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You may have noticed that over the past few years your association has transformed into a stronger, more member-centric organization. Specifically, AED added a whole host of educational content, workforce development projects, and member benefits that serve one ultimate purpose, to offer our dealer members opportunities to increase employee efficiency, maximize dealer profitability and enhance the success of their business and the equipment industry. Central to these efforts is the regional manager program and increased engagement of dealer members in Association activities.
        
The regional manager program has one very simple goal: to provide AED members with a point of contact whose sole purpose is to help members understand the full range of opportunities offered through AED.

Your dealership receives hundreds of sales calls, and probably even more email solicitations, each month from salespeople who are trying to sell you everything from business services to coffee filters for the break room. Given this reality, it is not surprising that one of the hardest parts of a regional manager’s job (especially when they are new to the region) is getting in touch with a dealer principal to discuss upcoming AED opportunities. As a regional manager, my sole purpose is to help you increase your bottom line so that the value of your AED membership far outweighs the cost of your annual dues. To be fair, part of my job is indeed to reach out and make sure you know about the benefits of attending AED events and to assist you with registering for those events. But there are a few key differences between a sales call and a call regarding an upcoming AED event.

Regional managers will not pressure you to attend an AED event that you are not interested in. We take no for an answer, and better yet, we take note of your interests for future use to better serve you.
The goal of AED’s events is to help educate our dealers, allow them to network and share best practices, and promote policies beneficial to their dealerships and the equipment distribution industry.
To maximize the value of your AED membership, you need to be in direct contact with your regional manager.  

Did you know that AED has four main facets through which we advance the interests of your dealership and the industry? 1) Government affairs and public policy advocacy, 2) Professional development and education for your employees, 3) Member services to help your dealership increase its bottom line, and 4) The AED Foundation and workforce development.

Dealer principals should discuss each of these four facets with their regional manager to do the following: establish an understanding of how these four areas impact their dealership, identify how engagement in each of these four areas will help advance the goals of their dealership, and assign a primary point of contact for each of the four areas, who will coordinate with their regional manager. Additionally, they should establish the best way for their regional manager to reach out to them with time-sensitive requests or information. Some of my members, for example, prefer that I send them a text message as opposed to calling their cell phone, because of how often they are unable to answer their phone during the day.

Your regional manager works for you and should be the first person your dealership contacts with questions or issues where AED can help. I challenge you to have a conversation with your regional manager about the areas of AED that interest you and how your dealership is going to engage with AED to accomplish your business goals. Then assign a point of contact from within your dealership for your regional manager to coordinate with on each of these areas of engagement. If you don’t have their cell phone number stored in your cell phone, then you haven’t maximized the value of your AED membership.

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