after I finished painting her toe nails and agreeing that she should have been the captain of the cheerleading squad in high school and not that tramp Jennifer, I would craft a series of sonnets celebrating her life, her womanhood, and the inspiration Flo has given to dozens of aspiring insurance professionals. I would then sing these to her while accompanying myself on the lute.

And so that I could imbibe all that is Flo, I would invite her mother to come live with us.

We hear a lot of negative news these days on the state of the economy; the federal debt, trade imbalances, and unemployment is still higher than historical norms.

But remember, bad news sells, good news doesn’t.  Even the weatherman knows that people stay tuned in longer, the worse they perceive the weather to be.

So, as the bad news flows like malt liquor at a tractor pull, keep your eye on the issues that apply most to your business.

  • Are their companies in your industry that are attracting new investment?
  • Is your base of potential customers growing?
  • How are your competitors doing?
  • What is your customer attrition rate?
  • Is revenue/client dropping or stable?
  • What does your 90 day sales pipeline look like? Are there new accounts on the pipeline or just carryovers from previous quarters?

Real Estate, Economics, and Politics are all local, don’t let a “national trend” blind you to a “local opportunities”.

Now back to me.

So I call my wife and tell her that the ”Flo Alarm” has gone off and that when I get home, she needs to bar the door because she is in for the most intense four and a half minutes of her life.

As she starts to cry, she recites the passage from the Southern Junior Leaguers handbook that says that these types of acts are no longer required since we have birthed a girl and/or junior republican.

I politely interrupt her to let her know that I love her and that I have a court order.

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2 Comments

Filed under Business Humor

2 responses to “Bellwethers

  1. A fantastic concept, this “Flo alarm” of yours! And neatly painted picture of the daydream. Good to see that also salesmen drift away from the business focus every now and then. Keep up the good work!

  2. Your comment about staying focused on what applies to our business is spot on. If we are not careful as sales people we can focus on what in unimportant to our business. Our pipeline is affected when we make assumptions

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