Why Communication is not all about Talking!

If you don't already know, my day job is working in the office for Purse Line Inc., a bait supplier for the fishing industry here in Maine. For us, the first full weekend in March is the weekend when suppliers from all over the country and Lobstermen from all over New England converge on The Samoset Resort in Rockland, Maine. It's a chance for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves while catching up on the latest gear and technology, update on safety and regulations, and generally, see the people that we're too busy to see the rest of the year. The Forum also helps out the fishing community by providing health screenings, hearing tests and holding an auction with the proceeds going to scholarships.

This year, a good time is had by most.

So, where does communication come into this? And what do I mean by talking isn't everything? 


I don't have the exact numbers, but I suspect that roughly 80% of the people that attend the show are there because they have a question that needs answering. Oh, there are a few that go because they just want to see the sights or gather up a bag of swag, but I think they're in the minority.

Most of my time was spent in the booth, but I did get a chance to walk around and visit the other booths. While walking by the Grunden USA booth I got a look at their new boots that they are about to go out to the market. For us, our guys spend long days on their feet in varying stages of heat and wetness. Their boots are often an expensive piece of pivotal equipment and it helps if they do the job required and do it well. Grunden's new boots are winning all kinds of awards for just these reasons. So, I took my questions to them and was lucky enough to talk to the President of Grunden USA, Mike Jackson, and his wife (I'm so sorry that I can't remember her name).

They were kind and gracious and more importantly, they listened to my questions. They even asked their own questions about how we would use a product like their boots. It was a ten-minute conversation, but during that time they made me feel like what I had to say was important. And when I walked away I was impressed. Why? Because they did more active listening than talking. They weren't there to just sell but to see what the market needed and respond to needs. Just recently they came out with a line of gear made to fit women in the industry. No more trying to fit into something that wasn't designed for them. Ultimately, they prove the point that a business can not be progressive or proactive without knowing what the needs of the consumers are that buy their products.
And you can't do that without listening. 

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