How could attending a regional association meeting help me or my business? Oh…it sure can and here is how and why.
I have heard this question many times from many distributors. Why join their local regional when there is not much to be gained? The answer to me is very clear, and I want to state the reasons why one distributor would recommend to another distributor that joining is a smart move.
First, in business, you should get to know your competition. It is like being on a sports team. You all play to win, on different teams but in the end, everyone is part of the same lineup. Players even receive awards together and congratulate each other on their achievements. The motivation is the same and just like in sports team players learn from each other. I reference in this article competitive analysis and the importance of taking stock of your competitors in your region.
Make sure a part of your training includes competitive analysis. Entrepreneur encyclopedia states: A competitive analysis is a critical part of your company marketing plan. With this evaluation, you can establish what makes your product or service unique–and therefore what attributes you play up to attract your target market. Take time to learn what innovative ideas your competition is working on and then strive to not only stay competitive but ahead of your market. Don’t just have your employees research competition, but make it part of your training too. Companies should not be afraid to begin this conversation with their sales team.
I wanted to write this article because first I am NOT a volunteer for any PPAI regional associations nor does an organization employ me. There are 27 local organizations in the industry under PPAI and here is the list.
I suggest you review your local regionals website and take a note of event dates and member information. Plan to attend an event or two and go the meeting with an open mind. Here are the important points I want to make with this post. First, no one is going to steal your clients, your programs or your creativity. You will find that distributors want to share industry news, questions, and best practices with each other. It is impressive to watch this in action and you will feel proud to be in the industry. No one will ask you the name of your client, nor should you ever tell another distributor who you are working with or not to touch your customer. What you will gain is knowledge, new friends, new opportunities and relief in knowing you are not alone.
Next, I want to say that by joining your local regional association you will connect with your local supplier reps and this is worth its weight in gold. Remember, working with a vendor is a two-way street and if you want to be successful in your business then show the vendors that you support their efforts as they are usually the ones helping to sponsor the events. Interesting enough, distributors may also sponsor events, but usually it will be the local suppliers. Getting to know your local rep in a relaxed and fun event goes far when you need special favors.
I would love to see every distributor attend their closest local regional association and then share your experience with us. Get to know their board of directors and thank each of them for donating their time and energy to make the industry professional. I bet before you know it you will be involved!
Adrienne Barker has started www.promoindustry.guru and she invites you to use the news feed as content for your social media.