By Scott Hennie, 2014 MHEDA President
Are you the preferred supplier to all of your customers? Does being part of an industry association that promotes education, professionalism and best practices portray you in a better light to your customers and prospects? As a member of MHEDA, you have a great marketing and promotional tool to help position you as a strong, viable supplier partner in your marketplace.
As my final article as the President of MHEDA, I feel compelled to share my passion that as association members, we must promote the importance and value of MHEDA to our customers and prospects. During our summer E.C. meeting, and during multiple board meetings in the past, we discussed at length how the association can add further value to our membership when customers and prospects ask us “are you a member of MHEDA.” There has even been debate whether or not MHEDA can ever get to that point. I believe we can – working together.
In this Journal issue, there are multiple Sales Success Stories. Stating the obvious, the common thread is that all the projects were done with MHEDA Suppliers and Distributors. We are doing great work for valued customers and part of the success can be attributed to the education, networking and industry promotion done through MHEDA. But if our customers can’t make that connection, MHEDA is nothing more than a logo on our letterhead and business cards (maybe?). We, the general membership of MHEDA, need to tell our customers that we are members of MHEDA, what MHEDA does to make our business strong and what MHEDA does to make our industry strong. We have to help our customers and prospects understand that it is in their best interest to work with a MHEDA member.
If you are a MHEDA MVP member, that distinction strengthens your position that you are not only a member of MHEDA, but that you engage and participate in the association to a level that commits your organization to constantly “sharpening its saw.” The criteria to become a MHEDA MVP member are clearly outlined on the MHEDA website and through the membership committee. MVP status is achievable by all sizes of distributors and is another marketing tool to show your value to your customers. Your involvement and commitment to MHEDA helps make the entire industry stronger, and as such we can promote this value to our end users.
At the end of the year, we will be saying “Thank You” to three Board Members and Industry Leaders who have volunteered four years of their time and resources to help strengthen the Association and Industry. Bill Ryan, Bob Giberson and Tim Tyler have been great contributors to MHEDA. Their guidance has helped form the future of MHEDA University, strengthen the model of the Regional Networking Summits, establish a four-year trend of increasing Membership numbers and shape the direction of the association moving forward. We will miss each of their contributions of knowledge, wisdom and insight, but look forward to their continued support and endorsement of MHEDA. Thank You Bill, Bob and Tim!
We also will be saying Thank You to Chuck Frank, our 2011 MHEDA President. Chuck has served a total of 10 years on the Board and Executive Committee. Chuck has been a model leader for the association and has been a personal mentor and friend to me. The entire Board will miss Chuck and Kathy, but we know they too will continue to support and endorse MHEDA. Thank you Chuck and Kathy Frank!