JUNE 3-5, 2018 | MIAMI, FL

Every member of a sales and marketing team is a part of the engine driving organizational success. Don’t get stuck on the side of the road. This conference will help you fine-tune techniques and strategies that will keep you running and fuel growth.

Marketing and sales professionals who attend the conference will learn from joint sessions that help them align their strategies and improve synergy between the departments. Attendees also expand their core skills through concurrent sessions tailored to either marketing or sales. Topics range from leveraging emerging technologies and utilizing various marketing channels to executive sales planning and other sales boosting techniques.

Executive $625 | Social $150


Click here to view registration list.



Mike Marks co-founded Indian River Consulting Group, a firm specializing in helping distributors and manufacturers accurately diagnose problems and identify risk-bound alternatives. He began his consulting practice after working in distribution management for more than 20 years. Over the years, his narrow focus in B2B channel-driven markets has created an extensive number of deep executive relationships within virtually every business vertical in construction, industrial, OEM, agricultural, and healthcare.

Joint Session: “The Evolution Of Field Sales in HVAC/R”

The traditional role of the field sales representation, up until recently, has remained unchanged from the early days after World War II.  There were large differences in effectiveness and some were much better than others- but they all essentially provided the same functions.

So are there signs that it isn’t working as well as it used to work?  Some might consider the flattening of industry growth rates, rising margin pressures, product complexity at the installer level, the use of technology replacing many traditional service functions, the rise in importance of the counter sales rep, and the entrance of millennials into the industry at all levels.

Field sales will be a critical role in this industry long after all of us are gone but the role will be providing different services and abandoning some of the existing ones.  This session provides participants with an understanding of the forces in play and also many examples of how distributors are dealing with them.  The session will actually go outside HVAC/R to other distribution markets where these changes are already well established.


Joseph C. Ellers has been active in sales since 1978.  His firm, Palmetto Associates, has worked with over 1700 different organizations in over 25 countries to help them grow sales and profitability. In his career, he has worked with manufacturers, reps and distributors and has had ownership in all three, as well.  He is also a regular presenter at the UID program in Indianapolis. Ellers leads the workshop components of HARDI’s Sales Manager Certification Program.

Sales Session: “Creating Your (Unique) Value Proposition”

Once upon a time, we had unique things to sell…products that were exciting and different.  We also had tools such as exclusivity and protected territories.  No more. Our challenge today is to “create” these conditions.  You can still do it, but it takes more effort—and the rewards of higher sales (and better margins) are still there.

Customers purchase two things…the product or service that we sell + a (potentially) unseen series of rings of value that surround the product/service.  These potential rings are predicated on the needs and desires of everyone that uses the product and they involve the product/service; the manufacturer; the distributor and the salesperson.

To be effective, you need a different way of looking at sales.  Instead of thinking solely about product features, you really need to look at each separate sales opportunity as a chain—where you forge enough links together to build an unbreakable chain.

The chain is a hierarchy that looks like this:

End customers’ needs/desires + Contractor’s competitive environment + Contractor’s goals + Specific application + Product attributes + Value-add from manufacturer + Value-add from distribution + Value-add from salesperson = Your Unique Value Proposition

When you work this way, you enter every sales opportunity with at least a chance to differentiate and add value. In this session, we will explore ways to build these unique chains—without taking too long to do it.


Ian Heller is President/COO of Modern Distribution Management, the most trusted resource for market intelligence and industry insight to wholesale distribution executives and industrial product marketers since 1967. He began his distribution career as a truck unloader in a Grainger branch in college. He left that company 15 years later as Marketing Vice President and has held senior executive positions in marketing and eCommerce at GE Capital Rail, Newark Electronics, Corporate Express and most recently as VP Marketing for HD Supply White Cap. Ian also founded and ran Real Results Marketing, a distribution-focused consultancy, for seven years.

Marketing Session: “The 10 Commandments of Distributor Marketing in the Age of Amazon Business”

In this session, Heller will compare how Amazon business does marketing vs. distributors. He will take you on a deep dive to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses distributors have by comparison to the Amazon model. This will also include a list of action items to leverage strengths while either improving weaknesses or minimizing the effects of them.


Dan Horan is a Senior Associate at Indian River Consulting Group. Joining in 2015, Dan brings his expertise in sales, marketing, branding and communications strategy to the IRCG team. In his career, Dan has worked with a wide range of B2B and B2C companies – from family-owned to Fortune 500 – leading multidisciplinary teams as they develop and implement holistic marketing and strategic plans.

