Like most of you, he found that trying to call on these people generally resulted in very little if any face time. He finally decided if going to them didn't work, he would try bringing them to him. The last time I spoke to him it was beginning to work very well. He had hosted an insurance manager and agent meeting and had an excellent turnout. Plus he saw some immediate increase in business from that insurance company. He was already planning another insurance group meeting and possibly a dealership group as well.
This shop owner already had several major insurance DRPs. Was it really necessary to go to this expense? I've noticed many shop owners who, once they finally get a DRP they've been seeking, sit back and wait for the jobs to come flowing in. It makes me think of a friend who told me about his first marriage when he was a young guy. He said after the honeymoon he and his new bride settled into their new apartment. Both sat down and breathed a sigh of relief, as much as to say, "Now I've got her (or him). I can relax now, and stop putting on the big act." You can imagine how long that marriage lasted.
If "interest" could be described as a commodity, it would be one of the most sought after commodities in the world. A young woman seeking a husband wonders, "Is he interested in me?" He wonders, "Is she interested in me?" The shopkeeper hopes the young woman will be interested in the clothing he sells. The film producer hopes the public will be interested in his film. And a collision shop owner hopes he or she will be able to interest vehicle owners who have accidents in coming to his or her shop.
The amount of attention given to something is generally proportionate to the degree of interest in it. It's easy to study "interest" in a baby. The baby sees something bright and shiny and is CURIOUS. The object has captured the baby's INTEREST. But now we can see the complete "interest spectrum." Next the baby DESIRES to touch, play with, or eat the object. If no one responds to the baby's interest by giving her the object to touch, play with, or eat, she may DEMAND it by crying, screaming, or otherwise trying to get her desire fulfilled. Assuming the child is given the (inedible) object to play with, eventually the child will LOSE INTEREST and REJECT (throw on the floor) the object.
We now have a complete "interest to no-interest" attention spectrum, beginning with CURIOSITY, INTEREST, DESIRE, DEMAND, LOST INTEREST, and ending with REJECTION. The duration of the spectrum may be only a few minutes with the baby, or many years from the time a girl is interested in a guy, marries him, has children, cohabits for years, loses interest and finally rejects (divorces) him. The same sequence may occur when a shop has entered into a DRP arrangement with an insurance company or a contractual agreement with a dealership. The sequence will usually move from curiosity, interest, and desire to the satisfaction of demand. Of course not every set of circumstances that begins with curiosity and interest eventually declines to "no interest" and "rejection." But in a society obsessed with entertainment, excitement and celebrity, the full spectrum is experienced by many people in a wide variety of situations from school to jobs to relationships, whether personal or business. When interest and attention are gone, a decline begins.
Once a shop has entered into a DRP arrangement with an insurance company or a contractual agreement with a dealership, after the sequence has moved from curiosity, interest, and desire to satisfaction of demand, to keep the relationship continuing without declining to no interest and rejection periodically at least one of the parties must take the initiative to re-fire the curiosity and interest. And so we come to the question of whether the shop owner who invested in conference space and presentation equipment made a good investment. Certainly there can be other ways to stimulate interesting interactions with DRP coordinators, dealership principals and other referral sources, but this seems to be a particularly attractive resource from the viewpoint of those invited to use the space (and be fed -- he provided the food for the meeting he hosted). I'm inclined to think it was a good investment.