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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was down at Interbike yesterday and today, walking around and checking everything out. All the manufacturers booths were open to anyone who wanted to take a look, dealers or general attendies, except the Specialized booth. They would not allow anyone who was not a dealer into their precious booth. They had the whole thing roped off and had guards checking everyone to see if they were a dealer or not.

When I first went past the booth yesterday morning I thought that it must be certain time limit for dealers only, which makes complete sense. Allow those who are actually going to be buying and selling Specialized bikes a chance to have one on one contact with no interuptions. However, 5 hours later I returned to take a look again and was told it was still dealers only. Same thing this morning. I even had a SRAM exibiter badge, and no luck.

This type of behavior really turns me off of the Specialized brand. Not one other manufacturer acted in the same way. Manufacturers of much higher class bikes, such as Pinarello, Look, Colnago, etc, were happy to spend time with whoever showed interest in their products.

I guess Specialized feels it is too high and mighty to allow just anyone into their little club. I can say this, I dont plan recommending a Specialized to anyone any time soon, even if their bikes are of excellent quality.
 

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you personally may not like it, but I bet from a dealer's standpoint what specialized's doing is actually a very nice service for them

really, the dealer is specialized's customer not us (the public), a bike shop can decide to stock whatever product they like. if specialized shows better service to the dealer, maybe that dealer will decide to push specialized a little harder to the bike buying public

a dealer will buy many more bikes than you or I, so I certainly understand their decision
 

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roscoe said:
you personally may not like it, but I bet from a dealer's standpoint what specialized's doing is actually a very nice service for them

really, the dealer is specialized's customer not us (the public), a bike shop can decide to stock whatever product they like. if specialized shows better service to the dealer, maybe that dealer will decide to push specialized a little harder to the bike buying public

a dealer will buy many more bikes than you or I, so I certainly understand their decision
Exactly.
 

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As a former Specialized Dealer, it was already crowded in that booth, the last thing i needed was 4x that many people making it 4x as crowded.

Now, i don't sell Spec, or go to Interbike.
 

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I work in the footwear industry and this is the trend at our tradeshows. The shows have tight schedules, the sales reps are overbooked on appointments, and there are too many "foreign visitors" running around with cameras snapping pics of your stuff (and within a month the cheap knockoffs show up in the market). Booths that are closed to the public are more efficient for sales and help protect your intellectual property.

To pick up on Roscoe's point, the dealers generally get just 30-60 minutes with their rep to see, plan, and buy their next year's worth of business. They get really pissed off when that clock is getting burned up whilst some lookie-loo is monopolizing their rep asking a hundred dorky questions about everything in the line, schmoozing to score a pro deal, or angling for a job. Ever wonder why Trek just skips the show madness and invites their dealers to Trek World? Top quality experience and focus for their customers.

Were you there to open a dealer account? Commit to a big merchandise buy? Offer them a once-in-a-lifetime exclusive deal on SRAM parts? No? Then, in their estimation, you had no business reason to be in the booth.
 

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roscoe said:
you personally may not like it, but I bet from a dealer's standpoint what specialized's doing is actually a very nice service for them

really, the dealer is specialized's customer not us (the public), a bike shop can decide to stock whatever product they like. if specialized shows better service to the dealer, maybe that dealer will decide to push specialized a little harder to the bike buying public

a dealer will buy many more bikes than you or I, so I certainly understand their decision

The dealers are the end users who are creating profits for the brand? No that's the customers or others in the industry who talk about how great Specialized is or how much they suck.

Specialized has apparently lost one potential end user in the bike biz who will relate his above story to his friends and on internet cycling boards.
 

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What do I know? I've only done about two dozen international, domestic, and regional shows (including Interbike and Eurobike). I'm just pulling crap out of my backside. Anyone can just walk into one of these shows without credentials, get a free beer from a booth babe, and bend the ear of a sales rep, marketing VP, or R&D honcho for an hour because those guys have nothing better to do. :rolleyes:
 

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we all just want to feel important so maybe you could of given him your number and cooked them a nice meal to seal the deal on a one bike sale. Come on who cares that you wont permitted entry they probally spent 70gs on the stand and want there moneys worth.

BTW did you order a new Pinarello, Look, Colnago, etc or did you just waste their time? Get what I am saying here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ETWN Stu said:
we all just want to feel important so maybe you could of given him your number and cooked them a nice meal to seal the deal on a one bike sale. Come on who cares that you wont permitted entry they probally spent 70gs on the stand and want there moneys worth.

