At ProTech, we tend to think about technology a lot — after all, that’s our business. But one thing that I’ve learned over the years is that nothing is better for business-to-business marketing than getting together with customers face-to-face by hosting a well-planned customer event.
I’ve gotten to know many of our customers and some have become life-long friends through the relaxed environment we try to create when we hold our customer events. Over the years, we’ve learned a few tips for events:
First, create an event atmosphere that helps build solid relationships with customers. We don’t schedule our events to try to hard sell our customers. A relaxed and fun environment puts customers at ease and brings their guard down. This allows you to better connect and learn about what makes your customers tick.
Keep the sales talk concise and professional
If we have new products to introduce, we bring in experts to demo the new technology and what it can mean to their business. This way they are getting the best demo, without worry from our team. If we're talking about an existing product we are well versed with, we'll provide information and answer questions about the products.
Most of our meetings are held at our own facility and it is always “all hands on deck” — our entire team turns out to meet customers. Our own experts are available at all times to talk to customers. I’m always amazed at what we learn — we find out about problems our customers are having and because we talk through it together, we often arrive at best solutions. Sometimes this isn’t possible when you talk to customers only in arranged meetings with preset agendas.
Giveaways provide additional entertainment
We do have some giveaways but we try to go beyond the free pens and drink cozies – we put a lot of thought into clever items we think our customers will actually use. This ensures they won't go straight into the trash after the event. A well thought out promotional item used to market your business solution or product will resonate well with clients and the brand awareness you will receive each time they use it is important.
Another important note is food. We always have good food and plenty of it!
Go with the flow
Sometimes it is just fun — for a good cause. We are long-time sponsors of the FedEx St. Jude Classic, which is held right out our front door at Southwind. Our customers look forward every year to watching the tournament from our tent on the golf course. We’re also big supporters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis and many events are centered around support for this well-deserving organization. These events are typically more fun and jovial events and we know that the goodwill we extend to customers will come back in business discussions.
Sometimes the conversations aren’t all happy — personally, I welcome those, too! How else can I fix an issue if I don’t know it exists? I want our customers to complain. What I don’t want is customers who take their business elsewhere because we didn’t take the time to talk to them long enough to hear about a problem with our service.
It all boils down to good, solid relationships and regular, well-designed events help build these. When our team talks to customers, we don’t just know what product that customer buys or how many jobs we’ve filled for them. We know things like where their kids go to school, what teams they support, what they like and don’t like. When I run into one of our customers somewhere around town or even at the grocery store, we can talk about something other than business, and that's the kind of relationship that sticks around.
These opportunities are afforded to us because we’ve taken the time to develop these opportunities to establish solid business and personal relationships.
ProTech is a Memphis, TN-based technology solutions company that provides solutions for businesses, including talent acquisition, outsourced technology solutions and management consulting, all designed to offer expertise with the personalized customer service you need to succeed. To learn about how we can help with your business, contact our team.