I was there! A great conference #GrowCo14
I am just back from the annual entrepreneur’s pilgrimage known as Growco.
Aptly named for “grow your company”, it’s an opportunity to join like-minded business leaders, bestselling authors, and headliners straight out of the pages of Inc. for three days of ideas, inspiration and insights, networking and learning, and proven strategies to help your company grow and thrive.
Each year it’s great fun to descend on a new city and this years festivities brought us to Music City – Nashville, Tennessee.
I have attended for the last few years, and each year brings new relationships, great business opportunities, and lasting memories.
A few years back, I started bringing some of my teammates so they could share in the experience. The 2013 event was in New Orleans with a great line-up of speakers and events and I really thought it would be a tough act to follow up.
The Keynote speaker…
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I was at an outdoor concert in Miami recently (VERY hot and humid, but worth it) and noticed the beer vendor. He had a wheel barrow full of ice cold beer, wine, and water. He was dressed in a fun outfit, had a light on his hat and a string of lights around his neck. He was sort of “singing” his offerings of beer, wine, and water and there was a steady number of patrons either running up to him or sending money and orders down the aisle. He went up and down EVERY aisle over and over again. I noticed him because of his attitude and work ethic. He was working so hard in that heat and nothing was going to get him down. We will call him Going-For-It-Guy.
LATER…I noticed the other beer vendor. He had jeans and a t-shirt on. He looked very put together and neat. But, other than that, nothing stood out. He also had a wheel barrow full of ice cold wine, beer, and water. He walked around the sections, a little slowly, never once calling out his wares. The only reason I knew what he was selling was because of the sign on the side of his wheel barrow. He never came down my aisle ever. He seemed to just walk around aimlessly, hoping someone would come up to him and ask to buy his products. In other words, he had no plan. Actually, it appeared he would rather be anywhere but there. We will call him Maybe-Someone-Will-Buy-From-Me-Guy.
The difference was obvious, noticeable, and financially more lucrative for Going-For-It-Guy. The difference in the amount of business they were each getting was huge. After a while, people in my section would call for the Going-For-It-Guy, even though Maybe-Someone-Will-Buy-From-Me-Guy was closer. Going-For-It-Guy would run from 2 sections over to give someone a $3 beer.
So here it is: What I learned from the Beer Vendors:
- My message needs to be loud and clear
- My message needs to be relevant and timely
- Follow up, follow up, and then follow up some more
- Stepping out of the box and distinguishing yourself makes a big difference
- The working hard part is okay and necessary. It pays off and your clients feel the difference…
So, in your business, which beer vendor are you?
- Do you go out of your way to get the word out about what you are selling or providing?
- Do you know what makes you unique in the world of your product or service and do you flaunt it?
- Do you work harder than the other guy and go that extra mile?
- Are you willing to follow up over and over again, so they remember you? They may eventually buy and you want it to be from you.
Although the Goo Goo Dolls and Switchfoot were awesome that night, the real entertainment and learning was from the beer vendors. Who knew?