Marketing: Intellectual Capital
You're an expert on your industry. So why not package that expertise for customers? Flexible Personnel, a $38-million staffing company in Fort Wayne, Ind., transformed its employment law know-how into a labor-law seminar. "We thought this would be worth a lot more to our customers than the coffee mugs and key chains our industry typically hands out," says president Doug Curtis.
His clients agree. Nearly 500 customers and prospects came to the most recent seminar (two free all-day sessions) armed with questions about complex labor laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. A paid consultant and Flexible's lawyer led the discussion.
After seminars, attendees often call Flexible with more questions. The 38 field offices each average a call a month. Customers can contact Flexible's lawyer with more complex queries. The company also covers labor-related topics in its quarterly newsletter, which it sends to 15,000 customers and prospects.
Serving as a resource to customers does take time, but it's a great prospecting tool. After the last seminar, the agency received 45 new job orders totaling roughly $500,000 and picked up a customer Flexible had pursued for three years.
-- Robina A. Gangemi* * *