As an architect, engineer, or construction professional, you have the responsibility to educate your clients and prospects. It’s part of the marketing and sales process. Clients and prospects today want to educate themselves before they even buy. They want to know who the industry expert is and who delivers what they promise. It’s your responsibility to educate them about the design and construction process and then differentiate your firm.
Lunch and learns are a great way to educate your clients and prospects. There are several advantages to hosting these educational programs.
You want to help your client and prospect look good to their colleagues, shareholders, employees, etc. By educating them you are giving them the information to make the best decision for their company.
For example, if you are a design firm wanting to get in front of school superintendents, you may host a seminar on the process of programming. You can invite all your clients and prospects to this lunch and learn and give them some tools and resources about programming. Don’t give everything away but let them know you are the BEST at programming. Don’t talk about your firm the entire time but talk about the process. What questions should they ask? Give them a top 10 list of questions that should be addressed during your programming. The content will be easy for you to come up with, because this is second nature to any designer.
The important piece of this is getting the right people in the room. Because you are targeting school superintendents, you can be very targeted with your approach. Create a memorable invitation and follow up with phone calls. If you have a dozen attendees, this is ideal. It’s a larger enough group to make it worth your time but small enough that you can make it pretty personable.
Put a plan together for this and implement it. It’s also important to follow up AFTER the lunch and learn. Create a “to-do” item for them to complete after the lunch and learn, so you can follow up with them.
Lunch and learns are a great way to get in front of clients and prospects to educate them while building a relationship. You can conduct these monthly or quarterly whatever your schedule allows. Strategize, plan, and implement to make this a successful piece of your marketing strategy.