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You Don't Go To Association Lunches to Eat

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

Banquet My mantra is "Everything You Do Is Marketing."  And I do mean EVERYTHING. However, this can be hard for people to grok.  Many think of marketing as stuff like brochures and ads.  So, when I start asking questions about things like the manufacturing process, phone systems, finances,  employee benefits and association memberships - folks are puzzled.  What the heck does any of this have to do with marketing? 

One simple real-world example:  Those seemingly unending stream of awards lunches and dinners.   

"Buy a table for only $500!" I get at least three of these a month - and my clients get many more.  You could easily spend $500 a week on various events. 

Companies (on tight budgets) routinely fork over big money for tables at awards lunches and dinners. Then, 10 employees go and promptly plop themselves down and start forking in the food. You might as well open the window and throw away that $500.00.  You (and your employees) ARE NOT at lunch to eat.  You're there to roam the room and bump elbows with all those other people, outside of a "hey buy from me!" sales environment.

When I first moved to Albuquerque, I went to pretty  much everything and anything - but I always had a "hit list" in my mind.  Then, I'd actively work the room and find those people.  But - and this is very important -  I DID NOT "POWER NETWORK."  I Did. Not. Sell.  And, I didn't ask for anything.  Instead, I "simply" got to know people.  These days, when I do attend an event, I probably already know at least five heavy hitters in the room and I can catch up with people I otherwise wouldn't see.  No phone calls.  No appointments.  Just people talking to people.  And, that's what's good marketing is all about.

So, next time you go to any type of group lunch or dinner,  remember you're not there to eat.   


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