How Important is Making A Personal Connection With New Vendors?

Making personal connections is something a brewery tries to do each day through it’s beer and story with consumers. But it also holds true with breweries wanting to make a connection with vendors that they could be customers of as well.

In a day and age where the first impression for sales with a new product comes most likely via a website, that personal connection can be lost a tad. But brewery owners and decision makers seem to understand and don’t take it too personally.

“Everyone is trying to grow as much as possible and that includes the manufacturers,” explained YeeHaw‘s Cris Ellenbecker. “They have all been really good about reaching back out if I did miss them in the office.”

Even in a digital age, that personal touch is still needed, as Ellenbecker explained.

“I had one manufacturer make sure they flew me out to meet with them before we started doing business, just to make sure it was a good project fit for both of us,” he said. “I really think that personal connection is what’s lacking in the age of technology.”

Zak Koga of Karben4 points out that his Madison, Wisconsin-based brewery has never had a big enough problem with a vendor that he would claim it to have affected our business.

“There are numerous examples of challenged organization on our side or a vendors side where our efforts are delayed, or we decide to change vendors but I think that is a normal human problem for any industry,” he said. “Excuses exist wherever they are sought. I think it is important not to go looking for them.

Ellenbecker pointed out that next month’s Craft Brewers Conference, to be held in Nashville, is a really good resource where decision makers, owners and brewers, can get in touch with all the vendors they would ever need.

Karben4 uses three things to find vendors: Google, CBC and word-of-mouth.

“Google and CBC represent the lion’s share of our research on products and equipment with CBC being particularly helpful in meeting the engineers that design things and being able to physically examine whatever it is we are looking for,” Koga said.

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