Every other week or so, my mother unfailingly will forward me a chain email message about the latest health benefits of coconut oil, a testimonial about the dangers of shopping center parking lots for single, young women, or a list of exercises to do while seated at a desk all day. (Thanks, Mom!)
The truth is that hitting "forward" on a message to someone is a powerful tool when used appropriately, and there are two reasons:
1. The Relationship
You may ask me why after so many years after my mother discovered an internet full of quack doctors and urban legends, I still open every single message from her. It's because of our good relationship, and just like that, you too have a relationship with meeting professionals. Forwarding articles, webinars, videos, blogs, and other news on the internet to them is a way to nurture personal contact with a customer.
While e-newsletters, general marketing messages, and advertising are essential, but according to a recent survey by PCMA, 59.4% of meeting professionals prefer one-on-one connections over 8.3% who like to connect with companies online. You as the DMO sales professional own the relationship with the planner when they're in the selection process, and the more you're able to be recognized, by name, as a resource and advocate for their meeting, the better off you'll be.
2. The Thought
We've all heard the phrase, "It's the thought that counts." When my mom forwards something she thinks I'll be interested to see, I know she's thinking of me and wants me to succeed. Forwarding relevant content to meeting professionals is a way for you to show that as well, and given how quick it is to simply forward or share something over the internet, the payoff is tremendous.
Think of it as making small deposits into the savings account of your reputation and relationship. The success of our industry rests on us becoming the partner of choice for meeting planners and influencers, and the only way to do that is to be seen as a trustworthy, educational resource with all the answers to help a meeting professional be successful.
3. What Mom Doesn't Do
One warning that I will give you against following my mom's footsteps is to fact-check your emails and forwards! My mom may never learn to check her stories on Snopes, but in the interest of your meeting professionals, please confirm news and resources that you share with your customers before you hit send.
If you're looking for where to start, DMAI's empowerMINT team actually has a free bi-weekly newsletter reaching over 24,000 planners educating them on the value that DMOs provide and how to work with them for the best meeting results. To get on this distribution and reap the power of your "forward," sign up at our blog: http://blog.empowermint.com/.