Michigan Rep Says Betting on Retail Sales Teams is Always a Good Gamble

Rep Firm Holds Casino Night for Major Retailer’s Sales Staff – Everyone Wins, Especially the Sponsors

Photo of QMI teamWalled Lake, Michigan-based sales representative company QMI, Inc. (The QMI Group) held a Casino night on Sunday, August 23rd for the sales staff of ABC Warehouse, a large electronics and appliance retailer in the Midwest. Sponsored by Pioneer and Polk Audio, the Casino night capped a 90-day sales promotion that allowed floor salespeople the opportunity celebrate their success, blow off some steam, and earn valuable prizes.

See more about The QMI Group’s ABC Warehouse Sales Associates’ Casino Night…

It occurs to us as we write this story, that events such as this used to be quite common in our industry – but over the last decade or so have become increasingly rare. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that manufacturers and brands have dramatically cut their budgets for support funds to develop markets with such events.

We spoke with The QMI Group’s partner Shannon Cobb who told us that this Casino Night was designed as a sales associate appreciation event that not only delivered the tangible rewards for the end of a sales contest, but more importantly, let the sales associates have fun with an opportunity to increase their “chips” earned during the 90-day contest period and bid on a large kitty of prizes.

“We need to show the salespeople that are selling our products every day that they are appreciated,” Cobb emphasized. “And that’s really what this event is all about.”

A Tough Environment

QMI logoMichigan – my home state – has had a tough run since the financial crises of 2007/2008. Shifting trends in the predominantly industrial state have worked against the economics of the area, resulting in the astonishing spectacle of the City of Detroit…going bankrupt. It goes without saying, this is a tough environment to sell products in that are generally non-essential, want-to-haves versus need-to-haves.

Cobb told us that QMI designed a contest to run during the slower summer months and try to pick up sales. ABC Warehouse is a leading retailer throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana with 43 locations and hundreds of salespeople. Keeping the sales teams focused and positive can be a challenge.

A Huge Success

QMI created, coordinated, set-up, and administered the sales contest that allowed ABC Warehouse salespeople to earn a “chip” for every $50 of retail sales of the products of the principal sponsors – Pioneer and Polk Audio. QMI sales reps and merchandisers constantly promoted the program every time they visited a location – keeping everyone excited…and focused.

Cobb tells us the program was a huge success – generating double-digit increases in sales during a very slow season in a very slow economy. QMI was happy, sponsors were happy…and ABC Warehouse management was very happy.

Casino Games to Increase Winnings

To cap off the event, QMI held the Casino Night at the luxurious Glen Oaks Country Club in Farmington Hills, MI. Working with an outside event agency, a full casino with gaming tables, gaming equipment, cards, chips and game dealers was set up – ready to provide salespeople with a unique experience and an opportunity to increase their quantity of chips.

A photo from Casino Night

ABC Warehouse salespeople crowd around a gaming table during Casino Night.

At the end of the evening, a full dinner was served, followed by an opportunity for attendees to use their chips to bid on a variety of valuable prizes – 120 prizes were donated by the principal sponsors as well as by Polaroid TV and ABC Warehouse. Fully 150 ABC Warehouse salespeople attended and Cobb assures us that everyone went home happy.

“It was a joining of three states for the common good of the salespeople of ABC Warehouse,” said Tom Brillati, Director of Sales and Spokesperson for ABC Warehouse. “Not only was a good time had by all but it was the single biggest event enjoyed and attended by as many ABC Employees. I have never seen the joining, so well orchestrated of manufacturers by a rep organization. The QMI Group hosted the event with great professionalism from the employee check-in to the barrage of prizes auctioned off at the end of the night. A big thank you to QMI and all the manufacturers that supported this event.”

Brillati added, “By the way, the prime rib dinner didn’t hurt either.”

Prize auction

End of night auction for valuable prizes

The Sponsors are the Story

We tried to compliment Cobb and QMI for this event, but she wouldn’t have it. “What’s nice about Polk and Pioneer is that they recognize that this [kind of event] is necessary,” she told us – insisting we focus this story on the sponsors…and not on QMI.

Casino Night for the ABC Warehouse sales staff was such a success, Cobb tells us that it is already scheduled for next year. This makes sense – no matter what else happens – there’s going to be another slow summer period to counteract.

Who Is The QMI Group

The principals of The QMI Group are Jeff Trauben and Shannon Cobb. The company fields a team 15-members strong and has offices in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois. QMI covers a large geographic area including Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Western Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Nebraska, New York, Utah and – they tell us – beyond.

In addition to Pioneer (home and car) and Polk Audio (home and car), the The QMI Group also represents: Cobra Electronics, Power Acoustik, Sanus, and many more.

For more information on QMI, call them at (800) 317-3800…or email lisa.northey@qmicorp.com.

About Ted

A sales and marketing specialist - primarily in the technology industry - I've experienced a sort of "circle of life" in business. I've been a mass merchant retailer, a specialty retailer, a specialty manufacturer, a large volume manufacturer, a distributor, and even represented sales representatives. Now the owner of a marketing company that works with a variety of businesses on improving their strategic marketing and business development - I analyze issues from all angles to develop holistic solutions.

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