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How to Evaluate Vendors at Your Next Trade Show

When you walk into a trade show with hundreds of vendors and only a short amount of time between keynotes and breakouts, it can be a little overwhelming. You don’t have time to talk with every vendor, but you also don’t want to miss out on any important opportunities.

To help you make the most of your time, here are 3 steps to evaluate if a vendor is right for you:

Evaluate the Product 

Find out how the product benefits your business. How does it work? Is it user-friendly? Ask questions and take notes. Get a demo if possible. What business results can it deliver? Is it worth the investment? How quickly and easily can it be implemented? How can you measure its performance? Are there any trade show specials or discounts you can take advantage of?

The product should benefit your business. For example, by increasing sales, helping your team be more efficient, or improving your customers’ experience. And you should be able to measure its performance to ensure you’re getting the results you need.

Evaluate the Vendor 

What is the vendor’s reputation? Talk to the team members at their booth. Are they willing to be a partner and help you grow your business? Or are they just trying to sell you a product? How much support will they provide after you become a customer? The best vendors are the ones who understand your business and are actively engaged in helping you succeed.

Identify Current and Future Business Needs

Consider your current business needs. How can the product and vendor address these? What current challenges can they solve? Now consider your future business needs. How is the automotive industry changing? What will it look like in 5 years? 10 years?

As more industries offer more outstanding customer experiences, car buyers are starting to expect more from dealerships as well. What new and innovative products and services will enable you to meet and exceed their expectations? Think about how the product and vendor will help you succeed as the industry changes. 

With these 3 steps, you have an easy framework to evaluate vendors, whether you’re at the office or at a trade show. 

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About Author

Matt Weinberg
Matt Weinberg

Matt Weinberg is the SVP of Consumer Experience at Drive Motors. With 20 years of leadership experience in the automotive industry, he has consulted for more than 100 dealer groups on internet sales processes and ecommerce and is a trusted advisor for Wards Auto Top 10 dealer groups, including Lithia, Asbury, and Hendrick.

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