If you’re a small business consultant, and you’re looking to attract more small businesses as clients, you need to get the PLAN. Not just a plan, but the PLAN. The PLAN is a proven method that helps you attract small businesses and show them why you are the only one that can help them.
There is no cold calling. There is no prospecting. And in many cases, you can have others be the ones footing the bill for your marketing expenses. All very good for you and your business, and all part of the PLAN.
What Is the P.L.A.N.?
The PLAN is very simply, to give lunch-and-learn presentations at banks.
Why banks? The reason the PLAN focuses on banks is because they offer a great service that’s needed by many, and they provide that service to – depending on how big the city – thousands and thousands of small business customers.
While banks offer a valuable service to their customers however, they have no way to add value to their clients. They can compete amongst each other with better rates and better customer service, but there’s nowhere else for them to really go. Yet they still have that need. That need to provide their clients with something more, something of value. And they can do that by offering lunch-and-learn presentations.
So what is a lunch-and-learn presentation?
It’s exactly what it sounds like. A lunch-and-learn presentation is a short presentation, usually given over lunch. It’s short, and straight to the point.
The bank is really just the portal to the small business customers. They have the customers, you have the information on how to help those customers. By giving a presentation to those customers, you become the expert in your field, the bank becomes the one that offers that something extra to their customers, and the customers benefit by having their problems solved. They really are a win-win situation for everyone.
Attracting new customers this way is incredibly effective, and very valuable. It’s done by focusing on one problem the client is having, and offering a solution to that problem. Using a short and sweet presentation style is very important because you won’t find a bank or a client that wants you to come in and talk all about yourself.
Don’t tell them what your business offers. Don’t tell them what you can get for them. Don’t tell them anything that doesn’t offer value to them.
So how do you offer them that value? By knowing the PLAN.
When using the PLAN, the ‘P’ stands for presentation. The ‘L’ stands for lunch. The ‘A’ stands for audience and the ‘N’ stands for network. Each of these is an essential part of the PLAN, and each forms its own part, or step, of the process.
How Lunch-and-Learn Presentations Benefit You
Many marketing consultants still don’t believe that lunch-and-learn presentations can help them. And some are even a bit intimidated by them. They don’t want to get up in front of people and speak. And they believe that if they start giving away the answers to their client’s problems, they’ll simply go out and get the job done themselves, and not hire a consultant to do it for them.
Lunch-and-learn presentations don’t only benefit the client, they also benefit you and your business.
The reason clients aren’t going to run off with the answer once you’ve given it to them and do it themselves is because they don’t have the time. They’re too busy operating and managing their business. In most cases, they haven’t even had time to properly analyze the problem to come up with possible solutions, let alone carry out the execution of them.
Once you give them that answer though, you’ll begin establishing yourself as an expert in the field. And once you talk to them for half an hour or so about that solution, how it will help them, and the results they can expect to see, you’ll establish yourself as not just the expert, but the go-to expert in the field. They’ll see that you’re the one that knows how to help them, and they’ll want you to be the one that does.
What’s even better is that the next time they have a problem, you’ll be the first person they go to for the solution and execution.
The second reason marketing consultants talk themselves out of giving lunch-and-learn presentations is because they think they couldn’t possibly ever stand up in front of a crowd and people and speak. Public speaking is after all, the number one fear people have.
But lunch-and-learn presentations should not be considered as public speaking.
As mentioned, lunch-and-learn presentations are very short, very quick to the point. They’re only between 30 and 60 minutes, and you usually present to no more than 30 people at a time. After all, there still has to be time for all those people to get in and out of the meeting by the end of lunch.
It’s also important to remember that you can convince them you’re the expert in your field, because you are. You’ll be speaking about a topic that you know inside and out, and that you’ve been dealing with every single day. You’re not going to be mumbling about something that you’ve had to do a ton of research on and is written on the notes you’re fumbling through.
You will know what you’re talking about, and you’ll feel comfortable doing it. This is part of what will help establish you as the expert in your field.
Another benefit to giving lunch-and-learn presentations at banks is because they will likely foot the bill. Think about it. They’re bringing a marketing consultant in – free of charge to those attending the presentation – to help small business owners and managers solve problems in their business. They’ll have the meeting room available, so you won’t have to rent the space; and in many cases, they’ll even do all the advertising for the presentation. Whether it’s time spent on emails or money spent on postage, it will most likely be at the expense of the bank. Now where else can you get that kind of value for your marketing dollar?
The only expense you might have to pay is for the actual lunch. However, more and more banks and other associations are willing to flip the bill for lunch. This wasn’t always the case but it is definitely becoming more common as banks need to bring value to their customers more then ever before.
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