Educational Seminars Help You Strengthen Customer Relationships

Last week, Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) marketing whiz Marka explained to savvy salesperson Zoot how to make effective use of written letters to customers. This week, Marka shows Zoot how offering educational seminars at your facility can help FEI strengthen relationships with customers and prospects. Remember, fire = print.

Marka walked into Zoot’s office and found him setting up a tripod-mounted video camera in front of his desk. “Getting ready to shoot your Olympus Idol audition video?” she joked.

“Very funny,” Zoot said. “Actually, I’m filming a video to answer the 10 most-common misconceptions our customers have about fire. You’d be surprised how little some of them know.”

“Why don’t you bring some of those customers in for a half-day educational seminar?” Marka inquired. “Often the best way to learn about something is not to watch it, but to experience it.”

“Think our customers would go for that?” Zoot asked.

“I bet you a large grogaccino many of them would, especially if we emphasize how a better understanding of fire will help them do their jobs better,” Marka asserted.

“I could show them how to relight a torch, explain the seven most-common types of matchwood and their differences, and demonstrate how to get a longer life out of their kilns,” Zoot said.

“Brilliant, Zoot,” Marka enthused. “By supplying useful information, these seminars will help us build customer goodwill. They’ll also encourage customers and prospects to associate FEI with technical expertise. Then, those same customers will turn to us next time they’re in a jam.

“Seminars can also act as selling opportunities. Let’s not be overt about it, but we can have plenty of technical brochures and other handouts for attendees to take home—all of which, of course, will prominently feature our brand.”

“Educate my customers and sell more to them?” Zoot asked rhetorically. “Now we’re talking.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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