They are our customers, not competitors!
Abstract: By the time they finished high school at age 17 or 18, I sent my 3 children to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), New York City (NYC), to do their Graduate Gemologist (GG). And they have a keener nose for business than me. Probably, an old dog needs to learn new tricks, occasionally.
摘要：当他们17岁,18岁刚刚完成高中时，我将3名孩子送到纽约市（NYC）美国宝石学院（GIA），继续读他们宝石学家研究生（GG）的课程。 而且我觉得他们的商业天赋比我更敏感, . 可能，对我来说老外说 的对….“ 一只老狗也需要偶尔学习点新的技巧”.
Participating In Trade Exhibition
In the mid 2000s, Marilyna, my eldest daughter and Calvin, my second son, were doing their undergraduate degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), in New York City while William the youngest son was doing his GG at the GIA, NYC. They were then 20, 19 and 17 of age. So, they were young, enthusiastic, saw the world from a different perspective, and with some experience to boot in the chaotic and frenetic Big Apple, New York City.
在2000年中，我的大女儿玛丽丽娜和我的第二个儿子加尔文在美国纽约市中心的「时尚技术学院」（FIT）读他们的学士学位，而最小的儿子威廉也正在纽约市中心的「美国宝石学院」（GIA），做他研究生宝石学家的学位（GG）. 他们当时才是20岁，19岁和17岁, 他们年轻，热情，从不同的角度看待世界，并能用这个机会挣到一些能适应在混乱和疯狂的「大苹果」中的生活经验，「大苹果」便是纽约市的别名。
The best thing I could do was to give them more exposure in the jade and gemstones trade. They could just skip a day or two from their universities and helped out. So we often participated in the Gems and Jewelry Trade Shows in the good old US of A., in New York City, Las Vegas and Tucson, Arizona where the annual February show was being held.
我能做到最好的事情便是给他们更多的曝露在玉石和宝石贸易的机会。 他们可以跳过一两天大学课程来帮帮我. 所以我们经常都有参加在美国每年二月份在纽约市，拉斯维加斯和亚利桑那州, 图森举办的宝石和珠宝展览会展会.
Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
We participated in one of the Gems & Jewelry Show in Mirage Hotel & Casino, one late spring month. Our merchandises consisted of mostly Burmese jade and corundum (rubies and sapphires), jewelry, rough, semi-cut, cut, carvings and boulders. Apart from the Hong Kong Pavilion, where a number of the booths exhibited high quality jade jewelry, we were the only booth selling Burmese stones. So I thought I could sell my jade well and get some long term customers.
有一个春天, 我们参加了一个在美国拉斯维加斯, 米拉奇赌场酒店举办的珠宝玉石首饰展会. 我们的商品包括了大多来自缅甸的缅甸玉和刚玉（红宝石和蓝宝石），珠宝首饰，粗糙，半切，切，雕刻和石块都有。那边, 除了香港馆，其中许多展位都展出了高品质的翡翠饰品，我们是唯一卖缅甸宝石的的展位。所以我想我会能拉得到一些良好的长期客户。
The trade show was held for 5 days. For the first two days, our sale was dismayed. We could not make enough even for a decent family dinner in Las Vegas and my initial outlay and cost for participating was astronomical. We did have great comments from those who browsed at our booth, the ‘Ohs’ and the ‘Ahs’, ‘it’s so beautiful”, “I love jade”, “Mmm, I am considering getting some for my wife,” this and that, and after a while I had heard them all. But there was no show time in getting these people to pull their wallets to flash their credit cards or cash.
那次展会举办了5天。开始的前两天，我们对我们的销售感到非常的失望.，我们甚至无法能赚到足够的钱在拉斯维加斯去享受一餐体面的晚餐，因为我们的投资成本和参与费用是天文数字般的昂贵. 不过我们在我们的摊位里面听到了许多在浏览我们展位顾客的好评，好相….“哦！”和“啊！”，“真漂亮”，“我好爱玉石”，“我正在考虑为我的妻子买一些”… 等等, 经过一段时我们全都都听过了. 虽然好评很多, 但是就是不能使他们来刷卡或支付现金去买.
