When we heard that Elia was setting up its first conference entirely dedicated to sales and marketing, we immediately knew that this was an event Ciklopea could never skip. The track record of offering relevant content of Elia conferences, combined with the focus on one of the hottest topics in our industry, were more than good enough reasons to pack our suitcases and set out to Switzerland.
Elia ND Focus Sales & Marketing was held at the Grand Hotel Kempinski in Geneva last week. In short, I would describe it as an eye-opening exchange of knowledge and experience in a pleasant summer vibe.
Sales and marketing is not exactly the smoothest aspect of the language industry and the struggle to find the perfect way of presenting and selling a linguistic solution is real. This is why this type of event was just perfect –fresh ideas, experiences and perspectives exchanged during the workshops have all been a great food for thought.
The presentations that stood out for me in this regard included Adding tangible value to the customer experience and How the framing of price impacts the bottom line, both by Richard Brooks and Samantha Brown. It’s sometimes good to remember the basic principles in any line of work, such as that we should aim to differentiate on the basis of the value we provide to our clients, not on the price, and to remember that we are selling sophisticated solutions whose true value may only grow over time.
In line with this, I quote Andreas Förster:
“When your client asks you why your competitor sells for cheaper? Because he can!” – and this is very true. High quality solutions are never cheap, but their ultimate value and prevention of language-related disasters makes them cheap in comparison. The real challenge is to communicate this message to the clients and this is why the events like these are organized.
Dynamics, change and adaptation
What I felt was the underlying message of all workshops and presentations was that sales and marketing challenges in the language industry should and can be only addressed by the change of mindsets, understanding the client’s perspective, a proactive approach and keeping up with the dynamics of the times. Every question can be answered if we have a deep understanding of the customer’s requirements and the place, value and requirement for our solutions in their work. The magic word remains because.
Elia ND Focus Sales & Marketing was a groundbreaking event, the first of its kind and it overcame my expectations. The fact that workshops were held by the subject-matter experts and actively involved our peers, marketing and sales specialists working in the language industry, and people who face similar challenges and develop answers to them, made this event truly special, professional and relaxed at the same time thanks to mutual understanding.