Be True to Your School, Part II
By: Robert A. Kobek, RRP
President Mobius Vendor Partners
CustomerCount Online Enterprise Feedback Systems
One of the biggest beefs I hear at conventions from those that are the users of good and services is there are too many vendors and they feel like they have a target on their back. Conversely, one of the biggest beefs I hear from vendors and suppliers are there are too many vendors and not enough buyers. I call these commenters people that “will complain if you hang them with a new rope”.
In case the irony of that is lost on you, I will explain. Without vendors, there would be no trade show, no networking events and no real education for buyers/users. The dollars invested by these companies can be huge in relationship to the direct benefits. The good sellers are engaged and helpful to the general health of the industry, and there is no better place to invest than to invest with the trade association.
One anecdotal story to illustrate the point. While talking to a prospect at a recent industry event, the gent queried “how is your product different that “Acme”? Once I responded with the differences in functionality, ease of use, after sale service, I queried back as I looked around the room, “Are they here? Do they support this industry? Are they even members?” Of course, there are not members and they were not there. That to me should have made a big difference.
I admonish the prospective buyers/users of products and services to be more loyal to the vendors that do participate on a higher level inside the associations that represent the vertical you work in. Those are the companies that not only sell into your industry, but they tend to be smarter, more efficient and have a deeper understanding of the entire industry landscape.
In the 2 verticals I focus on, timeshare and teleservices, I am a subject matter expert in most phases of both industries. And, I associate with other vendors in my space because they possess knowledge about what is going on in those arenas: Who is doing what, why they are moving in that direction and trends. We vendors have cutting edge knowledge at your disposal. In addition, some of those vendors are members of your trade association at higher membership levels because they support the industry.
Point is: Don’t purchase a solution from “Acme”. Give consideration to your industry supporters. They are experts that will help grow your business.