Discover your free Construction Marketing Ideas Email Newsletter

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lunch and Learn -- marketing to AEC professionals

Jack Laken of Termodeck Canada invited me to a "Lunch and Learn" presentation at Griffiths Rankin Cook Architects as we prepare a feature advertising profile about his technology -- an originally Canadian concept developed in Europe that uses the concrete thermal mass to reduce heating and air conditioning costs, without increasing construction expenses. It is a 'green' technology that stands on its merits for purely economic reasons -- operating savings are immediate and construction costs are no greater (in fact may be lower) than alternative technologies. This is a 'win win' to me.

Nevertheless, selling anything new is always a challenge. Jack is like me. We are professionals in our own field -- not professional sales representatives. We both know we have to be able to 'sell' to run our own businesses. (He is an engineer, I am a writer/journalist by trade).

But the Lunch and Learn approach, I found, is a truly effective and responsible approach to selling building technologies and materials to the construction sector and its allied professionals. the architects certainly are happy to have the opportunity for a free lunch, and other guests including a significant general contractor and a potential owner-client for the service also attended. Jack could explain his technology to competent professionals, and answer questions at a higher level than in a forced selling environment. No one felt any pressure or obligation; this was a lunch and learn, not a hard sale -- but he forged relationships with the architects, builder, and me -- and opened the door to useful future business relationships.

Lunch and Learn marketing makes a lot of sense -- it certainly applies when you are selling to professionals, but I can see a similar concept being quite useful if you are demonstrating tools or services to contractors, sub trades and the like.

No comments: