Social networking is a great marketing tool; no doubt. Marketing events are equally as good…both require precise execution. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking to 40 decision makers in Richmond VA. These are largely new prospects – how did we get this audience and what will make tomorrow a success?
- Practice! The sponsoring company and I have done this seven times in the past two and half years. They’ve been coached on the process, practiced it, and know how to execute. Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, underscores this point – get a process that works and perfect it. Trying things once and moving from method to method is destined to fail.
- Provide valuable information to your prospects. Product pitches are cheap, and most lunch and learns are just that…a free lunch if you’ll sit with us for an hour and listen to a product pitch. No one likes to tour time-shares with a free night stay, and no one wants to hear about your product. This goes for both manufacturers and resellers. I will not mention product tomorrow…not even once.
- Sponsorship. This event will be professional, held in an upscale establishment, and has been well orchestrated from it’s inception. We plan to succeed in turning attendees into clients, so we’ve made the proper investment. This requires marketing funds (JMF, MOU, Co-op, or whatever your partners call their marketing support money) and support from distributors and manufactures/partners. If you’re partners don’t help with these types of events, consider eliminating the partner. Note: Zenith Infotech is a primary sponsor of this event and to my knowledge, they are the only managed services company with marketing support dollars (correct me if I’m wrong).
- We have an effective follow up program that actually delivers value to the client regardless of whether they buy anything. Because there’s value, we’ll end up building relationships with most of them. Some will have immediate needs, others will return when the need arises.
- This event is invite only. It’s been specifically designed to deliver value to higher level managers and business owners. It won’t be about technology, speeds and feeds, or t-shirt give-aways. Our topic is educational and offers value to those who have responsibility over the success of the business.
Old school marketing programs are out – people want education, knowledge, and understanding. Success means making wise decisions in the coming months and quarters, and that means they need sound advice. Be the best one to give it and you’ll find the relationships will come.
© David Stelzl, 2010