We had our buffet dinner at Cravings, Mirage that night. So, I threw open the question to the 3 kids (they are and will always be kids to me, anyway), “What are we going to do?”
There was no recriminations from them. They did not say that I had not done my homework by researching the market. Though they had warned me much earlier that the market for jade was very thin in USA, they did not say so. This was a brain-storming session, and not a blame-storming one.
他们没有指责我. 他们没有说我没有详细研究过市场, 没有做功课等等. 虽然他们早些时候已经提醒过我，美国的玉石市场不太好，但他们并没有这么说. 这是一个洗脑谈话，而不是一个相互谴责的谈话.
“Dad, can you give us a free rein on what to do tomorrow?” Calvin said.
I thought hard for a moment. These 3 kids may have been discussing what to do next. I said, “Since you have been with me on several trips to Burma, you know our acquisition cost and our overheads. Do what you all think is best for tomorrow.”
我想了一会儿, 这3个孩子可能已经讨论过下一步该做什么. 我说：“既然你们和我都去过缅甸多次，你就知道我们的收购成本和我们的开销, 那明天就遵循你的意见去做拉.“
On the third day morning, we took out our merchandises from the security room and displayed them on the counters in our booth.
Calvin said, “Dad, you mind the stall, we have work to do.” And the three of them disappeared for almost the whole day, dropping by occasionally to collect our brochures we brought to the exhibition.
For that day there were the usual on-lookers, people passing by, asking the price on some merchandises, taking our brochures and name cards, making enquiries and small talk, but they kept their wallets on a tight lease. I thought to myself, that if they didn’t buy now they ain’t buy no more through emails.
The co-ordinator, a gorgeous lady, for the exhibition organizer popped in once in a while to enquire “Arthur, how is the going?” I smiled, shrugged my shoulders and said “I am doing fine, Julie”. Ha! She should know better as every credit card sales ran through the organizer’s POS terminal.
组办单位的负责人，一位非常绮丽的女士，有时会顺便拜访我们一下，询问“亚瑟，怎么样？”我笑了起来，耸了耸肩，说：“太好了！ 我很好，朱莉“。 哈！ 每张信用卡销售都通过组织者的POS电脑终端刷的，所以她应该知道得更清楚。
We had take-away dinner that night, then we walked to the singing fountain at Bellagio Hotel & Casino and the various casinos on The Strip. There was no business talk. But I could sense that the kids were quite optimistic about something, which I could not pin-point.
那晚, 我们打包外卖晚餐吃，然后我们走到了Bellagio Hotel＆Casino赌场和The Strip的各间赌场旁边的唱歌喷泉。 那晚我们没有谈论销售成果。 但是，我可以感觉到但是无法指出，孩子们对于某些事情非常的乐观。
On the fourth day, we had a small crowd already when we opened up. A number of them called Calvin and Marilyna by their names, as if they were old friends. I noticed then that these were exhibitors from the various stalls by the badges they wore. Instead of the ‘Ohs’ and the ‘Ahs’ they said,”” “Alright, Calvin I take these and that,”, “Marilyna, can you go down some more,” “I take the whole lot, Calvin”.
第四天，当我们开摊位的时候，已经有一小群人在摊位外面等待着了. 他们中的一些人叫着卡尔文和玛丽莲娜他们的名字，好像他们是老朋友一样. 从他们穿着的徽章看来, 我注意到，他们都是这里各种摊位的参展商.
这次绝对不是几天前的 ”哦！“ 和 ”啊！“…而是 “他们说，”“好吧，加尔文我拿这些，”, “ 玛莉莲呢，你能再减价一点吗？。 当你是卖家的时候，我感觉到这些都是我耳朵里甜蜜的音乐，就像一个小零售商的收银机开开关关的声音。
Business was coming in and at a real hectic pace. These buyers did not linger long. They had their own booths to mind. They came, they saw and they negotiated. Each deal was done by the kids expediently. Marilyna and Calvin were calling the shots. William and I were collecting cash and writing out receipts. Occasionally, I ran to the Organizer’s Processing Center to draw on some of the buyers’ credit cards.
