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Will McGinnis

Will McGinnis National Sales Trainer

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Driving Sales Executive Summit - Some Words by a Vendor for Vendors (dealers too!)

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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

  • Useful/useless swag
  • Keynotes/Breakouts (These will be the best people you listen to at any conference!) 
  • After-hours events likely hosted by vendors to show their appreciation to dealers and meet new customers. 
  • People looking for an open outlet 

 

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! 

Tom Hawkins
I am going...first time. I have found that the vendors who strive to educate first, get the sales later.
Joe Webb
I look forward to seeing you there, Will. And like usual, I'm sure we'll meet up during one of those "after hours" thingamabobs you mention.
Will McGinnis
Tom, you chose wisely! This is the best event for all automotive parties in the industry! Speaking of Parties... Joe, you are correct in that assessment! See you there bud!
Adam Ross
Hi Will, I'm excited to be going for the first time and representing Uperator on Startup Alley. I know from my industry friends and from following this site for the past 5 years that this is one of the premier events. I agree that it's important for people who partner with dealerships attend the keynotes and workshops and hope to get that opportunity. I will heed your advice and make that effort - at least to see Joe Webb or JD Rucker speak! I hope you'll find a few minutes to come over and say hi to me during the conference. Sincerely, Adam Ross
Nate Marquardt
Thanks for the post, Will! Sound advice. This year will be my first time in attendance as well. Excited to debut ChatterUP to the world as part of Startup Alley, and looking forward to meeting, in person, many of the people I've been following here and on Twitter over the past year or so. See you there!

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