Canadian Music Trade - December/ January 2018 - Page 33

Schedule appointments strategically: ”Schedule appointments with key and new accounts and not with everybody. Also, line up your appointments so that you minimize the walking time. Strategically plan it out so that you’re not running 15 or 20 minutes between appointments, because there goes your day.” Book rental vehicles: “Pre-book rental vehicles well in advance. Those things get booked up really fast, especially if you need a van or two.” At the Show Purchase special items immediately: “We know certain companies will introduce limited pieces. Whether it’s only one in Canada or 25, we try and get that kind of information from the reps ahead of time. If not, then we try and visit those vendors on the first morning. If you know some key vendors have been known to release limit- ed pieces, then you hit those first. It’s very important because if you go the second or third day, they’re going to be sold out.” Meet the right people: “While you’re there, speak with and get to know the marketing VP and CEOs, etc., so you can put a face to the email or phone call you have back home. This will come in handy once you return because now you know who you’re communicating with and if you need to pull some strings or ask for that other deal or marketing strategies, you know who to communicate with rather than just the rep.” Ask for NAMM Show specials: “There are always show specials. For some unique products, sometimes they’ll say, “This partic- ular item is only for NAMM attendees,” and sometimes it’s in the back room and they don’t even show it on the main floor. So al- ways ask for that and make sure your rep is in the know. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Have someone taking photos & videos: “Have a video or camera person or crew that takes still photos and videos that you can upload right there while you’re at NAMM and also bring back with you. They could coordinate that with somebody back at the store so when the information comes in, they can upload it right away to your site and now you’ve got instant information [for customers] right away.” Meet regularly with your team: “[At the show] we meet regularly with the group and see what they found. If some of us need to go back to that brand, then we will so that we can negotiate whatever deal that needs to be done.” Spend the appropriate amount of time with suppliers: “Say I want to see this new account, which we’ve never dealt with and it’s a large account, then I’ll give them a good hour because it’s going to be about discovery. They want to know who we are, we want to tell them who we are, and there might be five of us trying to persuade that client. It might be one of those ones that needs convincing why we should open you up and there are a lot more parameters involved. If it’s a string line, no problem. It could be 10 minutes. Like, ‘Hey, how are you doing? My name is Jerry and I’m from Cosmo. Here’s my card.’ If it’s not a franchise line, I wouldn’t spend too much time on that. Quite often, if it’s something I am passing by and I see a nice product, I’ll just pick up the card and contact information, ask for the discounts, and then go on my way.” Get a good Breakfast (of Champions): “As a group, we go to the Breakfast of Champions at the Hilton. We get there early, like 7 a.m., we all get a seat, and we have a good breakfast… Of course, it’s also quite informative. [At least] have some kind of nutrients to keep you going. Some people skip breakfast, but I think having a good breakfast is important.” Leave extra time on Sunday: “We always leave extra time on Sunday. That way, anybody we need to go back to revisit, rehash, and also follow up on the Best in Show items that we missed, then we go back and hit those.” After the Show Follow up: “When we come back, all the guys will give me their business card contacts that they have and any catalogs or brochures. Anything that they think is a must-have, they’ll put a little extra sticker on for me. Everything is done within the two to three weeks [after the show].” Share with your staff: “When we come back – this is really crucial – we review what we saw at the show. What we do here at Cosmo is what we call a “post-NAMM preview” at the store for all employees, including cashiers, receptionists, office staff, warehouse staff – any- body is invited to this event. We put together a slide show of maybe the five top items that we saw at the show and new lines that we’re bringing in. We give them a slide presentation recapping the show, as well as ETAs and pricing of what’s to come.” Michael Raine is the Senior Editor of Canadian Music Trade CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE 33