Stop using webinars to pitch your products to engineers

Josh Rodriguez

by Josh Rodriguez, NoonPi PDH Strategy Specialist

Engineers don’t want to listen to you talk about your products for an hour.

But they do want to learn.

Use a webinar to present an educational topic related to the products you sell, and award professional development hours (PDH) to the engineers.

Engineers love attending educational webinars because…

a. They need PDH credits for license renewal.

b. There are gaps in their knowledge that need to be filled by experts. You can be that expert!

The problem with using the guise of professional development to overtly sell to engineers is two-fold.

First, sales pitches and product demonstrations are not acceptable for PDH credit. The state licensing boards are very clear about this. The expectation of the licensing boards is that an educational activity should be educational.

A webinar (or lunch & learn) qualifies for PDH credit if it educates an engineer on an approved topic that is pertinent to his professional practice.

What’s not acceptable…

  • A sales pitch is NOT acceptable
  • A tour through your product catalog is NOT acceptable
  • An equipment demonstration is NOT acceptable
  • Showing how your product compares favorably to your competitor’s product is NOT acceptable

Secondly, engineers don’t want to sit through a sales presentation. They want to learn pertinent information that will help them in their professional practice.

We’ve seen this play out time and time again at NoonPi. NoonPi hosts free lunchtime webinars for engineers to earn PDH credits.  Some of the webinars are presented by industrial manufacturers’ representatives.

All presenters are given the rules upfront: No sales pitches! We review all the presentation slides beforehand to ensure there is minimal sales content. But, despite our best efforts, some presenters will spend a portion of the time pitching their products.

When that happens, we get complaints from our attendees… “I didn’t sign up for a webinar to hear a sales pitch”.

Don’t ruin your webinar by trying to sell to engineers. Per state board rules, the minimum credit that can be awarded for a webinar is 1 PDH.

That’s an entire hour you have to build credibility with the engineers in your audience by educating them on a topic that will help them in their professional practice.

If you sell centrifugal pumps, you could host a webinar on how to develop system curves or how to select the right mechanical seal. If your company manufactures electrical transformers, you could educate engineers on the pros and cons of oil-cooled transformers vs. dry type transformers. Well, you get the idea.

By focusing on teaching, not pitching, you will demonstrate topic authority and position your company as a valuable resource that engineers can rely on to help solve their problems.

If you’d like to chat with an expert to learn more about how to use PDH events to connect with engineers, book a free consultation.

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