Maybe there's hope for us yet. Some of the SBC team are involved in another project and something happened recently that lightened their step and served to have them saying 'there's hope for us yet'. Thought we'd share it here.
They're part of 'skunk' team working for a footsie 100 company, that over the last number of years has been putting shape on a complex international project. This team is made up of a number of seasoned senior executives from a myriad of different countries who have worked on iconic projects all over the world...oh and the 2 guys from SBC!
They were in Ireland recently for a week long planning trip. It also included deciding on a permanent location for the project as it ramped up. The week involved a tour of the island meeting state agencies and local authorities to see if they were interested in supporting the location of this fairly large project - north or south. It would mean investment and employment and it was all export so it ticked most of the boxes.
On the last day of the trip, the team had a relaxing lunch.
At the Nama'd hotel
Sitting outside on a sunny day in a beautiful 5 star but 'Nama'd hotel...Nama triggered a initial conversation about the state of their respective countries. All were adamant that their countries were more screwed than the others. And more to the point all felt that none of their countries were conducive to setting up business there.
The conversation moved onto the meetings with the various state bodies. There was unanimous acceptance that if it was feasible, then the business would be set up here. Other countries where similar meetings had happened didn't even come into the picture.
One of the team explained that everywhere they went in Ireland they met enthusiastic and supportive people and then he said those magical words "and they all asked for the business".
They asked for the business! Anybody who's run a sales orientated business will understand the import of that phrase. Its great to build relationships and trust with customers but you have to, at some point, 'ask for the business'. Its good salesmanship. It shows commercialisation. It projects confidence!
Asking for the business
Maybe NI continued asking for the business over the past 4 or 5 years because great FDI projects have been secured, but it seems that the Republic, maybe over a longer period, stopped asking for the business.
But maybe...a teensy, tiny, teeny maybe, we've turned the corner. We're asking for the business again and while the road ahead is a long and rocky one, maybe... again there's that maybe, we've decided to walk that road shoulders back..head a little more bowed than the past perhaps, rather than crawling it on our knees.
And there's a footnote. When the team were checking out of their 'nama' hotel, the hotel manager (Who does he work for? nama?) made a point of talking to them all and thanking them for their business. He thanked them for the business!, another old fashioned first principle of doing business. And he said that they were putting together some family offers for the Summer and that he'd be getting back to them...he was already looking for the repeat business!