By Keaton Everett, Marketing Intern, MindShare Strategies

A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to attend the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association’s annual conference at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. As a marketing intern at MindShare Strategies this summer and now a junior in college, it was my first business conference. What an amazing experience!

This gave me first-hand experience in how a conference is operated and how people network in such a business environment. This experience taught me ways on how to improve effectiveness in sales, which is my career goal. All of the sessions TMSA held were extremely beneficial, and ranged from new marketing and sales techniques to how professionals applied these techniques to make themselves extremely successful business professionals in the transportation industry.

Flint McGloughlin of MECLABS, the keynote speaker, was a very inspirational individual who asked “do you have the right value proposition?” He explained how important marketing is, and suggested that marketers should be the philosophers in the company. This means that marketers have to creatively think about each product they are selling. Marketers also are the “teacher in a classroom” for salespeople, and he emphasized how important it is for marketers help them to generate revenue for the company.

Another great session during the conference focused on how the customer make decisions through the buying process. Customer buy into the seller first, then they buy into the company or brand, and finally they complete the process by buying into the product itself. The point also was emphasized that you need to sell a good product and keep your customers satisfied – otherwise it can be detrimental to the future success of a salesperson and can destroy their reputation. In fact, on average a person tells 11 people about their bad experiences with a seller or product.

Before this conference, I was still exploring what I want to have in a sales career. Do I want to go into B-to-C or B-to-B sales? After this conference I became convinced I wanted to be in B-to-B sales. In fact, I’m now intrigued by the transportation industry because I enjoyed all the vibrant personalities in this industry and I now have a better sense of what the industry is like. There’s a good chance I may even want to go into transportation sales. I am very thankful to TMSA, to all of the people who attended, and for MindShare’s investment in me – all of which made this such a positive experience for me personally.