A couple of months ago I thanked Texas MANA members for their warm welcome and hospitality when we met for lunch and conversation in Dallas. Now I have the opportunity to extend those same thanks to Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky MANA members, and members of the Manufacturers’ Agents of Cincinnati (MAC) who met me for a joint MANA/MAC lunch and conversation at the Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati.
Why were Dallas and Cincinnati some of the best meetings I’ve ever had? I think it’s because we established a “PowerPoint-Free Zone” for our meetings. No projector. No screen. Just informal questions, answers and conversation about topics important to representatives, and some friendly networking.
There are still topics best communicated with formal presentations, but it seems that there is less appetite for a classroom setting and more of an appetite for conversation. The message I’m getting is, “Talk with me, not at me.” Message received!
MAC (www.maccincinnati.org) is an association focused on representative and principal best practices much like MANA, except that, as the name suggests, it focuses its attention on the area surrounding Cincinnati.
A special treat for me during this visit was the opportunity to meet with most of MAC’s Board of Directors, MANA past Chairman Tom Hayward, and MANA Board member John Davis before the meeting. Getting together face-to-face to share ideas and best practices with other associations that share MANA’s interests is a very important part of MANA’s role in promoting the representative system of selling.
My biggest takeaway from Dallas and Cincinnati is that my role at those meetings has been to get the conversation started, and keep it on track. The combined experience of 20 or 30 representatives in the room brings more expertise to the table than any MANA CEO could bring.
So, again, thanks to Dallas and Cincinnati, and I’m looking forward to an upcoming (at press time) “PowerPoint-Free Zone” in New Jersey. Where’s next? I’m open to suggestions, e-mail me at email@example.com.