A Show of Their Own
Farinelli's Tech Vision class covered new and emerging technologies that are influencing the industry, while Sapienza ran a session called "Get Clients Now," a 28-day marketing plan (based on a popular business book of the same name) that helps outside salespeople generate new sales 90 days out, repeatedly. The plan stresses a discipline of behavior modification, in both business and personal practices, and setting goals for each week, so that an outcome of sales growth is achieved. The program may be very familiar to PARA dealers, who have seen similar presentations at their annual conferences.
Another good session was held by former CEDIA president Steve Hayes, owner of the New England-based Custom Electronics. He was on hand to give presentations on plugging the common profit leaks of a small business. Hayes' presentation was well-received by the crowds that attended, perhaps because of his frank style of discussing business strategies others shy away from, because they are either industry truths that some prefer not to talk about out of politeness or are reluctant to share details of their own business. He spoke about the areas of business where dealers are most likely to have profit leaks and how a company can save money.
For example, he noted that seven out of 10 dealers are on credit hold with some of their vendors, meaning that dealers owe money for products they purchased on credit. "If you prepay your bills on time," said Hayes, "use that to your advantage when negotiating pre-paid discounts." He noted that some manufacturers have pre-paid discount policies in place that they don't often advertise, and that it can't hurt for the dealer to ask.