What is with these vendors who don’t know what brochures they have with them, who haven’t turned on their computers or tested their internet connection before the doors open, who don’t know what the strengths of their products are, and who say things like “my colleague can help you, but she’s not here right now.” It’s a trade show. You’re here to sell me things. I’m enjoying the free beer and brie, but I’m not here talking to you for the keyrings or the raffle or the totebag – I’m here to learn about your product and your company, and the fact that you think that $30,000 flat-fee pricing is “reasonable for an institution of your size” and that you don’t actually know how deep your academic education content is does not impress me. I am not learning about your product, and I am not being sold on your company. You are not making a good impression. You are not succeeding in your goals for this show, which are, presumably, to expand your customer base and sell things.
I should not have to tell salespeople how to sell themselves, and I have to wonder if it has something to do with expecting librarians to be pushovers? I mean, are our vendors in on the classic and unhealthy idea that librarians are meek and dopey and socially inept? Because we’re not, I’m not, and I’m just not going to settle for bad service, lackluster knowledge of products, and lax and unresponsive business practices. I am a professional looking for the most appropriate business solution to meet my users’ needs, and I expect to get the same level of respect and attention from the vendors I work with, even if I do have a Sam Adams in one hand while I shake your hand with the other.
Get with the program.