My fascination with this phenomenon was born more than 25 years ago when I first started doing presentation work. Those seminars were generally sponsored by a warehouse, jobber store or group and it wasn’t long before I recognized a direct correlation between the success of the sponsor and two very distinct behaviors.
The first was whether or not representatives of the sponsor were present during the presentation. And, the second was how well they interacted with their service dealer customers — if they interacted with their customers at all and didn’t just huddle together as a group in the back of the room.
The successful operations — the dynamic organizations — were there, both willing and enthusiastic to be with their service dealer customers in order to learn more about us. The operations and organizations who appeared to be struggling invariably had one or two people show up, unlock the door, turn on the lights and then disappear for four hours only to return with lunch and then leave again until it was time to say good night and lock up. It was an opportunity to learn, grow and bond with your clients, customers and prospects forever lost.
I’ve thought about this a lot over the past two weeks, perhaps because we were in the middle of the holiday season and three of our suppliers brought in lunch for the shop.