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Seb Anthony

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Recruiting Training Delegates by Direct Mail


I'm an ex-teacher and setting out on my own - and new to the game! I'll be going down the networking route and personalised training route too - but to get started I've lined up a series of 10 courses (Access, Excel, etc.) and want to fill them.

I'm thinking of sending out a flyer to say 1000 businesses (cost approx £500) - but who should I target? Should I ring the yellow pages for example and ask them for 1000 addresses of medium sized

Any help much MUCH appreciated - it's my livelyhood I'm gambling here!

JL Hagger

4 Responses

  1. beware
    Dear JL
    It depends how you want to do it….”open course” or “in house”;
    Open= you book a venue and businesses can book a/some delegates who will then rub shoulders with people from other clients
    In house=the business books you to deliver at their site to their people probably using their equipment

    I’m sure I’ll be howled down by someone but the “open” course route is tough going. Costs of marketing such courses are traditionally high and the ratio of flyers/phone calls/chases to bums on seats (if I may be so crude) is generally high. YOU will also be underwriting the cost of venue, equipment etc.

    The in-house route is possibly less labour intensive but there is generally a long lead time as the client needs to
    a) buy you
    b) have a budget
    c)find a quorum of delegates and a mutually convenient time/date.

    Having said that you are in the IT applications market and my experience isn’t in that field.

    If you are QUALIFIED to teach the subjects concerned you may want to add working as an associate to an existing training provider, the unit return is lower but the risk is infinitely lower as well.

    I hope this helps

  2. Direct Mail
    Hi JL

    Being a recipient of such flyers a personal plea would be that you consider alternative methods first. I am currently being deluged with all manner of sales material – none of which has been requested. To give you an idea so far today I have recieved 5 brochures, 4 flyers, 10 email flyers and 6 cold calls from companies offering both bespoke and open courses. And tomorrow no doubt will bring more of the same.

    To be honest, if you do a blanket mail shot you could find this to be both a costly and unprofitable exercise as the majority of the information we recieve gets a brief glance and then recycled. I just do not have the time to wade through it all.

    Much better to invest you time/energy and money in the networking approach.



  3. Can it really be that bad!
    Thanks for your comments.

    Bridget – is it really that bad. Did you really receive all that literature ref training in one day? I’m in Bristol and there really aren’t that many training companies around! It beggars belief! And also worries me about how to get customers.

    A few people have suggested networking to me – is it really a successful approach?

    Thanks, JL

  4. Direct Mail
    Hi JL

    Yes it is really that bad. Whilst we are a global organisation we are not a well known name, so I was surprised by the volume myself on joining the company. I am not sure if smaller organisations recieve a similar number of sales approachs.

    When we buy it tends to be from suppliers who have taken the time get to know us, company, culture etc. Some of these have orginated from cold calls. You are most likely to be sucessful (with us) if you are happy to have a short conversation and if the person at the other end is not interested leave it at that.
    The ones we avoid like the plague are those who call on a sales mission – i.e. want to come in and present what they can do for us without knowing the first thing about the organisation, or who ask inappropriate questions for a cold call – “can we discuss the key business issues you are facing so that they can see how they can help me.” and when you politley decline get quite pushy about it.

    One of the key things I would say is rember that the person on the other end of the phone has a job to do, is probably under pressure and taking sales calls is not a prioity.

    Hope this helps
    and good luck



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