On My Mind - 156 Context by Peter Carruthers

Sales

On My Mind 156 - Context by Peter Carruthers

I get Peter Carruthers communications on a regular basis and usually put them aside to read when I get the chance. Today, however, I read the article as it arrived on my desk and I thought it was so appropriate that I should send it to my avid readers and post it on my site, so here it is. In principle the article is simple enough but it does raise some interesting questions about us here in South Africa that will be worth exploring in future articles. Let me know what you think.

Context

The best way to understand anything is to understand its context. Mostly we don't.

I write this piece from behind the Paella curtain, also known as Spain. And in the context of Spain, South Africa looks like the best country on earth for us folk plying any trade.

If you have never tried to live in Spain then it is easy to think that SA is lacking in some small way. Try telling that to a friend here who has been trying to get a business licence for the past year. Or George, the owner of a car hire firm, who has had three new vehicles on the floor for three months, paid for but as yet unlicensed. My problems seem small by comparison. But when two inward shipments face the same bureaucratic sinkholes, then you begin to feel some of the frustration that the locals feel.

Right now I await a special box that combines four 3G dongles into a single high speed Internet access. I need this soon because, although each mobile network works well, it does so at times dependent on the tides and how close Saturn is to Uranus. Putting four 3G thingies into a single box means that at least one will be working at any time, and if more than one is working then I might even be able to use Skype.

SA has 11 official languages. Spain has five, but they are all really just one spoken with a different accent. Except maybe the Basque area where they talk really funny, and have to resort to extreme measures to get any attention.

The police station, where they handle your request to be allowed to pay tax here has just one sign in English: "This office is Spanish. If you do not speak it, get an interpreter."

In this context, the SA business field is nirvana.

I find myself today on the top of a volcano, Gran Canaria, a tiny piece of Spain a few hundred miles off the Western Sahara, after a period in Norway. It sees  three million visitors each year, mostly speaking English. Usually to themselves because very, very few Spaniards here speak any English at all. Ask them "¿Habla inglés?" and they will shrug and say "Pocito", which is also the only English word they know. But, like English folk worldwide, they just speak their own language louder and faster when they want to make their point.

Their point is almost always a "No". As in, "No, we do not have that." Or "No, you cannot do that."

Not much of our "Boer maak 'n plan" approach.

Without context we speak without understanding. Maybe that is why every outie returning to South Africa is a lot more optimistic than the innies who have yet to experience these foreign climes. So here is my plan: Home swapping for Christmas.

You folk in-country swap your homes, your sun, your cheap and wonderful wines, fruit, and cafes, your sun, your swimming pools, your watermelons, your sun, your large homes, and your braais. We will swap our snow, our awfully expensive and awful tasting fast food, our lacklustre fruit, our small cupboards, and our rain. And we will swap our bureaucracy for yours any day. Now that's what I am talking about. And then after Christmas you will have context and we will have had a jolly good time.

Warm regards.

Peter Carruthers
Non-Executive Marketing Director to 421 Fine Businesses
editor@petesweekly.com

Peter can be found at http://petesweekly.com and I recomend you take a few minutes to read his other stuff.

If you think a friend or colleague would benefit from this message why not forward it to them. To receive this article on a regular basis·Click Here

Richard Mulvey, "The International Sales Guru," has directly influenced over 150,000 business people over the last 20 years helping them improve their profitability. You can follow the author on·twitter·(richardmulvey) or purchase his DVDs, Books, MP3s etc at·www.richardmulvey.com. You may re-publish this article un-edited in any electronic media as long as this paragraph is at the end.

Richard Mulvey
Perception Business Skills
P O Box 53491 Kenilworth, Cape Town 7745
Phone: 0861 - 444888 Fax: 086 - 5741727
info@richardmulvey.com
www.richardmulvey.com

··Don't forget to follow Richard on:

·····

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Subscribe

Subscribe to this site
captcha

Your Shopping Cart

VirtueMart
Your Cart is currently empty.

Upcoming Courses

    To see courses coming later in the year click the "Look for more" link below the list. Click on "Print" to print the whole year. Click on the course to see venue, map etc.