A question on workshops…

Here is a question from Cheryl at the Business Consulting Buzz group:

Has anyone had luck at using workshops as a sales tool?

I am considering this in my area at no charge to increase my client base. Has anyone been successful doing this? If so, what have you found to be the best time of day for larger attendance?

Does anyone think this is a really bad idea?

And here is my comment:

Cheryl — I think workshops and seminars are a great idea! They have been a major marketing tool in our engineering consulting practice for the past 25 years.

I agree with Bob Richard regarding conferences — always good to have a sponsor. We started with free workshops (1-3 hours typical), primarily at technical conferences. This provides a ready audience of highly qualified prospects (both interested in the topic, AND able to get money to go to a conference in the first place.)

Later, some of these grew into paid offerings, although we still do the freebies. In fact, the paid seminars now generate a significant part of our revenues. Over the years, we morphed from a pure consulting firm into a consulting/training firm.

Along with conferences, don’t overlook talks/workshops for local organizations (monthly chapter meetings, etc.) Just make sure you are talking to the right people with the right topic.

Two final final bits of advice:
— Keep is simple. You are not trying to impress your peers, but rather you are trying to reach those who need your help. Think tutorials.
— Don’t sell. Nothing turns people off quicker than a sales pitch. Deliver useful information. The acid test for us is “Even if we never do business, has this session been helpful?”

More details right here at JumpToConsulting – just check the archives under Marketing.

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