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Thanks to a special friend for pointing out that some of our conversation could work towards a great post. As we dive headfirst into conference season, we all find ourselves at these events networking and reconnecting with friends and colleagues and there always seem to be a few certainties
I would like to address my peers today from a vendor perspective. We often come to these events due to our sponsorships (that big booth!) and our relationships to the industry. Depending on the conference, you may find the majority of your time is spent at the booth trying to demo your product or service. I won't dispute that this is necessary; however, I encourage each and every one of you, including your sales people, and anyone wearing your Vendor badge, to take in as many breakout sessions and keynotes as you/they can. This is absolutely imperative - not just to get a better idea of how to sell your products or to see what your competition may be doing - but also to get a better understanding of what your customer, the dealer, is doing and possibly planning to apply in their store.
Lately the word vendor seems to have a negative connotation to it and frankly I understand that. Dealers pay vendors for a product/service and understandably expect to receive it, but it's the Vendors who need to take the next step in becoming a partner that excels in business and in our industry.
It is a privilege to attend conferences like DrivingSales and attendance gives you the perfect opportunity to educate yourself on your costumers in addition to your own products and services so that when the time comes you can step in and help them by being their partner and not just their vendor focusing on the sale.
The takeaway from this post: DrivingSales is one of the best conferences to meet the most progressive dealers in the country and learn from them as well as other topnotch individuals, so as a vendor, bring your people to learn everything they can from this opportunity and the sales will follow (… and this is where I could’ve inserted a Field of Dreams photo).
And now, go register!