How Exhibitors Can Build Mutually Satisfying Relationships with Dietitians
Let's face it: the entire goal of forging a relationship between the Academy and exhibitors, Dietetic Practice Groups (DPGs) or Member Interest Groups (MIGs) and exhibitors or individual members and exhibitors is to create a mutually beneficial outcome. The key to this process is in identifying what mutually beneficial outcome means for each group of stake holders. While it would be easy for exhibitors to define that as "making the sale," the Academy, along with the DPGs and MIGs see the outcome in broader terms.
- For the Academy, exhibitor support is paramount to the viability of the organization. Without exhibitor and sponsor financial support, dues and conferences would be beyond the reach of most members.
The Academy frequently relies on exhibitor and sponsor support to produce newsletters, directories or journals, to engage professional speakers for meetings or host educational events like the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo. Today, the Academy has developed strong bonds with the vendor community that allows us to produce the premier nutrition conference each year.
- Individual members find the mutually beneficial outcome to mean they can count on a business relationship grounded in fairness and respect.
This includes fairness in pricing and negotiations, respect of their time, talent, deadlines and demands, and cooperation with requests. And the relationship between buyer and seller goes beyond "the deal." Whether the buyer has a current need or whether the buyer closed a deal with the exhibitor, the relationship is a long-term investment.
- If a dietitian or food and nutrition professional does not buy from an exhibitor or sponsor today, it doesn't mean that they will never buy from that exhibitor.
Dietitians and food and nutrition professionals work in a variety of settings, each with its own set of budgetary restrictions. Economics change and needs change. Academy members are each other's best resource for referrals and references. These references and referrals will include not only comments on the product or service but also on the character and reputation of the company. The investment a company makes in a relationship with a dietitian is far broader than making the sale. A good relationship will reap benefits for the company in both the short term and in the long term. Consider it an investment.
- We're in this together, and need each other to be successful. Why not work toward a mutually beneficial outcome?
Be assured that the Academy continues to work with its DPG and MIG leadership and members promoting the value of building these long-term relationships. With continued training and example-setting by the Academy and companies alike, these relationships will become the standard by which both parties attain mutually beneficial outcomes.