I’ve been selling software and technology solutions for close to three decades but I’ve never been as focused on my potential clients as I am right now.
Next week Tom, Dan and I are hitting the road for in-person sales calls and there’s a new item at the top of our priority list: Customer Comfort and Safety.
Along with our cool tech, business case studies and competitive price points, we’ve designed and built a portable customer experience that meets pandemic guidelines, personal preferences and enables people to explore 3D Planeta’s next era of earth intelligence.
We love the hustle and flow of trade shows but we’re not quite ready to return to crowded convention halls. Over the past year we attended a few virtual trade shows and while we applaud the effort, it didn’t really work for us. You can’t adequately pitch 3D visualization on a 2D medium.
Instead, we’re personalizing that familiar trade show booth experience, one customer at a time.
To start, we’re moving out to a hotel with ample parking. We’ve rented a large suite, to enable us to properly display our technology with social distancing.
Over the past month, we’ve designed and built a trade show booth that we can also set up inside hotel conference rooms to enable us to demonstrate our 3D visualization in optimum conditions.
Now we’re ready to hit the road for our first personalized customer shows next week in Halifax.
Dan has been booking customer meetings and because we are a trade booth of one, we can meet our customers at times that work for them, which means early morning, late afternoon and evenings.
As with so much of our pandemic-induced adjustments, we’re discovering some unexpected benefits from our new approach.
First, because it’s one-on-one, the vibe is a bit more casual. There’s no hard sell because neither we nor our customers are racing the clock. We don’t need to get to another event, we aren’t working crowd control and we’re not trying to fit one last pitch in before the hall closes. Our room, our rules.
Second, each customer session is highly personalized because the visits are pre-booked. We know who is coming to see us, we know their problem and they know we are already thinking about how we can help them. That’s valuable time well-spent for both our customers and for us.
Third, it’s given our team a shared goal to work towards in a short timeframe. The pandemic disrupted our seasonal business calendar. If you’ve ever worked in a high-growth tech company you know what I mean. You’ve got regional and industry trade shows in the fall, national events in winter and spring, and you spend the summer getting ready to hit the road all over again. Last year that all stopped, and while we kept working internally to scale 3D Planeta, we didn’t have the usual external signposts to show the world what we’re doing and check out where the rest of the world is going.
Next week we will, and it’s been fun working with the team to get ready. I love the adrenaline rush of getting the hardware, software, collateral materials and customer swag all ready and packed.
We’re looking forward to the day when we can be back on a large convention floor but until then, we’re providing customers with our version of room service: coffee, tea and some personalized 3D.