‘Refuse to hunker down.” “Send a message of stability and confidence.” “This is a time to learn and train.” “Don’t get sucked in by the doom and gloom.” “Drill down, stay focused, avoid the hype and keep working hard.” “You can’t allow a culture of complacency to exist.” “Focus on your people, keep them educated and keep them positive, but keep them realistic and focused on your customers.”
All of the above are direct quotes from MHEDA members who know what it takes to weather these challenging times. They remain positive and are committed to capturing more market share during this downturn instead of adopting a “survival mode” strategy.
What is their focus? Smarter marketing is one area. Read some of the advice about marketing on a tight budget provided here by Barry Lauterwasser. Internet marketing has never been as important as it is today. Are you working with a search engine optimization firm? Are you getting the best bang for your buck? Read the article by Mark Juelich here to learn the right questions to ask (and the answers you should get) before you sign a contract.
Members also know that keeping their employees trained in sales, marketing and customer service is paramount. MHEDA makes it easy to access affordable industry-specific training. MHEDA Education Manager Susan Freibrun was asked to share her thoughts with members about MHEDA’s 2009 Education Calendar. Here’s what she had to say:
“In 2009, MHEDA University will offer over 70 training opportunities through webinars, live events and online training. This year’s calendar has training opportunities for everyone in your company, including a range of webinar topics from sales management to customer service to Internet marketing. In September, MHEDA’s Rental and Used Equipment Management Conference will feature member speakers with proven strategies to model a rental and used equipment business and position these departments for profitable long-term growth, especially during uncertain economic times.
“In the 2009 Member Satisfaction Survey, you told us that sales and customer satisfaction are two important topics to you. MHEDA University offers free sales training podcasts and online customer service training, two easily accessible programs to help you and every employee in your company develop sales and customer service skills. Download the 12 sales training podcasts and listen to them on a desktop or burn them to a CD. Topics include pre-call tactical planning, evaluation of territory and accounts, and skillfully selling distributor value. The online customer service training is available 24/7 and can help improve customer service skills through 22 Web-based video courses. There are also four no-cost webinars/teleconferences available to members: Customer Service/Selling Skills for Front Line Employees, Beating the Competition (Sales Training), Time Management, and Recruiting/Selecting Sales Engineers and Field Service Technicians.
“Online training is a powerful way to educate yourself and/or your team. New in 2009, MHEDA University is offering TrainOne, an online facilitated sales and customer service training series presented by sales expert Jeffrey Gitomer. This interactive online program challenges you to reach the next level of sales success.”
Another training tool available for members this year is the all-new wikiMHEDA, the online resource for the material handling industry. Click here for more details on this great new member benefit, which will be officially unveiled at Convention.
MHEDA is here to help you and your employees. Please take advantage of these material handling training resources and all the other programs and services available to you from your association. There has never been a better time to use these programs to your advantage. As always, if you need any other information or assistance, we are here for you. Call MHEDA at 847-680-3500 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Vice President