EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

When my wife and I were first married, we had occasion to go to book a several day vacation at Kutsher’s Hotel and Country Club. I’m not even sure we had children at the time, it was that long ago. For those of you not familiar with the Borscht Belt of grand resorts in the Catskill Mountains of New York State, Kutscher’s was one of the longest running of these hotels. It was really a charming place. The food wasn’t great, but there was plenty of it. And, there was evening entertainment.

Anyway, having not all that recently gotten out of the Army, my “bride” and I were looking forward to some time away. Although I had learned to play golf when I was in the service, I found out that you had to get up at 5:30AM on Saturday or Sunday to sign up, and women weren’t allowed on the course until after 1PM. So, we had taken up tennis, something we could do together.

As we pulled into the driveway of the hotel, I noticed that EVERYONE was really old. Some of the guests standing around actually appeared to be even older than I am now. (Or at least they looked that old to the two of us. We were in our 20’s at the time.)

My wife and I were pretty upset, but then we realized that NO ONE was going to be competing with us for most of the physically demanding activities that were available at the hotel, like the tennis court and boat rentals.

I don’t in any way mean to be making light of what is going on in the United States with respect to the novel coronavirus, but one obvious fact is, that although there will be no networking meetings going on where we can shake hands and pass out business cards, most business travel is going to be coming to a quick stop. You would have to be out of your mind to get on an airplane right now.

Think about it. All those important people who you would like to contact will be either stuck at the office or stuck at home, with nothing much to do. This is where you come in.

With you also stuck at home, now is the time to send emails and make lots of phone calls. My guess is that, if only out of boredom, people will begin answering their phones and answering their emails. Perhaps not as good as an in person meeting, but sure better than the almost non-response to these two means of communication I have been observing the past several years.

It is only possible to schedule perhaps 4 in person meetings in a single day. If you make phone calls, 30 is about the limit. Emails on the other hand, you can send out hundreds in a single day.

What you will lose in effectiveness, by not being “in their face,” you can easily make up in volume.

While the “dust is settling,” take this time to make as many contacts as possible through email and phone calls. If we’re lucky, we will shortly be able to go out and “press the flesh” again. By using this time effectively, you can plant the seeds of your success.

I would point out to you that The FENG has a Member Directory Search feature to help you get started locating old friends and making new ones. Just sign into our website. Under Members Only, second item down, you will find this remarkable tool. Even if everyone signs in tomorrow, I promise you, our website won’t lock up.

Don’t waste time wringing your hands over the current state of the world. It is something none of us can fix at the moment. Do something positive that will pay dividends down the road.

Regards, Matt

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