IRCG is a mid-sized consulting firm founded in 1987 that provides advisory services for manufacturers, distributors, and private equity ownership groups. Learn more at

Marketing Session: “Marketing as an Investment: Why Marketing Leaders Should Be Asking for More Revenue Responsibility”

As marketing leaders, you know the question will inevitably come: “How do I know we are getting a return on our marketing budget?” Instead of deferring to past budgets, Dan Horan, a Senior Associate at Indian River Consulting Group, argues that distribution marketing leaders should be seeking more revenue responsibility, not less. In this interactive session, Dan will draw on IRCG’s years of industry experience to highlight how marketers can take increased responsibility for marketing ROI through smarter KPIs, better customer segmentation, and increased alignment with sales teams.


Dr. John Monoky is the principal of Monoky Associates, a sales leadership development organization. He has helped his clients to better understand the strategic role of sales in today’s competitive market. Dr. Monoky has served on the academic faculties of the University of Michigan and the University of Toledo. His primary focus for the past 30 years has been Executive Development.

Sales Session: “Utilizing the Account Portfolio as the Architecture for Your Sales/Service Organization”

This dynamic, interactive and intensive program focuses on developing sales/service organizations with the flexibility, effectiveness and efficiency needed to thrive in a customer-oriented and turbulent environment. The successful leader has discovered that integrating the sales/service functions with the company’s market plan increases productivity and improves profitability.

All customers are not created equal but all deserve a meaningful definition of value that satisfies the needs of both the customer and the distributor. This session is a pragmatic approach to segment and align your sales and service organization to create value and make money from your key, target, maintenance and why bother customers. It also looks at the requirements to take care of the unique needs of your firm’s strategic accounts.


  • Defining and categorizing accounts based on their value to your firm and your relative position with them.
  • Building different value propositions based upon account category.
  • Aligning internal capture, fulfillment and retention resources based upon an account value.


Robb Zbierski is a professional speaker, trainer and personal coach with Freedom Personal Development.  Working with companies across a broad spectrum of industries, Robb helps clients develop professional skills and positive mindsets that let them discover their potential and maximize their results. Robb’s purpose is to inject excitement into everything he does. This purpose provides Robb the means to guide others (and himself) to become more effective in what they do while enjoying every minute of doing it. Because when you can more effectively accomplish the things you feel like you NEED to do, it lets you have way more fun when it comes time to doing the things you WANT to do!

Joint Session: “The 2-Hour Solution”

Zbierski will take you through the Time Management program/approach he teaches his coaching clients and that he delivers at keynotes and as part of larger Train your Brain For Success workshops.


  • He will teach a proven 7-step process for managing your calendar in a way that lets you run your life instead of your life running you.
  • Help attendees find an extra 10 hours per week that they didn’t know they had.
  • Move attendees from being reactive with their time and efforts to proactively accomplishing tasks and goals and still having something left “in the tank” at the end of their day.


Deana Goldasich is CEO of Well Planned Web — an agency that strategically plans, develops and distributes content for “trailblazer” B2B and B2C companies with complex sales cycles. Her conviction? Every company – large or small – can differentiate itself through content, showcasing its expertise and finding its thought-leadership “voice.” Well Planned Web’s national client list includes technical service providers, professional services firms, specialty education providers and non-traditional healthcare services. Learn more at

Marketing Session: “Go Big or Go Home: Creating a Content Strategy That Sets You Apart”
Today’s buyers are practically allergic to sales calls and marketing messages. To stand out in
the sea of HVAC/R players, you either differentiate or get left behind. Content marketing can be a game-changer – but only when it’s tailored to your business and your customers. In this session, you’ll learn fresh techniques, approaches, and tools to deploy content marketing strategies that mean business.
Key Takeaways:
  • Looking beyond the “same here” marketing trap
  • The number one way to rise above the noise and lock eyes with your customers
  • Adopting the “show, don’t tell” approach when marketing your expertise and clout
  • Where to start when launching or improving your content marketing program
  • Marketing technology – identifying the right delivery and distribution tools


InterContinental Miami

100 Chopin Plz
Miami, FL 33131

For booking, call (305) 577-1000


Sunday June 3rd

6:00- 7:00 PM Registration
6:00- 7:00 PM Welcome Reception

Monday June 4th

7:00 AM – 12:00 PM Registration
8:00 – 8:45 AM Opening Breakfast/HARDI Update
8:45 – 9:45 AM Roundtables
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Joint Session: Mike Marks
12:00 – 1:00 PM Networking Lunch
1:00 – 2:10 PM Sales Session: John Monoky
1:00 – 2:10 PM Mktg Session: Dan Horan
2:15 – 3:15 PM Sales Session: John Monoky
2:15 – 3:15 PM Mktg Session: Deana Goldasich
4:00 – 6:00 PM Vendor Showcase/Happy Hour

Tuesday, June 5th

7:45 – 8:30 AM Breakfast
8:30 – 9:50 AM Joint Session: Robb Zbierski
10:00 – 11:30 AM Sales Session: Joe Ellers
10:00 – 11:30 AM Mktg Session: Ian Heller

*This agenda is tentative and is subject to change.


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