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What We Learned at the Sales Meeting, and What It Means for Your Store [Guest Blog]

Posted by Eric Browning on 10/26/15 12:00 AM
Topics: sales strategies

For those of you that have ever been to the MBS home office — "the mothership," as some of us in the field refer to it — you know there is no easy way to get there. You fly to Kansas City or St. Louis, take a lovely two-hour ride from either airport, and finally arrive. In spite of the geographical obstacles that teleportation would easily render a non-issue (lets go science), when going out for our annual National Sales Meeting, I am always eager.

 
Eric Browning speaking before his peers at the 2015 Sales Meeting.

For those of you that have ever been to the MBS home office — "the mothership," as some of us in the field refer to it — you know there is no easy way to get there. You fly to Kansas City or St. Louis, take a lovely two-hour ride from either airport, and finally arrive. In spite of the geographical obstacles that teleportation would easily render a non-issue (lets go science), when going out for our annual National Sales Meeting, I am always eager.

Why, you ask? Excellent question.

There's the obvious: connecting with people you work with throughout the year that you never see, as well as discussing the industry with your peers. I have a small group of reps that I work with in a larger geographic area, but the opportunity to connect with reps from the rest of the country alone is worth the trip. We all volunteer to do a buyback in Hawaii every year, though none of us have been invited yet. But that's not what brings out the eagerness.

"So what is it?" you ask, biting your fingernails. I'm getting there...

The prize wheel reps got to spin. Prizes included lunch bags, travel mugs and the ever-coveted snuggies. The prize wheel reps got to spin. Prizes included lunch bags, travel mugs and the ever-coveted snuggies.

The event is top notch. There are presentations by our Management team, home office support departments, and members of the field sales force. I know I will learn something that will make me better at my career, while at the same time bringing something back for my customers. It's a combination of the educational portion, as well as the fun events that our amazing Marketing team put together to make us forget we are learning. This year, participation was rewarded with a prize wheel spin like we were on a game show. (I wanted that snuggie.) But the fun, laughter, and sense of team merged the learning and entertainment together into one memorable event.

That's still not the crux of why I am eager to go out there. I've built up the suspense, now for the payoff...

It's the future. MBS always has its eyes on the future. What can we bring to our partners to help them compete? What can we do as a company to help our customers be better positioned in their marketplace? How can we address customers' concerns; their needs? That's why I'm eager. That's why I look forward to going, because I know there are new products and services waiting to be unveiled. This year is no different —scratch that, it's VERY different, in that we have several very exciting things in the works.

Notice earlier I chose the word "career," and not job. If I'd like to keep my career, I have to keep those items top secret, but you will know when they are ready. I also chose that word, all jokes aside, because I've been with MBS for 15 years, and have said since year 3 that I will retire an MBS employee as long as they'll have me. I'm 39, which means I have a long way to go. This is exactly why I am eager to go to MBS. The future is as important to MBS as it is to me.

The industry we all work in is constantly changing. MBS sees through this, and provides insight as to what direction it seems to be going in. Textbooks aren't dead: far from it. Textbook departments aren't going away, but they are changing, evolving. There are so many success stories and case studies, but much like any other news item, you have to dig through all the attention-grabbing headlines to find what's really going on.

MBS is ready for the future. Are you?

About Eric Browning

Hired in July of 2000, Sales Manager Eric Browning's favorite part about his job is the routine of meeting people and seeing beautiful campuses all across the country. A self-proclaimed fitness enthusiast and avid hockey fan, when he's not working Eric can likely be found either exercising or watching a game.

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