I went to a local mall at noon today to grab lunch and noticed a group of people standing at the entrance with yellow mall vests and clipboards in their hands. Since I’m in the marketing business, I immediately assumed they were taking a survey.

A very nice young lady asked me if I had a moment; when I said yes, she told me that the mall sponsored their presence to remind shoppers of the importance of car safety. She asked if they could check my car and suggest opportunities for improved safety. Why not, I figured – who wouldn’t want a free car check?

They walked with me to my car and checked the tires, windshield wipers, lights, and all the glass. They noted that my windshield had a small crack, which I frankly had not seen. They also informed me that in our state this could be repaired for free under my comprehensive insurance coverage. The closer was that they represented a local auto service center that could remedy my problem, and they provided me with a business card and discount coupon.

What a great approach to marketing a service! In B2B marketing, we sometimes forget that providing educational information and content about a subject, or a free performance analysis/inspection of a system, can be quite persuasive. Often times this free service can even uncover a need that you can fulfill for your customers.

How could you apply this same technique for your company? Perhaps consider ideas such as:
• If you service or manufacture electric motors, offer a vibration analysis or energy efficiency evaluation.
• If you manufacture a component for OEMs, provide a list of the top ten design options for using this type of component to improve the efficiency of the end product.
• If you sell OSHA safety material, provide a free annual safety audit.

I’m sure you can see how this works and think of plenty of applications for your company.

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