Relationships Change More Than Just OurselvesBy Dennis Vander Molen
Article Date: 04-01-2010
Copyright(C) 2010 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Distributors have the ability to reverse the adverse, both locally and nationally.
Relationships. We all have them. Some close, some far away. Some we build and benefit from everyday, while others maybe once a year. Some we can live without and others we cannot.
AED members say that one of the most important reasons to go to the annual Summit is for networking, and indeed, our event in January had a strong focus on the development of relationships between dealers, their manufacturers, and their service companies. Special relationships were also solidified during Summit: Our relationship with Canadian distributors and manufacturers has evolved to full integration of CAED with AED, which is a great development. Also, a ceremony with the leadership of AED and a delegation from the China equipment dealers association emphasized cooperation between the two organizations. These are both great examples of how effective relationships can bring dividends to the greater good, outside of ourselves.
There are certainly things you can do to seek out good business relationships, too. Is there a forum for dialogue between you and your key manufacturer suppliers? We all face similar challenges where strategy in effective team building needs to take place. Effective listening and constructive feedback can bring our industry to another level in serving each other and our customers. If you have this forum in place, congratulations! If not, try it – you may like it; and you’ll like the results even more!
Local Unity, National Impact
When we gravitate to relationships that have a positive influence on us and there is strong leadership to follow, we are bound to advance personally and professionally. I am privileged to enjoy some great relationships within my manufacturer’s dealer network group, North American Vermeer Dealers Association. And, over the last couple of years, I have also become more involved with the Memphis AED group. While this group values the relationships that have existed for 30 years, they quickly adopted me into the circle. These relationships grow in spite of the fact that most of us are competitors. We all understand that challenges in our local markets are there due to local and national industry issues and not necessarily because a competitor is getting all of the business.
What is the focus of your local AED group? Do you have a strategy in place? Do you seek better ways to influence your market utilizing relationships? Do you have a relationship with your local Congressman that aligns with your goals? If you do not have an AED group in your local market, now is a good time to start.
Our industry thrives on capital, ROI, and a freedom that empowers, but the current administration is being horribly misled in its assumption that fiscal responsibility is not important.
The relationships we have locally can affect what’s done in our state and national governments so that our nation can sow the seeds of prosperity again. Our work is not just behind an impact wrench, computer or the seat of a machine. We must grow relationships outside of our circle of comfort. Let’s go out and make a difference.
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