I did not attend the RP show this year, but I recently had a similar
experience at NDES in Chicago. Actually, I am a marketing type, not an
engineer by training, but I was gathering information for my own projects
and to lobby for software and equipment upgrades back home. As far as RP is
concerned, I am the one laying the groundwork for our eventual equipment
purchase. Many booth workers (in all industries, not necessarily RP) just
plain assumed I wasn't a prospect. In a way, this gave me the freedom to
walk the show and not be bothered by anyone I didn't want to talk to. I
thought it was curious that I became invisible because of my sex and/or
because booth workers who could clearly read my job title on my name tag
assumed I had no purchasing influence. I have attended the show for 9 years
and have never been so blatantly ignored!
----- Original Message -----
From: B. J. Arnold-Feret <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 1999 11:46 AM
Subject: effective booth selling during RP&M
> I had a buyer approach me from a large west coast manufacturer during
> breakfast and express disappointment with the RP&M exhibitors. She had
> treated rudely by a few vendors, and ignored by booth personnel in most
> cases. One urethane vendor had gone to far as to ask her, "What can you
> possibly know about urethanes?" This mature, RP technology savvy, woman
> at the RP&M to hear papers and get a hands on overview of equipment, with
> eye to purchase this year.
> Her questions to me was "Are there so few women in this industry that all
> the vendors assume I'm a spouse?" She noted that the booth personnel
> fall all over her husband, but act as if she was invisible. No one would
> answer questions. And, she was not shy.
> I know from personal experience during registration and during the
> conference, that this behavior happens. I usually just shrug and press my
> point. Many RP&M vendors assumed women were with staff, or with a husband
> who was the "real customer." But, RP lost a sale last week because
> didn't shrug and go on.
> Urge RP manufacturers to remember that this industry has many people and
> types of people in it. RP lost an advocate of the industry last week,
> this buyer didn't feel that vendors would pay attention to the needs of
> department. Vendors wouldn't even pay attention to questions when she was
> going to buy a system and other materials, so after the sale customer
> service would probably, in the buyer's opinion, be lacking.
> Let's work on this issue please.
> B. J. Arnold-Feret
> For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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