Making the Most of Events: 8 Tips from NetPlus’s Distributor Members
Over the past couple of years, we’ve interviewed nearly a dozen of NetPlus's distributor members to help us zero in on what’s most important to them.
An unexpected bonus of these conversations was the insight we received on best practices. As we’ve started to plan for this fall’s Annual Meeting (registration now open!), our thoughts have turned to some of the conversations we’ve had with distributor members about how they’ve made the most of NetPlus’s product trainings and other meetings:
- Learn as much as you can about your current offerings, whether you’re at a product training or another NetPlus meeting. One member we spoke with acknowledged that while you’ll never know everything about every product you sell, the more you know, the better you can serve your customers. “You’ve got to know what you’re talking about when you’re trying to sell a product,” he said.
- Be proactive. Don’t just wait for suppliers to come to you to showcase their products or offer new deals. Seek out conversations with suppliers – both current and potential – about lines you’re not currently carrying and explore how switching lines or adding new categories to your mix could get you a better deal. Doing this “makes a pretty big difference,” according to one member.
- Take advantage of informal meeting opportunities. Members told us that the meals and breaks built into NetPlus meeting schedules were ideal times to bounce ideas off of other distributors in a casual setting. Members who use this time to speak with others who they admire and to meet new people get more out of these meetings.
- Cast a wide net. Several members have told us that chatting with other, same-sized distributors was extremely helpful, allowing them to see how others have tackled the same issues they face themselves, and to reap the benefit of knowing that they’re not alone in their challenges. Those same members and others also expressed how much they value talking with distributors larger than them to serve as a model for where they want to go and what they might do to get there.
- Let NetPlus handle supplier meeting logistics. Members who take advantage of NetPlus’s supplier-meeting facilitation meet with many different suppliers in a single day without the hassle of juggling complicated schedules. One member told us that when you plan in advance who you’d like to meet with, and allow NetPlus to fill in the logistical details, you always know where you need to be and who you’ll be talking with next at the meeting. “It’s seamless.”
- Let others inspire you. Members who attend NetPlus trainings and meetings have better overall results than non-attending members. Their success is in part due to the high level of energy and enthusiasm they bring to the meetings and to their businesses as a whole. One member told us that when attending meetings, he benefitted from being surrounded by distributors and vendors “that want to do better.”
- Review training materials after the fact. One member told us that attending trainings and informational sessions can be overwhelming, but that reviewing that material after the events via the NetPlus portal helps her sift through the relevant information and to let it really sink in over time.
- Identify three takeaways and run with them. It would be easy to feel overwhelmed after a meeting or training event, according to one member. His company ranks new ideas from meetings and focuses on just the three things they feel have the most potential.
We hope you’ll take advantage of these insights during your next NetPlus Alliance product training or member meeting. Learn more about NetPlus Alliance events here and via the NetPlus member portal.