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SuperZoo Through the Eyes of the Intern

 Experiencing real life interactions with customers.   The dull hum of voices making final preparations in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the 2013 SuperZoo show fell silently upon my ears.  As an intern working in sales and marketing support closely with the Marshall Pet Product and Earth's Balance product line for the last several years, finally being able to work a show was a dream come true.   Silently nodding and flashing my exhibitor badge to the people at the entrance, I soaked in the ocean of people and pet products before my eyes.  Carrying a case of live baby ferrets to our booth, I took a deep breath finishing my own mental preparations for the soon rush of people.  Several years, actually a lifetime of being familiar with the company and learning the pet solutions they offer were finally being put to the test.   Some people on social media have expressed their jealousy of my chance to attend.  I was not at this show just to be at this show but to learn as much as possible and sharpen my skills in presentational sales.  The MPP team put me in charge initially of demonstrating our stain, odor and pheromone extractor known as 180XT.  My first attempts to interest people to stop and take a look were awkward, I could feel it and read it on people's faces.  Watching other members of teamwork, I quickly realized I was trying too hard to talk to people and decided to revert to just being myself while talking with people.  No goofy introduction lines, not trying to act like a used car salesman with over the top flamboyant in your face pressure, just staying calm and collected presentation.  This helped tremendously which cemented the lesson for my future career in business, being genuine goes further than being overly energetic.  I continued to learn valuable lessons over the duration of the event however; the power of being genuine was the most important.  One particular customer threw me a curve ball of a question.  My mind did not know how to quite describe why we created our new Carnivore Plus.  While my mind was about to jump into a complex explanation, my fellow coworker stepped in and answered, " We have met the demands of the people." Done, end of story.  A simple explanation is also a lesson that I learned.   Las Vegas is Las Vegas however; the people within the pet industry were among some of the most positive people I've ever met.  Since SuperZoo is a national retailer show, the people I interacted with were all pet retailers and groomers along with representative groups.  These people come to this show looking to buy for their companies for next year and were hungry for seeking out the best new products to offer their customers.  Being able to engage with buyers and other committed industry professionals, help create solutions and foster future mutually beneficial relationships was one of the most thrilling aspects of my personal experience.   Front Lines of Launching a New Product: Educating the public about Pill Paste.   Launching a new product, especially in a category which one particular company appeared to have had under its fist at the time, is never easy. Pill Paste is a highly palatable wrap for dog's pills.  Since the product never dries out, tested highly well among dogs and is extremely affordable; being on the front lines of a launch at an event people are able to see the product for the first time was quite the experience.  Pill Paste had created such a stir at the show, these two women I will never forget, came nearly screaming into our booth demanding they know all about the product and how they can get their hands on it asap.  Their high intensity nearly knocked me over.  Fortunately I was able to regain my composure fast enough to peacefully demonstrate the product before they blew a blood vessel in their hearts.   SuperZoo provided plenty of lessons and excitement as a young gun in the professional world.  Long hours on your feet, long nights with customers and early mornings take a toll on your body.  However, the thrill of interacting with people in a high action atmosphere and learning real life business lessons first hand, were worth every second of the sleep deprivation and jet lag.   I want to thank the team for graciously allowing me to attend last week and for their willingness to teach and mentor me over the last several years.  You will all be close to my hearts as I move forward with my own business career after college. The Intern
Earth's Balance  

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