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View as HTML version PSI Journal 5/2016 It is quite possible that several consultants invite a particular industry customer. How can you tell whether he has already been invited and whether he has already registered? Of course, we cannot see whether he has been invited. However, we can see whether he has accepted an invitation: An extra page has been set up as a source of information on the Internet for this purpose. There you can see which industry customer has already redeemed his invitation code. And, of course, there is the personal contact of the distributor with his customers. The PSI can only build a bridge; one has to cross the bridge on one’s own. What do you mean? Whoever has a good relationship with his customer – and only such customers are generally invited – will also communicate with his customer in advance before sending him an invitation. Be that as it may, the process is hardly different from a private or company celebration. An invitation is sent out requesting a reply and then you know the score. Can this cause irritation among the inviting Companies? I do not think so. If an industry customer has several suppliers on the distributor side, then that is his business approach. He wants to have various offers, suggestions and references. If he comes to the PSI with the distributor who invited him first or with whom he has the closest relationship, this will not change his purchasing strategy. We can take a relaxed view of the situation. In view of the wide portfolio at the PSI, he is more likely to see his strategy of having several suppliers as the right one. But if he has only one supplier of promotional products, he will be even more firmly convinced of him because he has safely navigated him through this sea of offers and recommended him good promotional products. Recently a member called the editorial department and complained that nobody could force him to show his customers the PSI, that is the source of his purchases. Nobody is forcing him to do this. Let me make it quite clear. Everyone is the architect of his own fortune. For heaven’s sake, whoever does not want to bring along his customer should not do so. Many will forsake inviting their customers. That is an individual decision. Some customers will not even want to go along. In any case, how ever, he will be happy to be invited. It will strengthen his confidence in his consultant. But I also know that the marketer of a small to medium-sized enterprise, perhaps in Dresden, will not want to sacrifice one or two days if his budget for promotional products is only a few thousand euros. That is why he has a consultant who uses his budget in an effective manner. And does an exhibitor know the identity of the person visiting him at the PSI and who invited him? This is also quite transparent. The industry customer will wear a visitor badge bearing a large I. At the same time, the exhibitor can scan the badge and therefore see which of his trade customers invited this industry customer – very important for his follow-up work after the trade show. He can thus inform his customer that the latter’s customer requested a specific product. After all, this is exactly what should generate new business for everyone. Michael Freter, Managing Director PSI Can industry customers therefore wander through the trade show alone? Yes of course. On the “industry Thursday”, they will only find industry prices at the stands. We will ensure this. If a consultant invites several customers, however, he cannot divide his attention. Furthermore, industry customers are self-assertive entrepreneurs or managers who would not tolerate any shackles. Today we live in an era of transparency and must therefore learn to act accordingly. As I mentioned before, you cannot use old recipes to build for the future. And is it fair to assume that having more visitors at the trade show is an incentive for PSI? Yes, this aim is shared with us by all exhibitors – and that is beneficial to all of us. But the visitors to the PSI do not pay an admission fee; from a purely pecuniary perspective, PSI thus has nothing to gain. Let me make it clear for the umpteenth time: As far as the PSI is concerned, the industry Thursday serves only to expand the target groups for the industry and to get many more people enthusiastic about promotional products. If we do not do that and entrench ourselves behind walls, others will do business with advertising customers. And we must not forget: For two days, distributors and consultants are among themselves at the PSI – this is sufficient time. < In the following months, the PSI Journal will ask Michael Freter any questions on this subject that we or others at the PSI may receive. 39

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