The Business of Building Relationships
Eagan, Minn.-based Big Ink focuses on this aspect of self-promotion when it plans its events. Recently, the company began pedaling around to various clients in the area on something deemed the “Treat Trike.” Tom Trutna, president and founder of Big Ink, explains that he bought a Dutch cargo bike and converted it into an ice cream cooler two years ago. Big Ink wrapped the cargo bike in its branding, produced a custom umbrella and aprons to go along with it and began visiting prospects and clients with ice cream treats in tow. This is how the Dream Cycle event was born.
“We’ve found that it’s so difficult to get a hold of clients with either voicemail or email, that you end up behind this electronic wall,” he says. “This was an old fashioned way to get out and talk to customers. We weren’t selling anything specific, however we were showing them a custom wrapped vehicle, umbrella, aprons and social media frames, all of which we produced.”
The Dream Cycle serves as a way for Big Ink to interact with prospects and clients in a fun and relaxed environment.
“It ends up being a sales call without being a sales call,” Trutna explains. “It’s really just more of a reason to build a relationship and do something fun.”
Not only is the Dream Cycle an opportunity to promote Big Ink’s capabilities, he adds, but it also acts as inspiration and encouragement for prospects and clients to connect with Big Ink on more than just printing. The tagline of the Dream Cycle event is “Bigger Thinking,” which demonstrates Big Ink’s ability to conceptualize and come up with out-of-the-box ideas.