By the close of the business day, we had done quite well.
销售进入了一个真正忙碌的步伐。 这些买家没有停留太久, 因为他们有自己的摊位要照顾。 他们来了，看了，也谈判了。 每个交易都是由孩子们顺利地完成的. 玛丽莲娜和加尔文正在操纵销售, 威廉和我在忙于收取现金和写出收据. 偶尔，我会跑到主办单位的处理中心去会刷一些买家的信用卡。
We had our dinner at Cravings, Mirage. Our moods were exuberant. We were not exhausted by the day’s hectic event. We were all charged up, we ate wolfishly, my appetite was more so whetted by the dollars in my bag.
Calvin fired the first salvo with the opening gambit, “Dad, you told us that they are more than 500 over exhibitors at the Show. We are competing head on with them.”
Oh! Suddenly I lapsed into selective amnesia. Heck! Did I say that before we came? But the dollars in my bag were real. So I kept my counsel and let them talked.
“Dad, they are our customers, not competitors!” said Marilyna seriously.
我们再次在Cravings，Mirage吃晚餐。 我们每个人的心情都很兴奋。 我们当天尽管很忙碌但是我们没有觉得累。 我们大家都好像刚被充电过似的，我们都狼吞虎咽地吃了一个丰富的晚餐，我的胃口更像是被在我们包包里的美元敲醒似的。
加尔文开场打开了第一个话题，“爸爸，你告诉我们参展人数超过500人, 我们正在与他们迎头竞争 ?“
哦! 突然，我选了一个选择性的遗忘. 哎呀！ 在我们来之前我有这样说过吗？ 但看到我包包里的美元确实是真的, 所以我保留了我的辩护，让他们继续说下去。
Calvin continued in a more amiable tone, “These exhibitors come from all over the world. We have worked out that most of them do not carry jade items in their business. They can increase their retail merchandises by adding an additional item. And we can be their supplier of choice because we have our direct resources in Burma for many years.”
Wow! Such beautiful marketing terms well said by this young lad, all piss and vinegar, so to speak.
加尔文继续以一种更加亲切的语调说, “ 这些参展商来自世界各地, 我们已经确定，他们大多数人都不会在他们的商业讨论中携带玉石物品。因此他们可以增加另一个额外的项目，即是缅甸翡翠玉零售商品。我们可以成为他们的首选供应商，因为我们在缅甸有直接资源多年。“
哇！ 这几个年轻的小伙子能够说出这样漂亮的营销术用语, 很好! 我只能张开嘴巴没什么可说了 ! 哈哈 !
The drift of our conversation was now very animated. They described how they sectioned all the various booths among themselves, leaving out the Hong Kong pavilion, and each of them armed with our brochures went from booth to booth to tell them who we were. By Jove! Even some Hong Kong dealers came to see us, more like nosing around than really buying from us. These were the big boys in the trade.
Now, that called for a celebration. I ordered a bottle of red wine from the menu, I didn’t know much about wine but I just chose one with a median price range. These kids could not even walk into a pub in NYC because they were underage for liquor consumption.
On the last day of the exhibition, most of our jade items were sold.
Good work, Kids!
现在我们谈话漂移的非常生动了。 他们描述了他们如何划分所有的各个摊位，排除香港馆，每个装有我们的小册子的摊位我们都去告诉他们我们是谁。 感到惊讶的是…. 即使香港的经销商也来看望我们，他们不是想要买东西, 好相是想要从我们那里得到一些消息。 我的这三个「小孩子」都是商业领域贸易中的大男孩呢!
现在是时候要庆祝了 ! 我从菜单上点了一瓶红葡萄酒，我对葡萄酒不太了解，所以我选择了一个中档价格范围的。 这三个「小孩子」甚至还不能走进纽约市任何的一家酒吧，因为他们还未成年不能喝酒。