BTW did you order a new Pinarello, Look, Colnago, etc or did you just waste their time? Get what I am saying here?
My issue is not that I wanted any sort of special attention from the reps, in fact I didnt really want to talk to them at all. My issue is that Specialized was the ONLY dealer at the entire show that would even allow you a moment to look around their booth (which had a display showing 3 bikes from the TdF). All they had to do was say their reps were only available to talk to dealers. Then the public can take a look at the new products and Specialized isnt wasting time dealing with people who are not looking to buy or are looking to buy only one product. Every other dealer was happy to at least let you look at their gear.

Well, considering I will be paid to ride a Pinarello next year i though it was important to go visit my future sponsor and talk about their bikes.
 

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Having "manned the booth" at many trade shows, albeit in a completely different industry (wine) I'd like to offer a different perspective. Trade shows aren't about present sales, nor are they simply about distributors.

One of the biggest reasons for attending a trade show and for having top level people at it is to sell the brand and particularly to make the brand a story.

Every contact is a potential brand ambassador: "I talked to the guy at X and he really knew his stuff and was able to explain why they're doing what they're doing, it's not just the usual marketing BS like (insert Huangism here)"
 

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chase196126 said:
Well, considering I will be paid to ride a Pinarello next year i though it was important to go visit my future sponsor and talk about their bikes.
That would of been time better spent...congrats on the ride :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mark Kelly said:
Every contact is a potential brand ambassador: "I talked to the guy at X and he really knew his stuff and was able to explain why they're doing what they're doing, it's not just the usual marketing BS like (insert Huangism here)"
Exactly! I think that sums up why I am so irritated with how Specialized treated people at the show. They may not need any more ambassadors, but it isnt good to get people pissed off at their brand either.
 

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I think this is a general trend at most tradeshows. More and more distractions are present as industry outsiders get word that these events are happening and want to "crash". I've work several musical instrument tradeshows for a buddy who builds and his tiny booth got very crowded very quickly and made doing real business very difficult when actual buyers stopped by to talk and check out the gear. I'm not saying Spec's approach is right, but I think it is understandable. Just to throw it out there, it may also be somewhat motivated by the economy. There are limited/reduced resources out there and all the brands are fighting for a piece of that to keep themselves going. Maybe Spec is trying to be aggressive and gain some market share during some hard times, by focusing on their buyers.
 

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Thing is, it's a trade show, not a convention for fans and enthusiasts.
 

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buck-50 said:
Thing is, it's a trade show, not a convention for fans and enthusiasts.

Admission is already closed off to the general public. The point is, that Specialized is alienating people because, as one poster put it, they appear to be "looky loos" or "geeks."

What if one of those "geeks" they're giving the brush off to is worth hundreds of $M's?

It's bad business to be alienating potential customers period based on some perceived appearance.

What Specialized hasn't learned, as many haven't learned, is that you talk to everyone, whether he/she is POTUS or homeless, EXACTLY THE SAME WAY.:mad2:
 

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ETWN Stu said:
we all just want to feel important so maybe you could of given him your number and cooked them a nice meal to seal the deal on a one bike sale. Come on who cares that you wont permitted entry they probally spent 70gs on the stand and want there moneys worth.

BTW did you order a new Pinarello, Look, Colnago, etc or did you just waste their time? Get what I am saying here?
Unfortuantely I completely get what you're saying. What you don't understand is that it's extremely bad business to foreclose on the possibilities of someone spending a lot of money. Often what appear to be very unlikely deals at the outset, turn out to be lucrative customers.

With the rude, brusque strategy, one will never realize this and won't be aware of the deals that didn't happen.

Jeez, Back in the 80's Mike Millken hired his waiter at his favorite restaurant to work for him, because the waiter knew how to talk to people. The guy went from being a waiter to a millionaire because he treated everyone with dignity.

PS, don't know if the waiter also went to prison.....:p
 

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I think it's also a case of specialized having so many dealers around already, that they're more concerned with serving the customer base they already have rather than trying to gain more dealers
 

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blackjack said:
What Specialized hasn't learned, as many haven't learned, is that you talk to everyone, whether he/she is POTUS or homeless, EXACTLY THE SAME WAY.:mad2:
Sure. And failing to learn that lesson has prevented them from becoming a huge company with international reach with bikes a top the tour de france podium. Oh, wait...

In other words, I think they've found what works for them.
 

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pacificaslim said:
Sure. And failing to learn that lesson has prevented them from becoming a huge company with international reach with bikes a top the tour de france podium. Oh, wait...

In other words, I think they've found what works for them.

In sales the whole point is NOT to rest on one's laurels. In sales you're ALWAYS developing business.

The fact that someone else in the industry, who is also a sponsored rider, complained about feeling snubbed, isn't a good thing.

You keep on arguing that though.
 
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