With the right presentation you can sell to hundreds of people at one time. Just this morning I met with nearly a hundred CIOs and executives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Most sales calls target one company, and most lunch-and-learns can hardly be considered sales calls. But in this case we are combining the two to create a more efficient sales effort. How does it work?
First, lunch and learns are generally done by inviting existing IT-level clients. This is a great way to express appreciation to your clients while providing technology updates with the hopes of discovering new projects within the group. In my experience, most of these efforts produce immeasurable success and rarely lead to anything you wouldn’t have found just be staying in contact with your customer base; still, not a bad thing to do for your best customers.
Educational marketing is different. It targets a group of buyers using educational presentation material relevant to the executive audience; people who can buy. It’s like casting a wide net to capture a large group of potential buyers. We market the event much like you would a wedding, including professional looking invitations with an RSVP. It’s “invite only” in order to limit lower level attendance, and generally done over a meal to encourage a networking sort of event. Creating a place for executives to network within their circle makes this type of event work.
The keynote I gave this morning was designed using the marketing concepts I teach and continue to talk and blog about; mainly, knowledge gaps, commitments, interruptions in thinking, and other, to create an Aha! moment. I want my audience sitting their asking themselves, “Are we addressing these issues?” If the issues I bring up are urgent and credible, I can move my audience to the point of believing, it would be foolish not to at least check! Educational content that leads to urgency – followed by an investigation. This process is then used as the discovery aspect of the sales process, which then creates opportunity for remediation or other project efforts. In the case of liability issues, these sales lead to recurring revenue or annuity. In many cases we will motivate seventy-five percent of our audience to move to an assessment, and many of my clients experience up to ninety percent of these moving to projects and managed services.
This is the power of presentation. Every sales person should be capable of delivering this type of program, or perhaps putting this type of event together with an outside speaker and following up. The results far out perform traditional selling efforts.
© 2011, David Stelzl