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Depending upon the specific industry, the holiday period between Thanksgiving and Christmas may be either busy or a slower, more reflective time. Those salespeople who see a spike in holiday business might find it particularly hard to keep up with the increased volume. My brother had this same experience early in his career when he was a retail manager at a department store—a job that required that he work 14-hour “iron shifts” during the Christmas shopping season. Additionally, his schedule during the holiday period would often include 12 consecutive days without a day off. Fortunately for him, his workload calmed down considerably after the holidays— and I use his example to point out that a salesperson’s workload tends to find equilibrium over longer periods of time.

We’ve all collectively been through a lot in 2017. Hurricane Irma was the most destructive storm that many in our area have ever seen. In fact, there are many business professionals and salespeople that had yet to experience a hurricane prior to Irma. Therefore, it is important to gain perspective and realize tha for many, it will take awhile to fully recover.

Most local companies were closed for extended periods. Salespeople should use this time now to map out a strategy for clients that takes this into account. On the whole, it has been incredible to see the resilience of our local business community. However, that does not mean that everything is like it was before the storm—and there really can’t be a timetable for when that will be. The good news is that this situation is not like an economic boom and bust, or recession, where much larger economic factors are at stake.

For those that have been selling for a long time in our area, they are not likely to forget the economic impact of Hurricanes Charley and Wilma, followed by the even greater economic fallout from the Great Recession. In those cases, as now, there were some businesses that did not survive. Others were damaged and have never fully recovered. But the vast majority of businesses have grown significantly since then, bigger and better than before—and at the same time, new businesses have relocated in large numbers. Southwest Florida is a great place to be a salesperson—people are drawn here.

Let’s all regroup, set goals and strategize for a successful 2018!

Rob Wardlaw is the associate publisher of Gulfshore Business, robw@gulfshorebusiness.com. 

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