In our previous episode, we talked about retailers’ need to engage with customers face to face. To review, we, as humans, are social animals. Tech is amazing, but Alexa is a rudimentary AI assistant—not a relationship. (Sorry, parents’ basement dwellers.) Shopping, particularly in a music store, is experiential, tactile and, when done correctly, fun. We should hone our interpersonal game and make our stores not just appealing but also welcoming, because anyone who walks in the door has already decided to interact with people.

Today, I want to talk about these skills pointed upward, as they apply to our relationships with our suppliers. I’m always dismayed when I hear the supplier/dealer connection expressed in terms of “us” versus “them.” It’s too easy for some of us to forget that the “people part” works both ways, particularly at a time when so much of our energy is needed just to keep all the plates spinning.

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