Sorry about the delay in finishing this series, the life of a professional Social Media Marketer goes a little nuts over the holidays. Plus I had some weird iPad issue that lost this article and the next one, so I’ve had to re-create from notes.
The last day. Finally. I’ve been in this town far too long for my taste and I’m looking forward to being home (if you’re reading this, I made it safely).
This day was a short one for me since I had a plane to catch. It also inspired a future post that some manufacturers may not like.
Trade shows are a retail environment
My first “real job” was at Nordstroms. For those of you who are unfamiliar, they are a highish end department store that is fairly famous for their customer service. This was their new hire manual at the time:
Welcome to Nordstrom
We’re glad to have you with our Company. Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service. Set both your personal and professional goals high. We have great confidence in your ability to achieve them.
Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.
Please feel free to ask your department manager, store manager, or division general manager any question at any time.
Before I went into the real estate industry, I was one of AT&T Wireless’s top sales people and sales managers. So I have some experience in retail sales and customer service.
When people walk into your dive center, do you ignore them? If you’re thinking “Nick, you’re an idiot”, thank you.
So why is it that when I walk into a booth, I get treated rudely or am completely ignored? My badge shows that I work for a very large retail player in this industry. My introduction as the guy behind this site should get a little respect, after all I am reaching several thousand scuba professionals every month. And who sells gear? Dive pros sell gear. For my day job, I have access to a blog with five to six digit unique traffic every month. But since I don’t have a buyer ribbon on my badge, I get ignored.
See anything cool?
That header is misleading. I’m going to tell you about one particular situation with a vendor that pissed me off. I won’t name their name or link to them because they don’t deserve any traffic from this site.
I saw their product in the new product showcase, but since I was observing the rules and not taking photos, I decided to head to their booth. In all honestly, I thought their product idea was a kind of goofy, but I was planning on simply taking a picture, posting it here and asking if they are actually filling a niche I’m unaware of. Free publicity.
I found their booth and asked if I could take a picture. The booth was empty except for people staffing it (telling me that no, they aren’t filling a niche that anyone is interested in). The response was “where do you work?” I asked why it mattered and was told I couldn’t take a picture until I stated where I worked. I said “somewhere that could get them lots of exposure”, but I wasn’t sure why it mattered since I just wanted to take a picture. She handed me a brochure (no actual pictures, just illustrations) and said “Here, you can have that” and stood between my camera and the product.
Why would you NOT want more exposure for your product?
But this must be the type of vendor that got DEMA to put up no picture signs anywhere.
This is an issue I ran into in my old job and and last year at DEMA. Why aren’t more vendors friendly and outgoing without being salesy?