Marketing and sales are like riding bumper cars at the local county fair. You all get into the little cars in a spirit of fun and exhuberance. You start by waving at eachother and smiling as you go by. Eventually those that are more agressive start to wack into everyone with as much gusto and determination. Smiles and waves turn into concern and strategic maneuvering...
To make the best of the situation, you laugh at those that bump you the hardest. Compliment their efforts and redouble on the far side to get a hell of a side wallup when they are focusing their efforts on someone else (see they think you are out of the picture)...
I like the carnival aspect of things. I've done the distribution of "local farm products", sold trailer loads of lambs and goats into ethnic markets, assisted husband on bottling milk in MA, make and sell cheese... I prefer this lifestyle to working a mundane politics driven office. I am too cynical and stubborn to get along with 8-4:30ers. Maybe a wee excentric to boot (at least the CNY versions of office co-workers think I am... I think they are right. Why be boring?)
We got our AWSOME sign from Terry Signs (824-3144). Combine that with Dick Barnes getting the again cooling system going and our farm store is actually going to be OPEN FOR BUSINESS.
As expected the Amish cheese at Hamilton Market did cut into the Hamilton sales. At least I didn't pay for the curb space. We will try marketing through the Peppermill and Aunt Bee's Farm to see how it goes. It is kinda why we decided to market yoghurt and milk from our organic cows. Gotta be flexible. Dan's tomme is good, others pretty good. Everyone who markets cheese in the area suggested he be competitive (raise his prices to be with us), but it is his business.
The beauty of small scale direct marketing is that we can all be flexible. I'll just put pasteurized product into that area and keep my quality as good as it always is. I'll keep the customers that like what we do. Fair enough.
On the flip side we will be bouncing someone out of another account with our new 2008 products. It evens out. When you are marketing, you can bitch and moan to family only and for a total of 4 hours. Then get over it and come up with a different approach. Keep the quality excellent and you will persevere.