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Learn from the GMDC Pros

The GMDC Academy is an online training resource that helps our members reach their full potential within the GM and HBW communities. 

For additional member insights check out Q&A's with True Brands and Olbas Herbal Remedies.

The June 2016 conference will be my 3rd time attending the General Merchandise Conference. 

- Lyndsay Palkon, President - Founding Partner, Lexi Group Inc.

The 2016 GM Conference will be my 15th. 

- Bruce Worley, President CEO, Better Sales and Brand Management Group

I normally expect approximately 30-40 appointments and consider it a success if I’m able to get placement in 1-2 new retail accounts. I also measure my success by the amount of new customer interactions that have increased my brand exposure and allowed me to grow my list of leads. Our goal from GMDC for new business is to secure 3-5 follow up face to face meetings with retailers to ultimately gain placement of our products. For our retailers in which we are currently doing business, I use these meetings as a quick pulse check to see how things are going, discuss some potential promotional opportunities and show a sneak peak of any new products. 

- Lyndsay Palkon, President - Founding Partner, Lexi Group Inc.​

I define a successful GMDC differently depending on how long one has been attending. Let me explain: For the first three years I personally believe GMDC is where one has an enormous opportunity to grow ones network. Get to know people. Of course presenting ones products is very important and that should be a focus… but as far as success goes for the first 1-3 years it should be defined by how many new relationships one makes. After that one can start defining their success at GMDC by how this relationships begin to benefit the attendee AND HOW THE ATTENDEE HAS BENEFITTED  others at GMDC. I see GMDC as a give and take…

Bruce Worley, Jr., President-COO-Founding Partner, Better Sales and Brand Management Group

It is extremely important to know background information on the retailers/wholesalers you’re meeting with.  Having this background knowledge allows you to tailor your presentation appropriately based on the customer type and also ensure that you’re spending the meeting talking about your product line and potential business opportunities.  If you still want/need more information about the customer, it is a perfect time to get your questions answered so you can determine if there is a good business fit before you start product discussions.

- Lyndsay Palkon, President - Founding Partner, Lexi Group Inc.​

Absolutely Critical.  There is nothing that will turn off a retailer more than showing up at a meeting and not knowing who they are,  where they are etc… DO YOUR HOMEWORK!  All of this information is available on the member side of GMDC.org at the myGMCM site: Member Directory.

Bruce Worley, Jr., President-COO-Founding Partner, Better Sales and Brand Management Group

I give a quick intro of who we are as a brand/company, focus on 1-2 key products I feel would be a good fit for their stores, and lastly I make sure to figure out follow up timing so I know when they’ll be looking to review our product category. 

- Lyndsay Palkon, President - Founding Partner, Lexi Group Inc.​

The Who, The What and The Where. (Who we are, What is our product and Where it is currently).

- Bruce Worley, Jr., President-COO-Founding Partner, Better Sales and Brand Management Group

  1. Getting too detailed, these are top level meetings to figure out if there is interest from the customer in your product line.  I save that for our follow up meetings.
  2. Discussing competitors, my sales presentations always focus on the positive attributes of our brand.  When you have a short interaction with a customer, I never want to  leave them thinking about a different brand than mine. 
  3. Too much small talk (not productive for anyone!) if this is a first time meeting with the customer

- Lyndsay Palkon, President - Founding Partner, Lexi Group Inc.​

Do not rush. HOWEVER, do not prepare a LONG presentation. The purpose of the meeting is to introduce 1-3 solid good ideas/products that are ready for market. This is why prep is so important. Prepare beforehand.

Bruce Worley, Jr., President-COO-Founding Partner, Better Sales and Brand Management Group

I enjoy having the opportunity to network with retailers outside of meetings and the GMDC events are a great way to do this. While building relationships with retailers/customers is important, I also use this time to meet other manufacturers to expand my network. As a small business owner, some of the best relationships I’ve formed at conferences are with other manufacturers. The opportunity to bounce ideas and discuss challenges with other manufacturers is invaluable.

- Lyndsay Palkon, President - Founding Partner, Lexi Group Inc.​

Since the first 3 years of GMDC is critical for building relationships I feel personally that attending everything is very important. Things come up so do your best. And Mingle… talk to people… sit with folks you don’t know…​ 

- Bruce Worley, Jr., President-COO-Founding Partner, Better Sales and Brand Management Group

The GMDC conference is the most productive conference I attend, they allow me to interact with new business leads and follow up with existing customers by only having to travel to 1 location! As a small business who is always on a budget and short on time, this is key! I can almost guarantee an ROI when I have planned meetings with customers (both new and existing) vs. “hoping” they stop by our booth which is the case for many other shows.

- Lyndsay Palkon, President - Founding Partner, Lexi Group Inc.​

GMDC is critical in the growth of my business as well as the growth of our clients business. 

- Bruce Worley, Jr., President-COO-Founding Partner, Better Sales and Brand Management Group